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

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