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'92 COMEBACK STILL FELT

The Greatest Comeback in NFL History keeps paying dividends for the Buffalo Bills.

A trivial, amusing subplot to the Bills' hiring of Gregg Williams is that it's the result of a domino effect created by the Bills' 41-38 overtime victory over the Houston Oilers in a wild-card playoff game in January 1993.

The Bills, of course, came back from a 32-point deficit to win that game. The Oilers' collapse resulted in the firing of defensive coordinator Jim Eddy. The Oilers' special teams coach, Richard Smith, also left the team after that game. His contract was up but he was also under some criticism in Houston, and the Bills had exploited the Oiler special teams with an onsides kickoff in the comeback win.

Williams was an Oilers assistant in charge of quality control in the '92 season. When Smith left, Williams took over as special teams coach and greatly improved the performance of that unit. Buddy Ryan took over for Eddy as defensive coordinator but endured a turbulent season and left after one year.

The Oilers promoted Jeff Fisher from defensive backs coach to defensive coordinator to replace Ryan for the '94 season, and Williams moved from special teams to linebackers coach. (Incidentally, Williams replaced Ronnie Jones, who lasted only one year as Oilers linebackers coach.)

Oilers head coach Jack Pardee got fired in the middle of the '94 season, and Fisher replaced him. Williams remained on Fisher's staff and was promoted to defensive coordinator in '97.

So . . . Williams might not be in Buffalo today if it weren't for Frank Reich & Co. in 1993.

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