clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Super Bowl 2015: former Buffalo Bills competing for a championship

Tonight's Super Bowl between the Patriots and the Seahawks will feature seven former Buffalo Bills players, two former Bills coaches, and two Pats with prominent Western New York ties.

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Super Bowl Sunday, Buffalo Bills fans! While you spend your day taking care of business before tonight's big game between the New England Patriots and the Seattle Seahawks, let's run through the list of former Bills players and coaches that will be competing for a championship tonight.

Seattle Seahawks

  • Marshawn Lynch was the Bills' first-round draft pick in 2007. In his three-plus seasons with the Bills, he ran for 2,765 yards and 17 touchdowns. Since a 2010 trade to the Seahawks, his career has taken off; in nearly five years spent with Seattle, he's rushed for 5,930 yards, scored 62 regular season touchdowns, and has emerged as one of the better runners in NFL postseason history.
  • Pete Carroll, Seattle's head coach, spent one season with the Bills: in 1984, as the defensive backs coach under Kay Stephenson.
  • Backup quarterback Tarvaris Jackson was acquired from Seattle by Buffalo in a 2012 trade. Jackson appeared in just one preseason game for the Bills, spent the entire 2012 season on the inactive list, and then returned to Seattle after the Bills released him in May of 2013.
  • Tony Moeaki, a veteran tight end and a backup in Seattle, spent the latter portion of the 2013 season with the Bills, but was released during 2014 training camp after a hamstring injury prevented him from practicing at St. John Fisher.
  • Reserve defensive lineman Landon Cohen has been talked about a lot in the build-up to the Super Bowl, having been released by the Bills in September (following an excellent preseason), then landing a job as a valet parker before the Seahawks called late in the season. His year has been quite the story.
  • Seahawks assistant offensive line coach Pat Ruel held the same title with the Bills in 2003, where he worked under former head coach Gregg Williams.

New England Patriots

  • After a solid 2013 campaign, the Bills re-signed defensive lineman Alan Branch to a three-year extension last December. He then came to camp out of shape, struggled to pass the team's conditioning test, and then picked up a DUI during camp, promptly leading to his release. He has been with the Patriots since mid-October.
  • In desperate need of a quarterback late in the 2013 preseason, the Bills traded third-year linebacker and special teams ace Chris White to Detroit for quarterback Thad Lewis. White was released by Detroit less than a week later, and he has been with New England ever since in the same role he played in Buffalo.
  • Long snapper Danny Aiken was an undrafted free agent in 2011, and spent part of training camp in Buffalo trying to beat out Garrison Sanborn. That didn't happen; Aiken was promptly scooped up by the Pats, and has been their long snapper for four years now.

It's also worth pointing out that the Pats employ two people with Western New York ties (though neither has ever worked for the Bills): tight end Rob Gronkowski is a Williamsville native, and tight ends coach Brian Daboll attended St. Francis High School along with Jacksonville GM David Caldwell and San Diego GM Tom Telesco.