Buffalo Bills: 30 greatest players in franchise history

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Shane Conlan, Buffalo Bills
2 Oct 1988: Linebacker Shane Conlan of the Buffalo Bills looks on during a game against the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Bears won the game 24-3. /

Shane Conlan. 27. player. 16. . Inside Linebacker. 1987-92

From the day Shane Conlan landed with the Bills, the linebacker out of Penn State was a star. That’s why he ended up winning the NFL Rookie of the Year Award in 1987, beginning what turned out to be an excellent career in Buffalo.

Although it only lasted six seasons, Conlan’s time with the Bills was nothing short of excellent. It included three Pro Bowls, three Super Bowl appearances and plenty of big hits. A tackling machine at inside linebacker, Conlan always seemed to be around the football.

All of his best seasons came with Buffalo. He spent three years with the Los Angeles/St. Louis Rams after his departure from New York, but was never the same player who helped the Bills secure three AFC Championships in a row. His 545 tackles across six seasons is proof of that dependability and instinct for finding the football.

Conlan was everything the Bills were looking for when they drafted him eighth overall in 1987. Although his time with the team was probably shorter than was originally anticipated, Buffalo absolutely got its money’s worth while he was in town.