On a cold, wintry, Saturday last week, another vital cog of Buffalo's early decade of AFC dominance decided to retire from an illustrious special teams career in the National Football League.
While Kelly, Reed, Thomas and Bruce Smith attained the bulk of the headlines and national endorsements, pound for pound and inch for inch, no Bills player was more valuable to this team's success than Steve Tasker, the most dominant special teams performer in NFL history.
He blocked punts, returned kicks, covered downfield returns in mauling fashion, and his uncanny ability to make breathtaking tackles was unmatched by all in his brilliant 13-year career. Hopefully, those amazing skills will lead to his enshrinement as the charter member of a special teams category in the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.
While all his huge plays are too numerous to list, my all-time favorite was an immediate diving ankle tackle on Raider speedster Tim Brown in a 1993 playoff game in Arctic weather conditions. As they sat facing each other after the play, they both pointed simultaneously, helped each other up from the turf with their free hand, and patted each other's helmet, before heading to their respective sidelines in a great show of total respect. Nothing more needs to be written in appreciation of the best waiver signing in Bills history.