By Budd Bailey, Buffalo Sports Page Columnist
Sam Gash – Signed by the Bills in 1998 and 2003
The role of the fullback has changed in pro football. Old-timers remember big running backs like Jim Brown and Earl Campbell pounding out the yardage from the fullback position. But eventually teams started to rely on only one player to do the majority of the running – the so-called “feature back.” That left fullbacks looking for something to do.
Soon offensive coordinators figured out that fullbacks might be helpful as a lead blocker. There was no one better at it than Sam Gash, which might be why the Bills signed him … twice. The first time was for $3.3 million over three years.
Gash signed a three-year deal with the Bills in 1998 after spending six seasons with New England. He made the Pro Bowl in 1998 and 1999, becoming the first running back to ever earn that honor without actually carrying the ball. Buffalo broke the 2,000-yard mark for team rushing in both seasons. Gash was cut with the salary cap purge after the 1999 season that also included Bruce Smith, Thurman Thomas and Andre Reed.
But Gash did have an encore. Buffalo replaced pass-catcher Larry Centers with Gash for the 2003 season. That only lasted for a year, as the Bills signed Daimon Shelton to replace him at the position.
If you want to learn a lot more about Sam, this interview will help:
(Follow Budd on Twitter @WDX2BB)