Buffalo Bills: 30 greatest players in franchise history

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Buffalo Bills
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9. player. 16. . Defensive Tackle. 1979-89. Fred Smerlas

It’s not often that defensive tackles are worthy of this high of praise. However, in the case of Fred Smerlas, it only made sense for him to be way up on the list of the Bills’ all-time greats.

It can often be hard to boil a nose tackle’s impact down to stats. It’s even more difficult when there are no tackle statistics for Smerlas, who spent 11 seasons destroying opponent’s game plans from the inside out. Even the sack totals (18.5) don’t really suggest a sensational career, but it’s not like nose tackles’ main job is to gobble up quarterbacks.

Smerlas played a pivotal role in taking the Bills from a sub-par NFL club to a contender. Although he wasn’t around during Buffalo’s streak of Super Bowl appearances, he set the table for the franchise to jump into the upper echelon of franchises.

To show for his success, Smerlas has five Pro Bowl appearances and an All-Pro selection. His presence in the middle of the Buffalo can’t be understated. That’s why Smerlas finds himself here at No. 9 on the list of all-time Bills greats.