Tuesday, March 29, 2016

1977 Profile: Jim Braxton

Running Back
No. 34
West Virginia
"Could get off-season work as a tugboat. Like everybody else in the world, Braxton thinks he's underpaid and could play out his option. He rumbled for 823 yards, seventh in the league in 1975, but missed all of last year after wrecking his knee in the season opener.
Born in Vanderbilt, PA, Braxton looks like he was born to be a bodyguard, but he's a nice guy. He's known as Bubby to his buddies and also as Pillsbury Doughboy. A devastating blocker, he has been fumble prone. Almost all of his yardage has become between the guards.
One of the most respected players on the team, Braxton is an off-season employee of the West Virginia Board of Education, trying to discourage dropouts. He was a 225-pound safetyman in high school, then an All-American runner at West Virginia."

-Rich Kucner, The Complete Handbook of Pro Football, 1977 Edition

"He missed most of the season with a knee injury but was around long enough to have an angry clash with owner Ralph Wilson after O.J. Simpson signed a $2 million contract. Braxton told Wilson he wanted more money. Wilson said that the club policy was not to renegotiate contracts- Simpson being the exception. But Wilson promised to be 'generous' with a new contract at season's end.
Braxton claimed Wilson's generosity came to an $8,500 raise. Braxton is said to be asking $1 million."

-John Devaney, Schenley Pro Football Guide 1977

"After leading the Bills in 1976 preseason rushing statistics, Braxton was injured on his first regular season rushing attempt, suffering torn ligaments, placing him on the injured reserve list for the season.
1975 was the best all-around campaign of Braxton's career. His rushing total (823 yards) would have led 14 other teams. He had three 100-yard rushing games (17-for-102 against Denver, 23-for-101 against New England and 34-for-165 against St. Louis).
Jim has scored three touchdowns in four different games. His current career rushing total of 2,387 yards ranks him fourth among all-time Buffalo rushers. His first start for Buffalo was in the second game of the 1972 season. He missed the first half of the 1973 season with a back injury.
Considered one of the best all-around fullbacks in the NFL, Jim is a strong runner and a clever receiver, but his blocking may be the strongest part of his game. He was sorely missed in 1976 and his return is [important] to the Bills' offensive plans this year.
A first-team All-America selection in 1970 as a fullback for Bobby Bowden's West Virginia Moutaineers, Braxton won an invitation to the East-West Shrine game. In a statewide vote, he was chosen as West Virginia's Most Outstanding Amateur Athlete. He was a discus thrower for the WVU track team.
One of nine children, Jim's college major was physical education and social studies. He works during the off-season with the West Virginia Board of Education and the Governor's Manpower Office. His duties include speaking around the state to groups of young people, working particularly in the areas of vocational education and dropout prevention. His hobbies are cards, music and coin collecting."

-1977 Buffalo Bills Press-TV-Radio Yearbook

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

1977 Profile: Eddie Bell

Wide Receiver
No. 27
Idaho State
"Eddie had six solid season with the New York Jets from 1970-75 when he totaled 118 pass receptions for 1,774 yards and 12 touchdowns. His best season was 1972 when he grabbed 35 passes for 629 yards. Eddie is the co-holder of the Jets record for most receptions in a game (12 against Baltimore in 1970).
He saw limited action with San Diego last year and was picked up by the Bills on waivers in the off-season. Eddie was a ninth round draft pick by the Jets in 1970.
Eddie set three national small college receiving records as a senior with 96 catches for 1,522 yards and 20 touchdowns. A transfer from Compton JC, he set seven Big Sky and nine Idaho State records.
Eddie majored in speech pathology and audiology. He has attended drama school in the off-season and played the lead role in an off-Broadway play."

-Buffalo Bills 1977 Press-Radio-TV Yearbook

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

1977 Profile: Marv Bateman

No. 7
"The NFL's leading punter last season, he averaged 42 yards a kick and put 17 of his 86 punts inside the 20-yard line- the 'coffin corner' area. From Salt Lake City, he attended the University of Utah."

-John Devaney, Schenley Pro Football Guide 1977

"The leading punter in the NFL in 1976 with a 42.8-yard average on 86 punts, Bateman also had the longest kick of the season in the NFL, a 78-yard punt against Houston, tying a Bills record. He tied another Buffalo record with 11 punts in one game against Dallas. His 86 punts last year were the most since Paul Maguire had 100 during the 1968 season. Bateman was the second leading punter in the AFC in 1975 with a 41.6-yard average, with two kicks blocked.
Marv was signed by the Bills as a free agent in November 1974 and averaged nearly 44 yards per kick in the final five games of the '74 season. He was a third round choice of the Dallas Cowboys in the 1972 college draft. Marv's career average of 42.6 with the Bills is the best ever, and his overall career average of 41.1 (with Dallas and Buffalo) ranks him among the top active AFC punters.
One of the great collegiate punters, Bateman led the nation in both 1970 and 1971, averaging 48.1 as a senior at Utah. He was selected to the Sporting News All-America team.
Marv is interested in residential property sales."

-Buffalo Bills 1977 Press-Radio-TV Yearbook

Saturday, March 12, 2016

1977 Profile: Bill Adams

No. 60
Holy Cross
"Adams started the opening game of the 1976 season at tackle for the Bills and appeared in 11 games last year. He started every preseason game at tackle due to the absence of Donnie Green. He saw action on special teams and as a backup at guard and tackle.
He played in six games in 1975 as a backup to both Joe DeLamielleure and Reggie McKenzie. Bill appeared in eight games in 1974 after spending the entire 1973 season on the Bills' free agent roster. He played in the final six games of the 1972 season after being activated from the taxi squad.
Bill is one of the strongest men on the squad and never quits working. His versatility and hustle are assets and he could start for many teams in the NFL. He was signed as a free agent out of Holy Cross.
An offensive guard and a tackle in college, Adams was tri-captain of the Crusaders and an All-New England choice. He won two letters in track and three in wrestling as an undergraduate.
He has a B.A. degree in economics with a minor in history. He's interested in a career as a CPA, teacher or business management specialist. Golf and movies are his hobbies."

-Buffalo Bills 1977 Press-Radio-TV Guide

Saturday, March 5, 2016

1977 Profile: Tony Marchitte

Equipment Manager
"One of the essential people behind the scenes in the Bills' football operation is equipment manager Tony Marchitte. His responsibilities include maintaining the large stockpile of gear required to outfit the Buffalo squad.
Marchitte has been with the Bills almost as long as they've been in business, first joining the organization in 1961. Born in Buffalo, he's a life-long resident of Western New York. Tony's easy manner and pleasant personality make him a popular member of the staff."

-Buffalo Bills 1977 Press-TV-Radio Guide

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

1977 Profile: Joe Murry

Physical Coordinator
"Physical coordinator Joe Murry has responsibility for developing the club's strength program. He joined the Buffalo organization in March of 1973.
Joe holds a Master's degree in physical education from Southeastern Louisiana. As an undergraduate at Southwestern Louisiana, he won acclaim as National Collegiate heavyweight weightlifting champion. He set four national records in his specialty and placed fourth in the heavyweight division of the 1968 Olympic trials, narrowly missing a spot on the United States team.
Prior to accepting a position with the Bills, Murry taught at Metarie (Louisiana) Park Country Day School and was an assistant football coach at several Metarie high schools."

-Buffalo Bills 1977 Press-Radio-TV Guide