Tuesday, June 28, 2016

1977 Profile: Mark Johnson

No. 50
"Johnson appeared in 13 games last year, mostly on special teams. He started the San Diego game (November 21) at defensive end when injuries had wiped out two Bills starters. Mark was credited with 14 tackles last year. He saw action in 11 games in 1975, starting twice at outside linebacker. A strong, vicious tackler, he's a leader on the special units.
He earned All-Big Eight honorable mention honors in 1974 after recovering from spring knee surgery. He led Missouri in total tackles in 1973 and 1974, totaling 198 tackles in two years, and had 16 quarterback sacks plus a fumble recovery in 1974. Mark played in the 1975 Hula Bowl.
Mark is a physical education major who enjoys horseback riding, basketball and movies. He's nicknamed 'Country.'"

-Buffalo Bills 1977 Press-Radio-TV Yearbook

Friday, June 24, 2016

1977 Profile: Dan Jilek

No. 51
"This guy makes you wonder about the Bills' scouting department. The Bills have blown some first- and second-round draft choices on linebacking mistakes the past few years, but got a good one when they stumbled onto Jilek in the fourth round a year ago. Buffalo's most pleasant surprise of 1976, he made the mistakes you would expect from a rookie linebacker, but could become an excellent one. He's an opportunistic player, although more weight would help.
A defensive end at Michigan and twice an All-Big Ten choice, Jilek still has a lot to learn about his new position. He was the second-busiest Bill defender last year with 60 tackles and 39 assists and intercepted two passes.
Jilek was born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. His father is a high school football coach in Detroit."

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

"Jilek started all 14 games at outside linebacker in 1976 and earned a berth on the NFL All-Rookie team. He was the second leading tackler on the squad with 60 solos and 39 assists, and had two pass interceptions, two fumble recoveries and a sack. Dan moved into the starting lineup midway through training camp and continued to improve all year.
He has excellent reactions with an instinct for the ball and could develop into a top NFL linebacker.
Jilek was a two-time All-Big Ten selection of both AP and UPI at defensive end. An honorable mention All-America, he played in the Hula Bowl and the Japan Bowl and was a candidate for Academic All-America honors. Dan ranked sixth on the Michigan squad last year with 99 tackles, including 70 solo stops, and also had a pass interception. He was involved in 80 tackles as a junior, including 10 for losses of 53 yards.
A speech and political science major, Dan's father is the football and basketball coach at Henry Ford High School in Detroit."

-Buffalo Bills 1977 Press-TV-Radio Guide

Thursday, June 23, 2016

1977 Profile: Robert James

No. 20
"A knee injury suffered in a preseason game against Los Angeles in 1975 has kept him out of action for two full seasons. Robert's slow rehabilitation process finally made significant gains over the winter and he has now has hopes for a comeback in 1977. His return would be a big plus in the defensive secondary.
Robert was a unanimous All-NFL choice at cornerback in 1973 and 1974, and a consensus All-AFC selection and member of the AFC Pro Bowl squad in 1972, 1973 and 1974. He shares with O.J. Simpson the distinction of being the senior member of the Bills. Robert was originally signed as a free agent out of Fisk University. He won a starting role at cornerback in 1970 after playing mainly on special teams. He wears contact lenses on the field.
A linebacker and defensive end for Fisk and an All-Southern Intercollegiate Athletic Conference choice, Robert is the first Fisk University product to gain prominence in pro ball. He was Fisk's most valuable gridder in 1968, and also conference champion in the 60-yard high hurdles and the 120-yard intermediate hurdles. His top collegiate hurdle times were 7.5 in the 60's and 14.5 in the 120's.
Robert earned his Bachelor's degree in physical education. He's active in the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and was once saluted by his hometown in 'Robert James Day' ceremonies. He would like to pursue a teaching career following his playing days."

-Buffalo Bills 1977 Press-Radio-TV Guide

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

1977 Profile: George Jakowenko

Place Kicker
No. 5
"George was the Bills' kicker for 11 games last year, finishing with the highest field goal percentage in Buffalo history (12-for-17, .706). He now has a string of four straight field goals, and needs one more to tie the Bills mark for consecutive successful field goals.
He finished third in the AFC kicker rankings. His longest field goal was 49 yards and he hit 4-for-4 inside the 30, 4-for-6 from 30-40 and 4-for-7 from 40 on out.
In 1974 Jakowenko played in six regular season and two playoff games with the Oakland Raiders. He began his professional career as a free agent with St. Louis in 1971.
Jakowenko scored 129 points in his three-year career at Syracuse. He connected of 21 of 51 field goals and 66 of 76 extra points. His career field goals and extra points are both records at Syracuse.
He has a B.S. degree in management data systems and worked for an accounting firm in the off-season. George migrated to the U.S. from Belgium in 1955. He speaks Russian, French and Dutch."

-Buffalo Bills 1977 Press-TV-Radio Guide

Friday, June 17, 2016

1977 Profile: Roland Hooks

Running Back
No. 25
North Carolina State
"A competent backup for O.J. Simpson and valuable kick return man, Roland was a versatile performer for the Bills last year. He was second in both kickoff and punt returns and was the squad's fourth leading rusher. Roland had the longest kickoff return of the year, a 79-yarder against Miami. His best rushing day was against New England when he carried 18 times for 80 yards after O.J. was ejected for fighting. He also caught six passes last year. Roland's combined offensive yardage last year was 754 yards. He missed the entire 1975 season with illness and injury.
Roland was a versatile performer at North Carolina State where he established a record for average yards per rush (5.6 yards, 1,368 yards on 246 carries). He led the Wolfpack with 850 yards and a 6.3-yard average in 1974 while scoring 17 touchdowns. He also holds the N.C. State record of 981 kickoff return yards. In his first varsity game he returned a kickoff 80 yards.
Roland is a history major who enjoys handball."

-Buffalo Bills 1977 Press-Radio-TV Guide

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

1977 Profile: Ron Holliday

Wide Receiver
No. 82
"Ron injured his knee in the first preseason game last year and missed the entire season. He played 11 games with the San Diego Chargers in 1973, catching 14 passes for 182 yards.
In 1974 and 1975 Ron played in the World Football League with the Philadelphia Bell. Prior to joining the Chargers he had stints with Montreal in the CFL and with the Pennsylvania Firebirds and Norfolk Neptunes in the Atlantic Coast League.
Ron did not play football in college. He was a marketing major at Pittsburgh where he excelled in baseball; at one time he was in the New York Yankees' farm system. Ron's hobby is riding motorcycles."

-1977 Buffalo Bills Press-Radio-TV Guide

Monday, June 13, 2016

1977 Profile: John Holland

Wide Receiver
No. 80
Tennessee State
"Holland had a big yardage day as a Buffalo receiver in 1976 when he caught two Joe Ferguson touchdown passes in the Monday Night opener against Miami. The passes were 58 and 53 yards, and his 111-yard total was the biggest day for a Bill last year. He finished the season with 15 catches for 299 yards. Holland also scored a touchdown in the San Diego game when he recovered a Charger bad punt snap in the end zone.
He appeared in 13 games last year, eight as a starting wide receiver. John's biggest day as a pro came in 1975 when he stepped in for the injured Bob Chandler against the Colts and caught six passes for 121 yards, including a 63-yard hookup with Ferguson. He appeared in 12 games in 1975 and saw duty as a kickoff and punt return man. A second round draft choice of the Vikings in 1974, the Bills took him off the waiver wire.
John set a Tennessee State record as a senior with 53 catches for 739 yards and 11 touchdowns and was named a Little All-America. He also played baseball and was drafted by Philadelphia.
John lived in Buffalo during the off-season and played on the Bills' basketball team."

-1977 Buffalo Bills Press-Radio-TV Guide

Friday, June 10, 2016

1977 Profile: Dwight Harrison

No. 28
Texas A & I
"Buffalo's elevator man- up one week, down the next. Harrison has tremendous potential, but doesn't get what he should from his ability. The fastest Bill, the ran the 100 in 9.5 in college. Teammates call him 'Ripper.'
A slow healer, Harrison is subject to nagging injuries. The Bills are still hoping to solve the puzzle of how to get him to play consistently. The second leading interceptor in the league two years ago with eight, he had just one last year but knocked down 17 passes.
Born in Beaumont, Texas, Harrison doubled as defensive back and receiver at Texas A&I. The Broncos made him their second round draft pick and played him at wide receiver. He was traded to Buffalo for Haven Moses early in his second season.
An outdoorsman, Harrison plays the clarinet and the piano."

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

"Dwight started 12 games last year, missing two with a leg injury. He had an interception, increasing his career total with the Bills to 15 and placing him in a tie for seventh place on the all-time Buffalo list. Dwight was credited with 17 passes defensed and 29 tackles last year.
He led the Bills in interceptions in 1975 with eight, the second best total in the AFC. Harrison has played cornerback for four years after being shifted from wide receiver at the beginning of the 1973 season. He tied a Bills record with interceptions in four straight games in 1975.
Dwight led the Bills in interceptions in 1973 with five. He had a 31-yard return of a Marty Domres pass against the Colts that year that gave Buffalo a 24-17 victory in the final minute. The longest interception return of his career was a 40-yarder against the Patriots in '75. Dwight came from Denver in exchange for Haven Moses in October 1972 after being a second round draft choice of the Broncos in 1971.
He was a standout defensive back and receiver at Texas A & I, 'Flanker of the Decade' in the Lone Star conference, All-Conference and a Kodak All-America selection. Harrison played in the Oil Bowl game and was Texas A & I's most valuable player. A cornerstone of the track squad, he once turned in a 9.5 for the 100-yard dash, a 6-8 high jump and a 24-10 long jump.
Business management was his college major, and forestry and conservation are his career interests. Dwight plays both the clarinet and piano and hunting and fishing are his hobbies."

-Buffalo Bills 1977 Press-Radio-TV Yearbook

Saturday, June 4, 2016

1977 Profile: Tony Greene

Free Safety
No. 43
"Greene led the Bills in interceptions in 1976 with five thefts for 135 yards. He set a Buffalo record with a 101-yard return for a touchdown against Kansas City on October 3, the longest interception return of the year in the NFL. He started all 14 games at free safety where he earned All-Pro honors in 1974. Greene moved into a second place tie with Booker Edgerson on the Bills' all-time interception list with 24, trailing only Butch Byrd. He was involved in 59 tackles in 1976, credited with two fumble recoveries and knocked down 10 passes.
He started nine games at cornerback in 1975, replacing the injured Robert James. Tony earned All-Pro honors in 1974 despite missing the final two games with a knee injury that required surgery. He was voted by teammates as the Bills' MVP on defense [that year].
Tony ranked second in the NFL with nine interceptions in '74 and tied a Bills record with interceptions in four straight games. Elected permanent defensive captain the last three years, he has 20 interceptions in the last three years. Tony once had a 105-yard interception return against Miami wiped out by a penalty.
He saw action at both cornerback and safety in 1973 after earning a starting berth the previous year. He was used as a kick returner in 1972 and 1973.
Greene was a defensive back and captain of Maryland's 1970 squad and led the Atlantic Coast Conference in interceptions. He was voted as the Terrapins' outstanding defensive back as both a junior and a senior. A sprinter for the Maryland track team, he set records in the 50 (5.3 seconds), 60 (6.0) and 100 (9.5).
He majored in physical education at Maryland. He worked for two years in the off-season for the Commerce Department's Business Management Fellowship Program in Buffalo. Tony was the 1976 winner of the Dodge Man of the Year balloting in Buffalo. He enjoys music and dancing."

-Buffalo Bills 1977 Press-Radio-TV Guide

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

1977 Profile: Van Green

Strong Safety
No. 21
"Van appeared in five games last year, seeing special teams duty before being sidelined with a knee injury. Torn cartilage required surgery and he was placed on he Injured Reserve list.
An eighth round draft pick of the Browns in 1973, Green saw action at just about every defensive backfield position with the Cleveland Browns, starting at free safety, strong safety and right cornerback. He had two interceptions in 1974, including one for a touchdown (36 yards), and added another interception in 1975. He is also credited with four fumble recoveries.
Green was a standout at Shaw University in Raleigh, North Carolina."

-Buffalo Bills 1977 Press-TV-Radio Guide