Monday, August 18, 2014

1966 Buffalo Bills Outlook

"Don't look for Buffalo to stampede its way to a third consecutive title this year. Some prize Bulls were pulled from the herd to help stock the new team in Miami, leaving the defending AFL champs somewhat more docile than usual. The hunch here is that they'll go home second best this time.
New head coach Joel Collier is inheriting essentially the same team that made a shambles of the Eastern Division race last year. But the Bills aren't as deep in replacements as they formerly were, and an injury here or there could immobilize them. Gone from last season's squad are fullback Billy Joe, split end Bo Roberson, offensive tackle Jim Davidson and defensive tackle Howard Simpson to Miami, as well as defensive tackle Tom Keating and guard George Flint to Oakland as payment for obtaining Roberson last year. But perhaps the Bills' biggest loss is that of kicking specialist Pete Gogolak who skipped to the New York Giants.
The framework of Buffalo's powerful defense is still intact, though. Roland McDole, Jim Dunaway, Tom Sestak and Tom Day comprise the most explosive foursome in the league. They are so good at harassing the passer that they often go into a three-man rush, leaving Day, the lightweight of the unit at 6-3 and 254 pounds, to drop back as an extra linebacker. And there is nothing tame about the linebacking corps, either. John Tracey, Harry Jacobs and Mike Stratton are a seasoned and aggressive combination that usually anticipates the opposition's thinking. Bill Laskey and Marty Schottenheimer are able reserves.
Nobody intimidates the deep pass-defending combo of cornerbacks Booker Edgerson and Butch Byrd, and safetymen Hagood Clarke and George Saimes, which accounted for 21 interceptions last year. And in Charley Warner and Gene Sykes, the club has experienced reinforcements; rookies who could help out are Charley King from Purdue and his brother Tony from Findlay College.
The offense will get its cue from Jack Kemp, the wizard who plays quarterback for the Bills. Jack finished fourth among the league's passers last year, but he was second to none in field generalship. Behind him the Bills have Daryle Lamonica, who could play first-string for practically any other club in the league. The passing attack was considerably handicapped last year when both Glenn Bass and Elbert Dubenion were knocked out of action. They're fit again, and Dubenion claims he worked his way back into shape as a truant officer during the off-season. The other receiver is tight end Paul Costa, who was the only rookie to crash the regular lineup last season. In reserve, the Bills have Ed Rutkowski and Ernie Warlick, who came through in old pro style in the championship game. The best rookie prospect is split end Bobby Crockett of Arkansas.
The running game doesn't shape up as overpowering, and this is where the Bills may feel the pinch this season. Wray Carlton moves back to the fullback slot where he's better suited, and a host of candidates, led by Bobby Smith, will try to wrest the regular halfback job. Smith is a third-year man with good potential but he has never put things together. Bob Burnett, the No. 4 draft choice from Arkansas, Pete Mills and Ken McLean are his chief rivals. Another hopeful is fullback Willie Ross, a third-year man who is rated as an exceptional pass blocker.
Across the interior line, tackles Stew Barber and Dick Hudson, guards Bill Shaw and Joe O'Donnell and center Al Bemiller will still menace the opposition. But the ranks are thin behind them. Dave Behrman, the regular center, has back problems and nobody will know how serious they are until he attempts to play. Remi Prudhomme is a second-year guard, and rookies Bill Earhart and Wayne DeSutter are the replacements at tackle."

-Jack Zanger, Pro Football 1966


"You don't lose the best place kicker in football without a yelp of pain. But Buffalo still has the league's best lines."

-Dick Kaplan, Pro Football Almanac 1966

The Bills Should Survive The Gogolak Affair ... But Winning Won't Be As Easy As It Was In 1965
"The Bills have a new coach and a new grail. The coach is former assistant for defense Joel Collier. The grail is a third consecutive league championship, a pro football feat that's never been accomplished before. To make the dream a reality, Buffalo has huge, superbly drilled offensive and defensive lines, plus good, interchangeable quarterbacks in Jack Kemp and Daryle Lamonica. This should offset the deterioration of the team's once-formidable running game- and the loss of Pete Gogolak.
Two years ago the Bills traded all-league fullback Cookie Gilchrist for younger, faster, supposedly more malleable Billy Joe. It may have been a necessary trade, but it was a bad one. Buffalo did not even bother to protect Joe in the '65 expansion draft that stocked the new Miami team. The Dolphins snapped him up. Now the Bills must shift 225-pound Wray Carlton from halfback to fullback. Carlton's replacement? Would you believe Bobby Smith or Willie Ross? Both are fast, but neither has accomplished much in two pro seasons, meaning rookies Bobby Burnett of Arkansas or Bill Bailey of Cincinnati could become a regular quickly.
Considering their running problems, the Bills will probably pass more. Last year injuries scourged the pass receivers. Both flanker Elbert Dubenion and split end Glenn Bass were crippled, and both underwent leg operations. Even if Dubenion has lost a step, that will only halve his edge on defensive backs. Duby is backstopped by Ed Rutkowski, and Bass by 6-5 Charlie Ferguson and rookie Bobby Crockett of Arkansas. Paul Costa, 6-5, 235, has taken tight end away from Ernie Warlick.
More passing should mean increased playing time for Kemp. Jack throws the ball better than Lamonica, who is more an infantry quarterback. But both will thank the patron of quarterbacks for the league's sturdiest offensive line. It's Stew Barber, 251, and Dick Hudson, 279, at the tackles, all-leaguer Billy Shaw, 260, and Al Bemiller, 260, at the guards, and Dave Behrman, 263, at center. Behrman, who has a chronic back injury, may retire. If so, Bemiller may go to center, where he has played before, and either Joe O'Donnell or LSU rookie Remi Prudhomme, injured all last season, will fit in at guard.
Coach Collier takes particular pride in Buffalo's defense. After all, he built it. One statistic will suffice: in their last 30 games, the Bills have surrendered nine touchdowns rushing. The line looks as big and strong as those Clydesdale horses that pull the brewery wagon on TV. Roland McDole, 289, and Tom Day, 250, play the ends; the tackles are all-star Tom Sestak, 270, and Jim Dunaway, 279. Collier can substitute Dudley Meredith, 285, and Henry Schmidt, 255, without much of a dropoff. The only question is how well Sestak's knee has healed.
The pitiless pressure the Buffalo line exerts permits linebackers Mike Stratton, Harry Jacobs and John Tracey to soft-pedal the blitz and play back for the pass. Competition from second-year man Marty Schottenheimer and punter Paul Maguire keeps the starters hustling. The fierce charge up front also benefits the defensive backfield. Quarterbacks and ends get little time to fake and cut. Butch Byrd, a big (211) cornerback, and George Saimes, a short (5-10) safetyman, are stars. Cornerback Booker Edgerson and safety Hagood Clarke get passing grades, but Coach Collier may find an 'A' student among rookies Charlie King (Purdue), Ken Ambrusko (Maryland) and Tony Golmont (North Carolina State).
Buffalo has signed another Hungarian expatriate, Joe Kovacs, who also kicks soccer-style. But is he another Gogolak? After all, Pete kicked 47 field goals in two years."

-Dick Kaplan, Pro Football Almanac 1966


1966 Buffalo Bills Preseason Roster
*  Ken Ambrusko (DB) Maryland
77 Stew Barber (T) Penn State
85 Glenn Bass (E) East Carolina
60 Dave Behrman (T) Michigan State
50 Al Bemiller (C) Syracuse
*  Bob Burnett (HB) Arkansas
42 Butch Byrd (DB) Boston University
30 Wray Carlton (HB) Duke
45 Hagood Clarke (DB) Florida
82 Paul Costa (E) Notre Dame
*  Bobby Crockett (E) Arkansas
88 Tom Day (DE) North Carolina A & T
*  Wayne DeSutter (T) Western Illinois
*  Rodney Dingle (FL) Wooster College
25 Oliver Dobbins (DB) Morgan State
44 Elbert Dubenion (FL) Bluffton
78 Jim Dunaway (DT) Mississippi
*  Bill Earhart (T) Bowling Green
24 Booker Edgerson (DB) Western Illinois
80 Charley Ferguson (E) Tennessee State
*  Tony Fire (DT) Bowling Green
*  Mike Goings (HB) Bluffton
*  Tony Golmont (DB) (North Carolina State)
*  Doug Goodwin (FB) Maryland State
*  Larry Gornall (E) Capital
*  Paul Guidry (DE) McNeese State
79 Dick Hudson (T) Memphis State
64 Harry Jacobs (LB) Bradley
27 Tom Janik (DB) Texas A & I
15 Jack Kemp (QB) Occidental
10 Malion Kent (QB) Auburn*
*  Charley King (DB) Purdue
*  Tony King (DB) Findlay College
12 Daryle Lamonica (QB) Notre Dame
*  Greg Lashutka (DE) Ohio State
52 Bill Laskey (LB) Michigan
55 Paul Maguire (LB) The Citadel
72 Ron McDole (DE) Nebraska
*  Ken McLean (FL) Texas A & M
75 Dudley Meredith (DT) Lamar Tech
48 Sullivan Mills (FL) Wichita State
67 Joe O'Donnell (G) Michigan
*  Remi Prudhomme (DE) LSU
47 Willie Ross (HB) Nebraska
*  Eddie Russell (LB) Illinois
40 Ed Rutkowski (E) Notre Dame
26 George Saimes (DB) Michigan State
76 Henry Schmidt (DE) USC
56 Marty Schottenheimer (LB) Pittsburgh
70 Tom Sestak (DT) McNeese State
66 Billy Shaw (G) Georgia Tech
*  Allen Smith (HB) Fort Valley State
20 Bobby Smith (HB) North Texas State
58 Mike Stratton (LB) Tennessee
23 Gene Sykes (DB) LSU
51 John Tracey (LB) Texas A & M
*  Charlie Turner (DE) Ohio
84 Ernie Warlick (E) North Carolina Central
22 Charley Warner (DB) Prairie View

* rookie

-Pro Football 1966


1966 Buffalo Bills Preseason Depth Charts
OFFENSE
QB - Jack Kemp (Occidental) 15, Daryle Lamonica (Notre Dame) 12, Malion Kent (Auburn)* 10
HB - Bobby Smith (North Texas State) 20, Willie Ross (Nebraska) 47, Sullivan Mills (Wichita State) 48
FB - Wray Carlton (Duke) 30
SE - Glenn Bass (East Carolina) 27, Ed Rutkowski (Notre Dame) 40, Bobby Crockett (Arkansas)*
T - Stew Barber (Penn State) 77, Bill Earhart (Bowling Green)*
G - Billy Shaw (Georgia Tech) 66
C - Al Bemiller (Syracuse) 50, Dave Behrman (Michigan State) 60
G - Joe O'Donnell (Michigan) 67, Remi Prudhomme (LSU)*
T - Dick Hudson (Memphis State) 79, Wayne DeSutter (Western Illinois)*
TE - Paul Costa (Notre Dame) 82, Charley Ferguson (Tennessee State) 80
FL - Elbert Dubenion (Bluffton) 44

DEFENSE
DE - Ron McDole (Nebraska) 72, Greg Lashutka (Ohio State)*
DT - Jim Dunaway (Mississippi) 78, Tony Fire (Bowling Green)*
DT - Tom Sestak (McNeese State) 70, Dudley Meredith (Lamar Tech) 75, Henry Schmidt (USC) 76
DE - Tom Day (North Carolina A & T) 88, Charlie Turner (Ohio)*
LB - John Tracey (Texas A & M) 51, Bill Laskey (Michigan) 52, Eddie Russell (Illinois)*
MLB - Harry Jacobs (Bradley) 64, Marty Schottenheimer (Pittsburgh) 56
LB - Mike Stratton (Tennessee) 58, Paul Maguire (The Citadel) 55, Paul Guidry (McNeese State)*
CB - Booker Edgerson (Western Illinois) 24, Charley Warner (Prarie View) 22
S - Hagood Clarke (Florida) 45, Gene Sykes (LSU) 23, Tom Janik (Texas A & I) 27, Ken Ambrusko (Maryland)*
S - George Saimes (Michigan State) 26, Tony Golmont (North Carolina State)*, Tony King (Findlay College)*
CB - Butch Byrd (Boston University) 42, Oliver Dobbins (Morgan State) 25, Charley King (Purdue)*

* rookie

-Jack Zanger, Pro Football 1966

OFFENSE
QB - Jack Kemp (Occidental) 15, Daryle Lamonica (Notre Dame) 12
HB - Wray Carlton (Duke) 30, Bobby Burnett (Arkansas)*, Bobby Smith (North Texas State) 20
FB - Jack Spikes (Texas Christian) 32, Allen Smith (Fort Valley State)*, Willie Ross (Nebraska) 47
SE - Glenn Bass (East Carolina) 85, Charley Ferguson (Tennessee State) 80, Bobby Crockett (Arkansas)*
T - Stew Barber (Penn State) 77, Wayne DeSutter (Western Illinois)*
G - Billy Shaw (Georgia Tech) 66, Remi Prudhomme (LSU)*
C - Dave Behrman (Michigan State) 60
G - Al Bemiller (Syracuse) 50, Joe O'Donnell (Michigan) 67
T - Dick Hudson (Memphis State) 79, Bob Schmidt (Minnesota) 57
TE - Paul Costa (Notre Dame) 73, Ernie Warlick (North Carolina Central) 84
FL - Elbert Dubenion (Bluffton) 44, Ed Rutkowski (Notre Dame) 40

DEFENSE
DE - Ron McDole (Nebraska) 72
DT - Jim Dunaway (Mississippi) 78, Dave Costa (Utah) 82
DT - Tom Sestak (McNeese State) 70, Dudley Meredith (Lamar Tech) 75
DE - Tom Day (North Carolina A & T) 88, Henry Schmidt (USC) 76
LB - John Tracey (Texas A & M) 51, Paul Guidry (McNeese State)*
MLB - Harry Jacobs (Bradley) 64, Marty Schottenheimer (Pittsburgh) 56
LB - Mike Stratton (Tennessee) 58, Paul Maguire (The Citadel) 55
CB - Booker Edgerson (Western Illinois) 24, Tom Janik (Texas A & I) 27
S - Hagood Clarke (Florida) 45, Charlie King (Purdue)*
S - George Saimes (Michigan State) 26, Gene Sykes (LSU) 23
CB - Butch Byrd (Boston University) 42, Charley Warner (Prairie View) 22

SPECIALISTS
K - Booth Lusteg (Connecticut) 49
P - Paul Maguire (The Citadel) 55
KR - Charley Warner (Prairie View) 22, Hagood Clarke (Florida) 45
PR - Hagood Clarke (Florida) 45, Butch Byrd (Boston University) 42

* rookie


1966 Buffalo Bills Profile Summary
Head Coach - Joel Collier

QB - Jack Kemp (Occidental) 15
QB - Daryle Lamonica (Notre Dame) 12
HB - Wray Carlton (Duke) 30
FB - Jack Spikes (Texas Christian) 32
FL - Elbert Dubenion (Bluffton) 44
SE - Glenn Bass (East Carolina) 85
TE - Paul Costa (Notre Dame) 73
C - Dave Behrman (Michigan State) 60
G - Al Bemiller (Syracuse) 50
G - Billy Shaw (Georgia Tech) 66
T - Stew Barber (Penn State) 77
T - Dick Hudson (Memphis State) 79

DT - Tom Sestak (McNeese State) 70
DT - Jim Dunaway (Mississippi) 78
DE - Tom Day (North Carolina A & T) 88
DE - Ron McDole (Nebraska) 72
MLB - Harry Jacobs (Bradley) 64
LB - Mike Stratton (Tennessee) 58
LB - John Tracey (Texas A & M) 51
LB - Paul Maguire (The Citadel) 55
CB - Butch Byrd (Boston University) 42
CB - Charley Warner (Prairie View) 22
S - George Saimes (Michigan State) 26
S - Hagood Clarke (Florida) 45

K - Booth Lusteg (Connecticut) 49
P - Paul Maguire (The Citadel) 55
KR - Charley Warner (Prairie View) 22
PR - Hagood Clarke (Florida) 45


1966 Buffalo Bills American Football League Championship Game Roster (January 1, 1967, War Memorial Stadium, Buffalo, New York)
QB - Jack Kemp (Occidental) 15
QB - Daryle Lamonica (Notre Dame) 12
HB - Bobby Burnett (Arkansas) 21
HB - Allen Smith (Fort Valley State) 34
FB - Wray Carlton (Duke) 30
FB - Jack Spikes (Texas Christian) 32
FL - Elbert Dubenion (Bluffton) 44
FL - Ed Rutkowski (Notre Dame) 40
SE - Bobby Crockett (Arkansas) 83
SE - Glenn Bass (East Carolina) 85
TE - Paul Costa (Notre Dame) 73
TE - Charley Ferguson (Tennessee State) 80
C - Al Bemiller (Syracuse) 50
C - Bob Schmidt (Minnesota) 57
G - Billy Shaw (Georgia Tech) 66
G - Joe O'Donnell (Michigan) 67
G - Remi Prudhomme (LSU) 65
T - Stew Barber (Penn State) 77
T - Dick Hudson (Memphis State) 79
T - Wayne DeSutter (Western Illinois) 71

DT - Tom Sestak (McNeese State) 70
DT - Jim Dunaway (Mississippi) 78
DT - Dave Costa (Utah) 82
DT - Dudley Meredith (Lamar Tech) 75
DE - Tom Day (North Carolina A & T) 88
DE - Ron McDole (Nebraska) 72
MLB - Harry Jacobs (Bradley) 64
MLB - Marty Schottenheimer (Pittsburgh) 56
LB - Mike Stratton (Tennessee) 58
LB - John Tracey (Texas A & M) 51
LB - Paul Guidry (McNeese State) 59
LB - Paul Maguire (The Citadel) 55
CB - Butch Byrd (Boston University) 42
CB - Tom Janik (Texas A & I) 27
CB - Charley Warner (Prairie View) 22
CB - Booker Edgerson (Western Illinois) 24
S - George Saimes (Michigan State) 26
S - Hagood Clarke (Florida) 45
S - Charlie King (Purdue) 47

K - Booth Lusteg (Connecticut) 49
P - Paul Maguire (The Citadel) 55

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