Unless you’re just waking up from a Rip Van Winkle-esque snooze then you already know that the Buffalo Bills are not participating in this year’s Super Bowl. However, there are a handful of familiar names either playing or coaching in the big game with the New England Patriots or the Los Angeles Rams.
The #Bills aren't in the big game, but here's some of their former players and coaches that are.#GoBills#BillsMafia#NFL pic.twitter.com/hmQpE0NB1H— Buffalo Rumblings (@BuffRumblings) January 28, 2019
New England Patriots
Chris Hogan, WR
Hogan came to the Bills as a free agent after short practice-squad stints with three other teams. He made his first active roster in Buffalo and played in 48 games over four seasons. Hogan left for the Patriots after the Bills declined to match the three-year, $12 million offer they signed him to. Also of note, Hogan played lacrosse at Penn State.
Stephon Gilmore, CB
The Bills made Gilmore the tenth-overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft. He started 66 of the 68 games he played in over the five seasons he spent in Buffalo. Gilmore became a lock-down corner during his time with the team. The Bills and Gilmore could not come to an agreement on a long-term deal during the final year of his rookie contract and declined to franchise tag him. Gilmore hit the open market and eventually landed with the Patriots.
Ramon Humber, LB
The Bills signed Humber after he was released by the Patriots shortly before the 2016 season kicked off. He stayed with the Bills for three seasons as a linebacker and special teams contributor. Humber was released this past November to make room on the roster for Robert Foster. He was quickly picked up by his former team, the Patriots.
Los Angeles Rams
Robert Woods, WR
Woods was selected by the Bills in the second round of the 2013 NFL Draft. He played four seasons with the Bills, starting in 48 games, notching 203 receptions for 2,451 yards and 12 touchdowns. Woods hit free agency after the 2016 season and ended up signing with his hometown Rams.
Nickell Robey-Coleman, CB
The Bills brought in Robey-Coleman as an undrafted free agent in 2013. He remained with the Bills through the 2016 season, appearing in all sixteen games in each of those four seasons. He was released in March 2017 as one of the first changes Sean McDermott made as Bills head coach.
Wade Phillips, defensive coordinator
Wade Phillips succeeded Marv Levy as the Bills head coach in 1998 after three seasons as Levy’s defensive coordinator. Phillips led the Bills to the playoffs in 1998 and 1999. He was let go after an 8-8 record in the 2000 season and disagreements with Ralph Wilson over his coaching staff. Also of note: Before McDermott in 2017, Phillips was the last coach to take a Bills team to the playoffs—that wildcard-round loss is infamously referred to as the home-run throwback game.
Aaron Kromer, run-game coordinator
Kromer served as the Bills’ offensive line coach for two seasons under Rex Ryan. Kromer’s stint with the Bills is most infamously remembered for an incident where he punched a teen over a beach chair-related argument. The charges were dropped, but Kromer was suspended for six games. Kromer’s son, Zak, is also on the Rams staff as offensive quality control. He served in the same position with the Bills in 2016.