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The Best “One Year Wonders” in Bills History


JohnNord
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9 hours ago, JohnNord said:

With news of the recent retirement of Kiko Alonso, some Bills fans on Twitter have named him the best “one year wonder” in Bills history.  
 

Who are some other players that come to mind who had really one great year and then a middling to below average career?  
 

A few come to mind:

 

1. Karlos Williams - He had a monster 2015 season averaging almost 6 YPC and scoring 7 TD’s, despite missing 6 games and playing behind Shady. He also was decent in the pass game.    He seemed to be the perfect back and should’ve had a big career.  But his attitude and failure to stay in shape forced him out of the NFL and he never played again.   Tremendous waste of potential.  
 

2. Peerless Price - he went from being a steady WR2 to exploding in 2002 with career highs in receptions, yards, and touchdowns.  Donahoe traded Price as a RFA and he continued to be steady but unspectacular WR he was prior to 2002.  
 

3. Terry Miller - Rushed for 1060 yards his rookie season in 1978.   He rushed for less than half that during the remainder of his career.  Out of the NFL 3 years after his rookie standout season.  
 

4. Robert Foster - Became one of Josh Allen’s favorite targets and established himself as a bonfide deep threat with over 500 yards and 20 yard avg in just 11 games.  But he sunk on the depth chart and was out of the league 3 years later. 
 

5. CJ Spiller - high draft pick that had a middling career until his 2012 breakout season where he rushed for over 1,200 yards.    He had a decent year in 2013 but his production dropped quickly after and he was out of the NFL by 2017.  

 

 

He was not a wonder of any length of time.

 

Same with Foster.

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Yeah the OP mentioned CJ Spiller in 2012 and I agree.  But I have a story about that season and how I thought he would be the long term RB answer.

 

Right after the Giants won the SuperBowl through work I got a Victor Cruz Super Bowl jersey.  Being I wasn't a Giants fan it was something per say I'd appreciate.  So I had a Giants fan as a friend and I made a deal with him if he bought me a Bills jersey I'd give him the Cruz jersey.

 

So yeah being I thought CJ would be in Buffalo for years afterward producing constant 1,000 yrd rushing seasons I picked him.

 

 

Moral of the story:  if you're into buying jerseys make sure its someone whose already accomplished a lot 

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8 hours ago, billybrew1 said:

What about Bills that had their career cut short?  Derrick Burroughs, Shane Nielsen, Shane Conlan (sort of), Sam Cowart, Stupid Will Wolford would have been on the wall and in the HOF if he just took a little less dough…. Jeff Nixon I think? Wasn’t he great but couldn’t play long?

Bills offered Wolford as much money as the Colts, it was the escalator clause they couldn't match. Something along the lines of being paid more than any defensive player and being the second highest paid offensive player. Bills had Smith and Bennett on defense, Thomas, Reed, Kelly on offense. Bills couldn't match those salaries. NFL allowed the clause but no others. Ralph went to his grave being pissed about that one...so will I!

 

Lots of good names, I'll add Bill Brooks. in 93 he had 60 catches, over 700 yards and 5 TD. It was a different era, Kelly had 18 TD passes that year.

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Wallace Francis — a real burner who put up gaudy numbers as a rookie kick returner in ‘73, including at least a couple TDs that I recall. He was gone a year later, but caught on with Atlanta, where he was a pretty productive WR through the 70s. I always thought the Bills gave up on him too soon, but back then Lou Saban insisted on big receivers who could block. 

Edited by Stranded in Boston
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9 minutes ago, Steve O said:

Lots of good names, I'll add Bill Brooks. in 93 he had 60 catches, over 700 yards and 5 TD. It was a different era, Kelly had 18 TD passes that year.

I forgot about Brooks - thanks SteveO. But he had more than one good year: he tacked on 11 receiving touchdowns in ‘95, the year Andre Reed blew out his hamstring on that dirty hit OB against the Jets. I think Brooks still holds the Bills single-season record.

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Great thread

 

Its Karlos Williams for me. His rookie year was not as good as Terry Miller's but his flame out was far more spectacular. 

 

Just read a little more about Miller. He finished 2nd in Heisman voting to Earl Campbell and this past January was elected into college football hall of fame. 

 

 

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6 minutes ago, Stranded in Boston said:

I forgot about Brooks - thanks SteveO. But he had more than one good year: he tacked on 11 receiving touchdowns in ‘95, the year Andre Reed blew out his hamstring on that dirty hit OB against the Jets. I think Brooks still holds the Bills single-season record.

Thanks, '95 was the one year wonder season I was thinking about, the numbers looked a little lower than I remembered in 93. Then they fell off a bit in 94 and I didn't look at 95. Rookie mistake!

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26 minutes ago, That's No Moon said:

Darick Holmes

Just beat me to it.  No where near as dramatic as Karlos Williams but I thought Holmes was going to be solid 2nd back to Thurman with a little more punishing running style.  Solid rookie season, great playoff game against Miami, slipped second year and was gone after three.

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10 hours ago, Mr. Wonderful said:

 

Jerry Butler.  Fantastic talent but never reached potential because of knee injuries.  

Greg Bell.  A definite one year wonder us old guys remember.

Butler for sure. Also Robert James. Made his mark on special teams and became the top corner in the NFL. Teams would not even attempt to throw his way. Both of these guys had an opportunity to become Hall of Famers if not for injuries.

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6 hours 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."

 

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.

 

 

 

Brandenburg was a crazy athlete.   Known for winning slam dunk contests in college.   I believe he had 7 sacks in that preseason you are referencing.   

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2 hours ago, BADOLBILZ said:

 

 

Brandenburg was a crazy athlete.   Known for winning slam dunk contests in college.   I believe he had 7 sacks in that preseason you are referencing.   

Dang, I don’t even remember this guy. 

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15 hours ago, JohnNord said:

With news of the recent retirement of Kiko Alonso, some Bills fans on Twitter have named him the best “one year wonder” in Bills history.  
 

Who are some other players that come to mind who had really one great year and then a middling to below average career?  
 

A few come to mind:

 

1. Karlos Williams - He had a monster 2015 season averaging almost 6 YPC and scoring 7 TD’s, despite missing 6 games and playing behind Shady. He also was decent in the pass game.    He seemed to be the perfect back and should’ve had a big career.  But his attitude and failure to stay in shape forced him out of the NFL and he never played again.   Tremendous waste of potential.  
 


 

 

 

 


 

I wouldn’t classify Karlos as being a wonder since he sucked when he was the feature back.  Getting good yardage spelling Shady is nice but when he was the primary ball carrier he wasn’t any good.   A one year running back wonder would be someone like a Peyton Hillis with the Browns.

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