Tuesday, August 5, 2014

1965 Profiles: Billy Shaw and Al Bemiller

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

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