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This Birthday in Buffalo Sports History; March 1, 1978 -- Erik Flowers

The Buffalo Bills needed a pass rusher when it was their turn to draft in the first round in 2000. They thought Erik Flowers was the answer.

Flowers had been a good defensive end while at Arizona State, although there were some questions that he was a little undersized for the pros. The Bills had hopes that he could help replace Bruce Smith, who left as a free agent earlier in the year.

"Certainly when you lose a Bruce Smith, you're not going to replace him, not Bruce in his prime," Bills coach Wade Phillips said. "But this gives you a pass rush guy who can help you on the defensive line. Our rotation was so important to help us be No. 1 on defense last season. I think this helps us get back to that point."

Flowers was a backup in 2000 and moved up to a starting job in 2001. However, he held it for only six games the only six games he ever started in the pros. Flowers was released in training camp in 2002.

From there, he moved to Houston and St. Louis but didn't see much playing time. In 2006, Flowers signed with Toronto of the Canadian Football League, but hurt his back in training camp and never played there.

-- Budd Bailey

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