Wednesday, August 20, 2014

1966 Profile: Joe Collier

Head Coach
"It has been said of Joe Collier that if the Bills' players had been asked to vote for the man they would most like to see succeed the outgoing Lou Saban as coach, it would have been Joe, 40-0. This is a rare tribute for a man who holds himself somewhat aloof from his players and does not court popularity with witty and philosophical phrases. But Joe has stood solidly with his players because they always know where they stand with him.
There are no frills or embellishments. Unless, of course, you want to talk about what he has done with the art of defensive football. It was Joe who designed and implemented the powerhouse Buffalo defense that racked up the San Diego in the last two championship games, a defense that has allowed only nine touchdowns to be scored against it on the ground in the past two seasons.
Joe played end at Northwestern, where he earned All-America rating. He joined Lou Saban's staff at Western Illinois in 1957, and accompanied Lou to Boston and then on to Buffalo after the AFL was formed.
He's a storehouse of football intelligence. He should be. Joe keeps eight filing cabinets at home stocked with football information, and he keeps everything up to date."

-Jack Zanger, Pro Football 1966

" ... only 33 years old, Collier is the youngest of the new coaches ... he is also in a vulnerable position as the Buffalo Bills were the American Football League champions of 1965 ... Lou Saban, who coached them, was named AFL Coach of the Year before giving up his $30,000 a year job to become head coach at the University of Maryland ... Collier had worked under Saban for nine years, beginning at Western Illinois and following him to the Boston Patriots in 1960 and to Buffalo in 1962 ... he is not worried about the pressure he will have to face ... 'After all,' he says, 'we have the horses.'"

-Pro Football Almanac 1966

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