LKBPOTD #11 Man of Still

#72 DE  Art Still

Art Still a 6-7 253lb Defensive End  out of Kentucky, was  drafted 2nd overall in the 1978 NFL Draft by the Kansas City Chiefs.  In his time with Kansas City he was selected to four Pro Bowls , and amassed 66.5 sacks, with only  42.5 being official (Sacks became an official stat in 1982).

The Bills traded an 8th round pick to acquire Art Still in 1988. This move proved to be an important one by the Bills. Bruce Smith was suspended for 4 games under the NFL substance abuse program.  So this left them with a gaping hole on the defensive front.  Art Still filled that hole admirably. In his 1st game as a Buffalo Bill he racked up 2 ½  sacks in a victory over the Minnesota Vikings.

The Bills won all four games without Bruce Smith and won 11 of the first 12 games in 1988 on the way to becoming AFC East Champs.  The Bills advanced to the AFC Championship Game, but loss to the Cincinnati Bengals 21-10.  Art Still picked up a sack in that game and it would be his last sack of his career.

In 1989, Art Still was again the Bills starting Left Defensive End, but a young DE named Leon Seals began getting more playing time.  The end was coming to Art Still's fine career.  He didn't register a sack in 1989, but he recorded his 1st and only interception in a loss to the Seattle Seahawks in Week 13 on Monday Night Football.

The Bills again won the AFC East in the 1989 season with a 9-7 record.  However, the Bills suffered a heartbreaking loss to the Cleveland Browns, when Clay Matthews Sr intercepted a Jim Kelly pass.   The play just before the INT, RB Ronnie Harmon dropped a potential game winning pass in the endzone,  ending the Bills season in heartbreak.

This was the final game for Art Still as a Bill and in the NFL as a whole. Understanding that the Bills were looking to give Leon Seals more playing time he retired.  In his own words he said, "That was my last season. I had some opportunities to play after that, but you kind of get burned out, somewhat. I enjoyed the game for what it was. I went out and played the game and it was a means of making a living, so you want to look good doing that."   His career total of 72 ½ sacks (only 48 ½ officially) and 12 fumble recoveries puts him just outside Hall of Fame conversation, however, he helped the Bills become who they were or rather who they became, winners.

Art Still is you Lesser Known Bills Player of the Day. Brought to you by the number 11, as in Art Still and his wife Liz, have 11 children.

"The secret of staying young is always having one in diapers" - Art Still

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