About a two and a half months ago MattRichWarrenpresented us with his Buffalo Bills 2000s All-Decade Team series. And for about a month we voted on a series of poles to determine who was worthy of being on that team. But more often than not we also ended up complaining over
the limited sometimes horrible talent that we had to pick from for any given position. So it was about at the TE position that I thought "hey why don't we also vote on the worst players that played for this team over the last decade?" And so here we are.
Now just like MattRichWarren'sseries I have a few criteria for players to be eligible for this team. They had to have played in at least a full season's worth of games in this decade to be eligible. Starting is not requirement, but you do have to have played significant amounts of snaps in those games. That means that, for example, the Bills 3rd receiver might make the list, but a 4th or 5th stringer wont be considered. That means that we wont end up voting for 7th rounders that ended up playing 2 snaps. These are going to be real players that played real roles on this team over the last ten years. And just because a player ended up on the All-Decade team does not mean that you can't also be on the worst-decade team.
Okthis series is doing pretty good so far, and with the defensive line set, it's time to move on to Outside Linebackers. And while this team may have held it's own at LB this decade (at times), there was really only one OLBthat is worth mentioning: Takeo Spikes. The rest just fade in comparison while some just flat out stunk. And here's the long list of average to bad OLB's that we've had this decade.
A Bills second round pick in the 1994 draft, Rogers was approaching the end of his career by the 2000 season =, his last with the Bills. Rogers still had a decent campaign in 2000, playing and starting in 11 games. He amassed 40 total tackles, his lowest total since his rookie season, with 5 sacks, 1 INT, 3 forced fumbles and 1 fumble recovery. The Bills released him in the 2000-2001 off season when they made the switch to the 4-3.
Refraining from the Seinfeld jokes, this Newman was a 4thround draft pick of the Bills in 1999. He spent time in both the 3-4 and the 4-3 for the Bills, becoming a starter during the 2000 season, the last in the 3-4. in his 3 season with the Bills this decade (2000-2002) he played in 48 games, starting 42 of them. He had a total of 180 tackles in those 3 seasons, to go along with 14.5 sacks, 6 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries, 1 which he lost in a fumble, and 10 passes batted down. The Bills let him go in 2002 in favor of Jeff Posey as the strong side LB.
The 5th round pick of the Bills in the 1999 draft, Forman played in 2 seasons for the Bills this decade, one as a starter (2001) opposite Newman. He played in 31 games for the Bills this decade, staring 19 of them. He recorded 152 total tackles, with 2.5 sacks, 2 forced fumbles and 2 fumble recoveries. The Bills released him at the end of the 2001 season. He went on to play in 5 more seasons in the NFL, 3 decent years at ILB for the expansion Texans, 1 for the Giants and 1 for the 49'ers.
A second round draft pick of the Houston Oilers in the 1992 draft, Robinson join the Bills in 2002 after also spending time in Jacksonville and Tennessee. He played in all 16 games for us, starting 15 of them. He had 82 tackles and 1 INT in a Bills uniform. He decided to retire after the 2002 campaign, ending a long and productive career in the NFL.
The third member in what was the Bills best linebacking corps of the decade, the Bills signed Posey off of the Texans roster in the 2002-2003 off season. While still being good for the Bills, Posey was obviously the least talented out of the starters he played with, London Fletcher and All-Pro Takeo Spikes. Yet he was still productive. In his 3 seasons with the Bills Posey played in 48 games, starting 46 of them. He amassed, 191 total tackles, 9.5 sacks, 1 INT, 5 forced fumbles, 2 fumble recoveries and 5 passes defended. The Bills let Posey walk away after the 2005 campaign with the emergence of Angelo Crowell as a starter. He went on to play 1 final season with the Redskins before retiring.
A third round pick of the Bills in the 2003 draft, Crowell took his time to develop and only truly emerged in the 2005 campaign when he replaced and injured Takeo Spikes. His best seasons were in Dick Jauron's Cover 2 defense and a coverage LB. He spent 6 seasons in Buffalo, playing in 65 games and starting 41 of them. In that time he accumulated 346 tackles, 7 sacks, 5 INTs, 4 forced fumbles, 1 fumble recovery and 17 passes defended. Crowell left Buffalo on a bad note when he decided to have a surgery that landed him on IR just a few days before the start of the 2008 season. This was after he participated in all of the Bills OTAs and the Pre-Season with that injury. The Bills released him at the end of the 2008 campaign and he signed on the the Buccaneers. He would however almost immediately landed on IR with the Bucs as he tore both of his biceps early in training camp and hasn't played a game in the NFL since. Statistically Crowell should probably not be on this list, but the bad taste that I still have in my mouth from how he left the team really gave me no other choice.
A sixthround draft pick of the 2006 draft, Keith has spent the last 4 seasons slowly developing into a top reserve and sometime starter for the Bills at all 3 linbacking positions. While he has proved to be an adequate LB, he has also proven to not be someone that we should want as a starter, his best role with the Bills should have remained as a reserve. In his 4 season in Buffalo he has played in 50 games and started 38 of them, mostly as an injury replacement. He has accumulated 239 total tackles, 2 sacks, 2 INTs, 2 fumble recoveries and 11 passes defended in his time here so far. While Ellison's build and playing style are much more suited to the Cover 2 system that the Bills have just abandoned, he is making the transition to 3-4 ILB in the hopes to pick up the Nickle ILBslot on the team. He chances of remaining with the team are still very low though.
A second round pick of the Kansas City Chiefs in the 2003 draft, Veeksigned on with the Bills in the 2007-2008 off season after winning a Super Bowl with the New York Giants. He has spent 2 very average seasons here in Buffalo so far, but has brought in a number of game changing plays such as his interception against the Chargers in 2008. He has played in 21 games for the Bills, starting in 20 of them. He has a total of 129 tackles with the Bills, to go along with his 4 sacks, 2 INTs, 3 forced fumbles and 3 passes defended. He went down to injury 5 games into the 2009 campaign and is making the transition to 3-4 ILB in the Bills new defense.
So as you can see, I spared no one here. Otherwise from Spikes our OLBs have been very average this decade and since they all ended up on a somewhat level playing field compared to Spikes, I saw no reason to exclude any of them. So on to you guys, it's time to vote!
Which Bills OLB was the worst of the last decade?
Sam Rogers (10 votes)
Keith Newman (14 votes)
Jay Foreman (22 votes)
Eddie Robinson (47 votes)
Jeff Posey (13 votes)
Angelo Crowell (8 votes)
Keith Ellison (27 votes)
Kawika Mitchell (0 votes)
141 total votes