Sunday, August 30, 2015

1974 Free Agent Profile: Mike Butler

Punter
Northern Iowa
"Butler was twice the conference leader as Northern Iowa's number one punter and made honorable mention All-Conference. His longest career punt was 78 yards. Mike averaged 40 yards on 10 punts against Drake University as a freshman regular. He wears contact lenses on the field.
Mike earned his Bachelor's in education and once worked for four months as a general rodeo hand. He was an industrial arts teacher, an assistant football coach and an assistant wrestling coach for the Denver, Iowa Community School at the time of his Bills tryout. Mike collects coins as a hobby.
His kicking idols are punter Jerrel Wilson and place kicker Jan Stenerud."

-Buffalo Bills 1974 Yearbook

Friday, August 28, 2015

1974 Free Agent Profile: Gary Birch

Strong Safety
Western Illinois
"Birch won three letters for Western Illinois as a strong safety and place kicker. He established college records for most career extra points and most conversions in one game. Gary kicked a 35-yard field goal in the final seven seconds to sink rival Northern Illinois.
On the Dean's List as a physical education student at Western Illinois, Gary is interested in high school or college coaching as a future career. His hobbies include tennis and golf."

-Buffalo Bills 1974 Yearbook

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

1974 Rookie Profile: Doug Allen

Linebacker
2nd Round
Penn State
"Allen was a starting outside linebacker for Penn State's unbeaten Orange Bowl champions and earned first-team All-East honors. His senior statistics included two pass interceptions for 30 yards.
He alternated as a regular at defensive tackle for the Nittany Lions in 1970. Doug missed the entire 1971 season with a head injury and made the switch to outside linebacker in 1972; listed on the second unit, he played as much as the starter. He was a college teammate of Bills linebacker John Skorupan.
Doug graduated with a degree in labor studies and his college academic average was 3.37 (on a scale of 4.0). He worked during the off-season for the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO."

-Buffalo Bills 1974 Yearbook

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

1974 Profile: Jeff Yeates

Defensive Tackle
No. 62
Boston College
"Yeates did not make a rapid enough recovery from knee surgery to play in 1973. He spent the entire season in the 'physically unable to perform' category and has worked hard to get ready for the 1974 campaign.
Jeff is considered a top prospect in the defensive line and combines great strength with exceptional quickness. He was the Bills' fourth draft pick a year ago.
Yeates was a three-year letterman and a defensive leader at Boston College. He made the All-East team as a senior and was chosen to play in the Senior Bowl.
He earned his degree in management."

-Buffalo Bills 1974 Yearbook

Monday, August 24, 2015

1974 Profile: Jeff Winans

Defensive End
No. 75
USC
"Projected as a starter at left defensive tackle, replacing the departed Jerry Patton, Winans was on the Bills' inactive list for five games last fall but played in every outing after being added to the active roster. He improved with each passing performance.
Jeff has strength, size and quickness- all the attributes of an outstanding defensive lineman. He was picked by the Bills in the second round of the 1973 college draft.
Winans was an honorable mention All-America for John McKay at Southern Cal, made second team All-Pacific Eight Conference and was a member of the College All-Star team. He attended Modesto Junior College for two years, winning letters in football, basketball and track. Jeff scored a high of 41 points in a JC basketball game and threw the shot a Modesto record 55 feet, 11 inches.
Jeff's undergraduate major was physical education with a minor in business. He's interested in the coaching and teaching professions. Hunting, fishing and golf are among his favorite pastimes."

-Buffalo Bills 1974 Yearbook

Sunday, August 23, 2015

1974 Profile: Larry Watkins

Running Back
No. 36
Alcorn A & M
"Watkins enjoyed his finest season in professional football in 1973. Traded to the Bills by Philadelphia in August 1973 in exchange for linebacker Dick Cunningham, he became Buffalo's number three rusher. Larry started 10 games for the Bills and wound up with 414 yards on 98 carries. His best game was against New England at Foxboro- 105 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries.
Sometimes a starter during his three years with Philadelphia, Larry totaled 456 yards on 134 carries for the Eagles for the 1970-71-72 seasons. He joined the Eagles in a 1970 trade with Detroit after making the 1969 Lions as a free agent.
Watkins was a three-year letterman at Alcorn and co-captain of the gridders as a senior. He played in the Orange Blossom Classic.
He majored in social sciences and has taught in the Camden, New Jersey school system during the off-season."

-Buffalo Bills 1974 Yearbook

Friday, August 21, 2015

1974 Profile: Dave Washington

Linebacker
No. 86
Alcorn A & M
"A starter at outside linebacker until he suffered a broken arm in the Kansas City game, Washington was placed on injured reserve for the remainder of the season. He appeared in four games for the Bills in 1972, playing both outside linebacker spots. He has good strength and range.
Dave was traded by Denver in April 1972 in exchange for linebacker Al Andrews. Denver's ninth round choice in 1970, he was both a tight end and a linebacker with the Broncos.
Washington saw action for Alcorn at three different positions- split end, tight end and defensive end. He caught 10 passes for better than 100 yards in one game as a freshman. Dave was used as a kickoff man.
Chemistry was his major at Alcorn with minors in math and education. Cabinet making is a hobby and he likes to read. Dave worked in the off-season in the labor relations division of an automobile company's local office."

-Buffalo Bills 1974 Yearbook

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

1974 Profile: Donnie Walker

Punt Returner-Cornerback
No. 26
Central State (Ohio)
"Buffalo's top punter returner last fall, Walker ran back 25 punts for 210 yards and an 8.4 average. His longest return was 23 yards against the Patriots on December 9 and he had his only pass interception of the season and a 22-yard return in the same game. Donnie was Buffalo's 4A draft pick in 1973 and was used at both cornerback and safety. He has excellent speed and hits with authority.
Walker was a cornerback for his final two seasons at Central State, having played flanker as a freshman and safety as a sophomore. A second-team All-National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics pick and AP All-America choice, Walker was a member of the Pittsburgh Courier All-America squad and named the outstanding defensive player for the West All-Stars in the Ohio Shrine Bowl. Donnie also ran track at Central State.
Business administration and computer programming were his areas of concentration in college. Donnie is interested in programming or television and movie work."

-Buffalo Bills 1974 Yearbook

Monday, August 17, 2015

1974 Profile: Pete Van Valkenberg

Running Back
No. 36
Brigham Young
"Van Valkenberg came to the Bills from the Saints just prior to the season opener in 1973 and appeared in 13 games both as a running back and a special teams performer. He carried twice from scrimmage for 20 yards and caught a pass for seven yards. A sturdy, slashing runner, Pete was New Orleans' third round draft choice in 1973.
Pete was an All-Rockies running back for Brigham Young in 1972 and set eight school records including most points and touchdowns. He rushed for 2,392 yards in his varsity career- better than half that total during his senior season. The BYU football captain, Pete played in the Blue-Gray and Senior Bowl games."

-Buffalo Bills 1974 Yearbook

Sunday, August 16, 2015

1974 Profile: John Skorupan

Linebacker
No. 55
Penn State
"Skorupan won a regular berth as an outside linebacker and developed into one of the Bills' steadiest defensive performers. An excellent tackler in the open field and strong on pass coverage, he has good speed and instincts. John was Buffalo's sixth round draft choice and made the UPI All-Rookie team.
John was one of the outstanding defensive players in the East as a senior at Penn State and a consensus All-America selection. He was voted AP Lineman of the Week after the Nittany Lions' 1973 victory over Navy; he had 15 unassisted tackles, three sacks of the quarterback and returned an interception 32 yards for a touchdown against the Midshipmen. John was on Penn State's Sugar and Cotton Bowl elevens, and a member of the Hula Bowl and College All-Star squads.
Real estate and insurance were his college majors. John spent part of the off-season at Penn State completing his degree requirements and working with the Nittany Lion linebackers. Dancing is one of his favorite pastimes."

-Buffalo Bills 1974 Yearbook

Saturday, August 15, 2015

1974 Profile: O.J. Simpson

Running Back
No. 32
USC
"Simpson topped the National Football League in rushing for the second consecutive season and smashed Jim Brown's all-time single season record for yards gained rushing and became pro football's first 2,000-yard runner. His achievements included eight different NFL records.
O.J. was the League's Most Valuable Player in both AP and UPI balloting, AP Male Athlete of the Year, winner of the Hickock Belt as professional athlete of the year by the largest landslide in the history of the award, Maxwell Club of Philadelphia's Bert Bell trophy winner, Sporting News Man of the Year and recipient of the Dunlop Pro-Am prize as male athlete of the year.
He captured the NEA Jim Thorpe Memorial Trophy as NFL Player of the Year, was back and player of the year in the opinion of Pro Football Weekly and was cited for his 1973 NFL achievements by Mutual Broadcasting, the 101 Club of Kansas City, the New York Pro Football Writers Association, the Wisconsin Pro Football Writers, the 1000-yard foundation and Football Digest among others.
Simpson snapped Willie Ellison's record for yards gained rushing in a single game with 250 (on 29 carries) against New England at Foxboro on the opening Sunday of the regular season. His pace never slackened as he finished with 11 games of 100 or more yards rushing, three 200-plus outings and 2,003 yards on 32 attempts- all League records. He displaced Wray Carlton as Buffalo's all-time rushing leader and broke his own club marks for yardage gained and rushing attempts in a single season. Twelve touchdowns pushed his career totals to 30 rushing and 30 overall. O.J. presently ranks 16th on the NFL's list of all-time rushers with 5,181 yards.
O.J.'s highest single game average was 10.0 (219 yards on 22 attempts) against New England at Orchard Park but he has never scored more than two touchdowns in a single game. His best efforts have been against New England, a team he has racked for 946 yards and seven touchdowns in eight games. His 94-yard run against Pittsburgh on October 29, 1972 is a Buffalo record.
A unanimous choice for All-Pro and All-Conference two successive seasons, O.J. played in two straight Pro Bowl games. He was MVP in the 1973 Pro Bowl with 112 yards on 16 carries.
He reached the 1,000-yard level for the first time in 1972, leading the NFL with 1,251 yards on 292 trips. O.J. missed one game in his rookie season and sat out the final six games of 1970 with an injury but has played in 42 straight league outings since. He must also be feared as a pass receiver and option passer. Simpson was the first player picked in the 1969 pro draft.
Simpson was voted College Athlete of the Decade. A brilliant athlete for John McKay's USC Trojans, he destroyed 13 Southern California records in an abbreviated two-year varsity career. He gained 3,423 rushing yards for SC on 674 carries and established an NCAA rushing record in his senior season with 1,709 yards. O.J. averaged 164.4 yards per appearance in 19 regular season games as a collegian.
O.J. carried a record 47 times (for 220 yards and three touchdowns) in SC's 1968 win over Stanford. He gained 299 yards in two Rose Bowl appearances. He more than doubled the vote of runner-up Leroy Keyes in the 1968 Heisman Trophy balloting and was a unanimous two-time All-America choice. Simpson ran sprints for the USC track team and was a member of SC's world record 440-yard relay team (38.6 seconds) in 1967.
Simpson attended the City College of San Francisco for two seasons before enrolling at Southern Cal. He rolled up 54 touchdowns and 2,445 rushing yards (on 259 carries) in junior college and was a two-time junior college All-American. He went to Galileo High School in his native San Francisco.
He majored in public administration as an undergraduate. He worked during the off-season as a weekend commentator on ABC-TV's Wide World of Sports. Simpson completed work on two motion pictures- 'The Klansman,' co-starring Richard Burton and Lee Marvin, and 'The Towering Inferno' with Paul Newman and Steve McQueen.
O.J. made numerous appearances on the banquet circuit and is honorary chairman of the 1974 Erie County (NY) Cancer Crusade and an active participant in many other public service projects. Baseball standout Ernie Banks is a second cousin. O.J.'s real name is Orenthal James and his hobbies include playing cards and tennis."

-Buffalo Bills 1974 Yearbook

Thursday, August 13, 2015

1974 Profile: Paul Seymour

Tight End
No. 87
Michigan
"Seymour developed into an offensive regular during his rookie season. He started all 14 games at tight end after being converted from tackle during the preseason. Paul has good speed for his size and is a tough blocker.
Paul caught 10 passes for 114 yards and an 11.4 average, and his longest gain was 22 yards. His best game was against the Colts on October 14- four receptions for 34 yards. Buffalo's top draft choice in 1973, Seymour will start at tight end this fall.
Seymour started his college career at tight end and moved to tackle in his junior season. He won All-Big Ten and All-America honors in 1972 and was selected to participate in the Hula Bowl, East-West Shrine Game and College All-Star Game.
Physical education and history were his areas of concentration as an undergraduate. His brother, Jim, was an All-America at Notre Dame who later played professionally with the Chicago Bears. Paul is a guitar player, and music and reading are his hobbies."

-Buffalo Bills 1974 Yearbook

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

1974 Profile: Ahmad Rashad

Wide Receiver
No. 83
Oregon
"Rashad was acquired from St. Louis in the trade that sent Dennis Shaw to the Cardinals on January 28. An outstanding receiver in two seasons with the Redbirds, he caught 59 passes for 909 yards and six touchdowns during the 1972 and '73 campaigns. Ahmad set a Cardinal record with 29 pass receptions as a rookie, most for a first-year player since the franchise moved to St. Louis. He teamed with Jim Hart for an NFL record 98-yard pass against Los Angeles in 1972- the longest non-scoring scrimmage play in league history.
Ahmad wears glasses on the field and is blessed with tremendous speed and quickness. He was known as Bobby Moore during his collegiate career at Oregon. The Cardinals' top draft choice in 1972, he was named to the UPI All-Rookie team.
A receiver as a sophomore and a tailback in his final two seasons at Oregon, he rushed for 1,211 yards as a senior, eighth best in the nation, and was a consensus All-America selection. He set 14 Oregon records including most touchdowns (36) and points (226)."

-Buffalo Bills 1974 Yearbook

Monday, August 10, 2015

1974 Profile: Bob Penchion

Offensive Tackle
No. 69
Alcorn A & M
"Penchion got into five games as an offensive reserve last fall. He has the ability to play either guard or tackle and also played in two positions as a rookie. With excellent and quickness, along with outstanding size, Bob is expected to improve his overall play with experience.
Bob made several All-America teams as a guard and tackle at Alcorn. The teams on which he played had an overall record of 30-12. He was selected to appear in the Senior Bowl game.
He earned a B.S. degree in health and physical education and his ambition is to become a professional in the field of recreation. Teaching and coaching are other areas of interest and music and traveling are his hobbies."

-Buffalo Bills 1974 Yearbook

Thursday, August 6, 2015

1974 Profile: Walt Patulski

Defensive End
No. 85
Notre Dame
"A starter at left defensive end in 10 of 14 games last fall, Patulski had a slow start but played extremely well from mid-season on. He blocked a punt against the Jets at Orchard Park. Named NFL Defensive Player of the Week by the AP after the Bills 24-17 victory over the Colts in Baltimore, Walt won recognition for a performance that included three pass deflections, five unassisted tackles, two assists and a quarterback sack; he also harried David Lee into a poor punt that set up the Bills' tying touchdown and deflected the pass Dwight Harrison intercepted and returned for the winning score.
Walt was the first player picked in the 1972 college draft, earned a regular berth as a rookie and became stronger as the season progressed. He had a bone spur removed from under his kneecap following the '72 season.
A consensus All-America for Ara Parseghian at Notre Dame, Patulski was voted winner of the Lombardi Award as the outstanding college lineman of 1971 and was UPI's choice as Lineman of the Year. He started every game in three varsity seasons with the Irish, played in the Cotton and Hula Bowls and won the outstanding defensive lineman award in the Hula Bowl. Walt set an Irish record for tackles-for-losses and had eight stops for 42 yards-in-losses against LSU in 1971, a game Notre Dame won 3-0.
Management was his college major and he hopes for a future career as an investment broker. Walt is honorary chairman of the 1974 Multiple Sclerosis Appeal in Western New York. Golf, tennis, pool and cards are his sparetime pursuits."

-Buffalo Bills 1974 Yearbook

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

1974 Profile: Willie Parker

Long Snapper-Guard
No. 61
North Texas State
"Parker saw service in 14 games for the Bills after joining the team the week before the regular season opener. He was on special teams and snapped for both punts and field goal attempts, and can play either center or guard.
Willie was drafted third by San Francisco in 1971 and spent most of that season on the 49ers reserve squad. The Rams got him on waivers in the fall of 1972 and he was on the LA reserve list for a full year. He was acquired by the Bills for a future draft choice in September 1973.
He was a second team All-Missouri Valley Conference choice as a junior and a first team selection as a senior.
Willie lives in Orchard Park, New York during the off-season. He has passed his insurance examination."

-Buffalo Bills 1974 Yearbook

Monday, August 3, 2015

1974 Profile: Steve Okoniewski

Defensive Tackle
No. 79
Montana
"Okoniewski spent the final nine weeks of last fall on the Buffalo inactive list. Four of his five appearances were as a starter at defensive tackle. He's extremely strong and hard working.
Steve was obtained from Atlanta on waivers early in the fall of 1972 and saw service in two games his first year with the Bills. The Falcons 2B draft selection in 1972, he has played both offensive and defensive tackle.
Okoniewski was a two-time All-Big Sky offensive tackle at Montana. He played briefly at the University of Washington before transferring and was a junior college All-America at Everett (WA) JC. Steve participated in the Coaches All-America and College All-Star games.
A business major at Montana, Steve would like to pursue a coaching career after his playing days. Fishing is one of his hobbies."

-Buffalo Bills 1974 Yearbook