By Budd Bailey, Buffalo Sports Page Columnist

62. Marlin Briscoe – Signed by the Bills in 1969

Marlin Briscoe was famous in the football world before he came to Buffalo, even though his only Pro Bowl appearance came with the Bills. It’s a unique story.

Briscoe played college football at Nebraska-Omaha and was a 14th-round draft choice of the Broncos. Denver coach Lou Saban wanted to turn him into a cornerback, but Briscoe insisted on competing for the quarterback job. It took a couple of injuries, but Briscoe got his chance. He became the first African American to be a starting quarterback in pro football on Oct. 6, 1969. The results were mixed. Briscoe asked for his release in 1969 when he discovered he wasn’t going to have the chance to play that year.

Enter the Bills. They signed him and moved him to wide receiver, since the Bills had Jack Kemp, Tom Flores and James Harris at the position. Briscoe had some success in 1969, and was even better in 1970 – 17 catches for 1,036 yards. He had one more good year in Buffalo, and then was traded to the Miami Dolphins. There Briscoe played on two Super Bowl champions. But the Bills did well with the draft choice they received for him; Joe DeLamielleure was a Hall of Famer at guard.

Here’s more about Marlin the Magician:

(Follow Budd on Twitter @WDX2BB)

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey has been involved in almost every aspect of the local sports scene for the last 40 years. He worked for WEBR Radio, the Buffalo Sabres' public relations department and The Buffalo News during that time. In that time he covered virtually every aspect of the area's sports world, from high schools to the Bills and Sabres and everything in between. Along the way, Budd served as a play-by-play announcer for the Bisons, an analyst for the Stallions, and a talk-show host. He won the National Lacrosse League's Tom Borrelli Award as the media personality of the year in 2011, and was a finalist for that same award in 2017. Budd's seventh and eighth books, one on the Transcontinental Railroad and the other about Ichiro Suzuki, are scheduled to be released in the fall.

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