By Bob Gaughan, Buffalo Sports Page
Dale Hawerchuck is always the answer I give when asked who is the most under-appreciated Buffalo athlete of all-time. Hawerchuck played for the Buffalo Sabres from 1990-1995. In his four full seasons with the club, he averaged 93 points and 27 goals. Yet I don’t think most Buffalo fans even remember him. He didn’t have the flare or style of a Perreault or Lafontaine or Mogilny.
That answer might need to change to Tyrod Taylor now that his tenure in Buffalo is over. I never felt that Tyrod was fully appreciated as the Bills signal caller. Tyrod leaves the Bills as their career leader in passer rating with 92.5. Higher than Kelly, Flutie, Bledsoe, or anyone else that ever put his hands below the center. He’s second all-time in completion percentage having completed 62.5 percent of his passes. And of course he was the quarterback that ended the playoff drought. Still Tyrod never got any love from a large portion of the Bills nation.
Fans Got It Wrong
Most Bills fans wanted to cut Tyrod after the season. Bills fans were shocked and outraged that Brandon Beane was going to pick up 6 million dollars of his salary in March. The Bills fans thought Tyrod had no value. Bills fans were shocked again when Tyrod was traded to the Cleveland Browns for the first pick in the third round. How could this happen? How could any GM see value in Tyrod? Well in fact three GM’s that needed a quarterback in the draft saw value in Tyrod. John Dorsey, John Elway, and Steve Keim are three of the seven or so GM’s that need a starting QB this year. They got into a bidding war over Tyrod and the Bills were able to use that to their advantage in negotiations.
In Tyrod’s first two years with the Bills, the offense averaged Top 10 in scoring in the NFL and top 15 in total yards. He combined rushing and passing for 65 TD’s and 16 interceptions. That’s a 4:1 ratio! Not bad, but never good enough for the Bills Mafia.
From his first day until his last, Tyrod was under appreciated as a Bill. Why did the Bills get so much for Tyrod? Well, either Tyrod was under-appreciated or three NFL GM’s are really stupid. Bills fans will cling to the fact that John Dorsey, John Elway, and Steve Keim are really dumb individuals. But in your hearts you know I was right all along. You never fully appreciated what he brought to the table. The GM’s weren’t wrong, a large portion of Bills nation whiffed on this one.