Tuesday, August 5, 2014

1965 Bills Offensive Line Profiles

No. 53
An AFL original who was All-AFL in 1960, Walt played every game for Boston from 1960-63, then played all 14 games for Buffalo last year. He's a rugged blocker.
Walt was an All-Big 10 center in 1954 who was drafted by the Redskins. He began the following season with the Giants before leaving to become a high school coach in Chicago. After serving as an assistant coach for his alma mater in 1959, Walt became one of many for whom the new league offered a new life in pro football.

No. 66
Georgia Tech
"It's no accident that the Bills pack tremendous power in their ground attack. They've got the ball-carriers, sure, but they've also got a bulldozing offensive guard in 248-pound Billy Shaw. He pries those holes open.
Billy was All-AFL last year, and he could be just as effective on defense. That's where he earned his All-America college reputation at Georgia Tech.
Bill's also captain of the Bills."

-Jack Zanger, Pro Football 1965

"Probably the greatest testimony to Billy Shaw's all-around ability was rendered by his teammates. They picked him as their captain, and when you think of the number of guards who are team captains in professional football, it is, indeed, quite a tribute.
'Billy is perhaps the finest pulling guard in the league,' says Buffalo coach Lou Saban. 'But more important, he puts out every time the ball is snapped.' Saban is also convinced that the 26-year-old Shaw will continue to improve because Billy was primarily noted as more of a defensive player than anything else at Georgia Tech, his alma mater.
In recent years, the Bills have built the best ground game in the league. During their championship 1964 season, they racked up 2,400 yards via rushing, and a great many of those came as the result of bone-crunching blocks by Shaw. Most AFL observers agree that Billy and Stew Barber form the best guard-tackle combination in the loop."

-Sports All-Stars/1965 Pro Football

"If you want to hear a coach rave about one of his players, bring up the name of Billy Shaw in front of Lou Saban. Named to the past two All-AFL clubs, the offensive and team captain of the Bills has not nearly reached his full potential. Billy's speed and agility make him one of the best blockers in the business.
Billy played in the 1961 Coaches All-America Game. Drafted by Buffalo in 1961, the big guy rates as one of the Bills' best picks.
In his spare time, Billy loves to hunt and fish."

-1965 Topps No. 41

No. 50
"The stamp of a pro is his willingness to do what's best for the team. Al Bemiller was a regular offensive center for three years, ever since he beat out All-AFL Dan McGrew for the job as a rookie in 1961. But last year, the Bills picked up veteran center Walt Cudzik, so Bemiller moved to guard and fit into a championship unit.
Al's a 260-pound iron man who's never missed a minute of league play. He's a clever lineman who knows how to finesse an opponent into doing what he wants him to do."

-Jack Zanger, Pro Football 1965

"A highly touted rookie when he joined the Bills in 1961, Al is durable and tough. The strong center is a great blocker and terrific on pass protection. Since his rookie campaign, Al has put on 15 pounds.
Al attracted the pro scouts when he was named an All-East collegian while at Syracuse. Drafted No. 7 by Buffalo, he was voted 'the college center with the best pro potential.' A fast man with quick reflexes, he was a wrestling champion in prep school.
During the off-season, Al works in Buffalo. He raised German Shepherds as a youngster."

-1965 Topps No. 25

Offensive Tackle
No. 77
Penn State
"Hard-working, heavy-hitting Stew Barber is one of the three top offensive tackles in the young league - the others being Ron Mix of San Diego and Jim Tyrer of Kansas City.
Stew, a 251-pounder who played at Penn State, was a linebacker during his rookie season in 1961. But since that time, he's been a citadel at left tackle. At the age of 26, he is launching his fifth pro season. Talk about opportunities in the AFL!"

-Jack Zanger, Pro Football 1965

"A veteran of five years in the American Football League, Stew was a No. 4 draft pick back in 1961. The big tackle played as a linebacker during his rookie season. Buffalo coaches were sure that Stew would serve the team best as a tackle and how right they were.
Because of his top-flight performances, Stew has been named to several All-American Football League teams (he was named as All-AFL in 1964). Now recognized as one of pro football's biggest stars, Stew credits hard work as the key to success."

-1965 Topps No. 23

Offensive Tackle
No. 79
Memphis State
"Dick joined the Buffalo Bills after the 1962 season. As a freshman in the American Football League with the San Diego Chargers, Dick impressed the fans and the brass.
Used as a right tackle with Buffalo, Dick suffered a serious knee injury during the second game of the 1963 season. He sat out the rest of the campaign, but the strong-willed tackle turned in a solid performance last year. One of the biggest tackles in the game, Dick has the speed and quickness to go with his size.
Dick teaches school during the off-season."

-1965 Topps No. 31

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