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Top 50 All-Time Bills, No. 49: CB/KR Terrence McGee

McGee is the Bills' all-time leading kick returner, and also an accomplished corner. (<a href="">photo source</a>)
McGee is the Bills' all-time leading kick returner, and also an accomplished corner. (photo source)

CB/KR Terrence McGee (2003-present) | 5'9", 198 lbs.

Notable Achievements: 2004 Pro Bowl, 2004-2005 All-Pro Selection, Bills' all-time leader in kick return yardage and touchdowns

Terrence Dewayne McGee was born October 14, 1980 in Smith County, Texas.  The Bills acquired McGee in the fourth round of the 2003 NFL Draft, with pick No. 111.  McGee saw periodic playing time in the defensive backfield his rookie year, and took over for Antoine Winfield as a starter when Winfield left for Minnesota the following off-season.  He has remained a staple for the Bills defense since then, and is one of the most accomplished return men in NFL history.  Some of you may question his inclusion on this list, but there's no denying his special teams production and steady play at cornerback throughout his career.

Career Highlights
During his rookie season in 2003, McGee saw action in 14 games, and proved capable enough that the team let Winfield walk and elevated McGee to starter the following year.  He finished the year with 2 INT and 33 tackles.  He took a major step in his career when he saw more action the following year.

2004 saw the arrival of Terrence McGee as a starter at cornerback, and more memorably, as a kick returner.  He would finish the season with 3 INT and 92 total tackles - solid production for a first-year starter.  His biggest impact, however, was in the return game, where he finished fourth in the NFL in yards per return (26.3), third in total kick return yards (1,370), and led the NFL with 3 kick return touchdowns and a season long of 104 yards.  He was recognized with his first and only Pro Bowl appearance to date.

McGee remained one of the top kick returners in the league from 2005-2007.  He added two more return scores, led the league in return average in 2005 (30.2) and was recognized as an All-Pro in 2005 by the Associated Press.  McGee is currently No. 20 in NFL history in both career kick return yardage (5,420) and yards per return (26.3), while his 5 kick return touchdowns is sixth best in NFL history.  His 206 kick returns and 5,420 yards both more than double the next closest player in team history (Keith Moody). 

His defensive play has always been steady, if unspectacular.  His coverage skills have improved throughout his career, and he has shown the ability to be a tough man defender.  Hey, Terrell Owens even called him a "dominant corner" after the first OTA practice.  Maybe the most unheralded part of McGee's game is his ability to help in run support.  He's a good tackler that has never been afraid to stick his nose in there.  Antoine Winfield was always praised for his run supporting abilities, and rightfully so, but McGee has more than proven his worth in this area throughout his career.

Best Moment(s)
McGee has had a number of great moments in Buffalo.  From his 104 yard touchdown on the opening kickoff against Miami in 2004, to his electric return for a touchdown against the Cowboys on Monday Night in 2007, he's had his fair share of big plays.  However, his best game may have been his performance against the playoff-bound Bengals in 2005.  In that contest, McGee became the first player in NFL history to return a kickoff and an interception for a touchdown in the same game.  His 99-yard kick return for a TD gave the Bills the lead early in the third quarter, while his 46-yard interception return sealed the victory for the Bills late in the fourth.  Perhaps his finest individual play was one that didn't result in touchdown; his 82-yard kick return against the Saints in 2005 (fast forward to :40 mark).

Parting Shots
Terrence McGee will likely never be remembered specifically for his play on the defensive side of the ball, but he should be remembered as one of the best all-around players in team history.  His cornerback play and return prowess have earned him a spot on this list, and he might go down as one of the most underrated and under-appreciated Bills of all-time.

Career Stats
357 solo tackles (No. 9 in franchise history - tackles weren't an official stat until 2001)
16 Interceptions (No. 16)
86 passes defended (No. 2)
106 fumble return yards (No. 1)
206 kick returns (No. 1)
5,420 kick return yards (No. 1)
5 kick return TD (No. 1)
7 total return TD: 5 kickoff, 1 INT, 1 fumble (tied for most in franchise history)

Photo Source