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The Best “One Year Wonders” in Bills History


JohnNord
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OK, I am going to give away my age. I think that only a small percentage of us will remember this man.: Dan Brandenburg, the "Preseason Wonder."

 

Dan was an outside LB drafted in the 7th round in 1996. He was listed at 6'4"/245. He LIT up the field in preseason games. I recall  thinking that he was a sack machine. The kid was destroying QBs! He was very fast, and didn't give ground vs. the run. I was positive that he was a complete steal of a draft pick.............until the regular season started. 

When the games got real he was pancaked and shoved all over the field on virtually every play. I thought that I was seeing things but no, he was slaughtered on a regular basis.

To this day I wonder whether or not it was due to injuries. I mean, he WAS from a small school, but he had the size, speed, and (I thought) strength. I am positive that @BADOLBILZwill remember this player.

 

Either way, I hope that he is doing well.

 

Edited by Bill from NYC
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Preston Ridelhuber. He was a one play wonder. Threw a halfback option for a TD to beat the Patriots. He was filling in for OJ who had gotten hurt, and had never practiced the play. 
 

He also was instrumental for the Raiders in the famous Heidi Game, recovering a fumbled kickoff and scoring a TD. 

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39 minutes ago, JimBob2232 said:

Trent Edwards?

 

 

Interesting choice and one I would agree with.  He showed so much promise.

 

I can’t believe nobody has said Fitz Magic or Drew Bledsoe.  Both got hot and then fell off a cliff.

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The original Miller #40, Terry, had > 1000 scrimmage yards as a rookie and never got close to that again.


The best example I can think of is Brandon Spoon, made a bunch of impact plays as a rookie LB. Then started tearing muscles and washed out of the league.

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6 minutes ago, BuffaloBill said:

 

 

Interesting choice and one I would agree with.  He showed so much promise.

 

I can’t believe nobody has said Fitz Magic or Drew Bledsoe.  Both got hot and then fell off a cliff.

I wouldn't say Drew because of his great lifetime stats. 

 

By the time we got him, he needed more OL help than the Bills had to offer. IIRC, we had signed a Guard from the Bears who was very good for 7 or 8 games until his body (and our offense) fell completely apart. Was that the same year that we had Drew?

 

Man, doesn't time fly?

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6 hours ago, John from Riverside said:

Bryce Paup?

Paup was a beast and I believe a four time pro bowl player through the years he had played here. Although he never reached quite his 17.5 sacks again I mean that was a special year. Teams had to account for him. I was a big fan of him and Speilman playing together. Those were some smash mouth football years.  I think he got hurt was never the same. 

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1 hour ago, Bill from NYC said:

OK, I am going to give away my age. I think that only a small percentage of us will remember this man.: Dan Brandenburg, the "Preseason Wonder."

 

 

He was one of those "measurables" types like Trey Junkin, who was a LB with great speed and no instincts who had a friggin' 20!!! year career somehow after hooking on elsewhere and getting a position change to TE. You gotta wonder how the current regime is (mostly) succeeding with those types of players where they previously failed. Were the coaches bad? Were the players not committed, or just dummies?

 

Anyway, a couple more of those types:

 

"Jumping" John Wendling, a DB whose gimmick was leaping over the OL to block kicks. (Same guy? this is a slightly bigger leap)

 

"Planet Theory" (i.e. only a few guys on the planet can do stuff like this) Mike Jasper who never even had a year to make us wonder about anything except why isn't he in the WWF.

 

Perry Tuttle, great speed, great routes, waffle irons for hands. First rounder who flamed out once teams figured that it didn't matter if you threw it to him, he wasn't catching it. Real-life Featherstone, ever more so than Bucky Brooks.

 

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1 hour ago, Bill from NYC said:

OK, I am going to give away my age. I think that only a small percentage of us will remember this man.: Dan Brandenburg, the "Preseason Wonder."

 

Us older fans may remember this article:

Quote

BRANDENBURG OPENS GATE TO SUCCESS

By Mark Gaughan

 

Jul 30, 1997

Dan Brandenburg can run as fast as Cornelius Bennett. He can jump higher than most NFL receivers and cornerbacks.

Now if he can learn the finer points of playing outside linebacker, the Buffalo Bills could have another of their diamond-in-the-rough discoveries on their hands.

https://buffalonews.com/news/brandenburg-opens-gate-to-success/article_307437d7-6c4a-5b95-83d8-9c16244512e3.html

 

Personally I think he would do better in current era where speed is much more important for LBs.

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1 hour ago, Bill from NYC said:

I wouldn't say Drew because of his great lifetime stats. 

 

By the time we got him, he needed more OL help than the Bills had to offer. IIRC, we had signed a Guard from the Bears who was very good for 7 or 8 games until his body (and our offense) fell completely apart. Was that the same year that we had Drew?

 

Man, doesn't time fly?

 

Oh THAT friggin' guy. Was it Chris Villarial? There was another retread from Chicago that was even less capable of blocking anyone that came later, that became a measuring stick for incapable guard play: the infamous Vlad Ducasse. At least he was FA and they didn't spend a high pick on him, like they did on Kouandjio. 

 

Speaking of other flameouts at guard... Derrick Dockery. Ugh.

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9 minutes ago, Limeaid said:

 

Us older fans may remember this article:

https://buffalonews.com/news/brandenburg-opens-gate-to-success/article_307437d7-6c4a-5b95-83d8-9c16244512e3.html

 

Personally I think he would do better in current era where speed is much more important for LBs.

Good chance. Going to a big time college might have also helped. 

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In terms of impact on the Bills, Ahmad Rashad.  One great year in '74, then injured an on to greener pastures in Minnesota.

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15 minutes ago, Bill from NYC said:

Good chance. Going to a big time college might have also helped. 

 

He did several change of positions in college which hurt his chances. 

He had all the measurables but got lost in the shuffle and then became expendable.

In current era he would have stuck on PS for a while.

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Damien Covington - looked like a future linebacking star in 97. In his final game, an overtime loss to Denver, Covington had 20 solo tackles. But he had a devastating knee injury the next week in practice and never played again.

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Not quite to OP’s point given you can’t call it a year’s worth of wow, but I remember being so pumped watching Tim Tindale come out of nowhere against the Dolphins in the ‘95 playoffs and thinking we had ourselves a CFL gem for the future, but alas, it was not to be. An article about this one when it was still our last playoff W:
https://buffalonews.com/sports/bills/tim-tindale-remembers-run-that-helped-in-bills-last-playoff-win/article_d832e3ef-77f5-5449-bddc-49ededc92bc0.amp.html

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I remember a kick returner by the name of Mike Mosley during the strike year of 82. He led the league in kickoff returns. He seemed to break a long one every game but could never take it the distance. He faded away after that year but did make a huge reception in OT against Miami the next year that set up the game winning FG.

 

What could have been....

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