Tag Archives: bills 50th anniversary team

Moulds, Eric

pp96 emouldsCards: Presspass 1996, Playoff Contenders 2002
Acquired: TTM 2016, C/o Home
Sent: 2/8     Received: 2/20  (12 days)
Failure: 2012, C/o Home

Eric Moulds was an exceptional receiver for the Mississippi State Bulldogs during his time there at the college. At the time of his departure from the school, he was their all-time leading receiver with 17 career TDs. He also set the single game school record with 15 receptions against the Volunteers.  Overall he played in 31 contests and had 118 receptions for 2,022 yards and 17 TDs.

The 1996 draft was one of the deepest receiver drafts in modern memory.  Among the other names in this draft were: Marvin Harrison, Terry Glenn, Keyshawn Johnson, Amani Toomer, Mushin Muhammed, Eddie Kennison, Joe Horn, Terrell Owens, and Jermaine Lewis.  The Bills drafted him at 24th overall, and he’d bide his time as the heir apparent behind future HoFer Andre Reed playing on special teams.

In 1998, Eric became the face for a new generation for Bills fans with a breakout season. Starting 15 games he made 67 receptions for 1,368 yards, a gaudy 20.4 yards per reception and 9 TDs.  (His 1,368 yards led the AFC.) While the team experienced inconsistency at quarterback, Moulds continued to produce, and was named to the Pro Bowl again for his 2000 and 2002 campaigns respectively. Notably his 2002 season would be the first time any Bills receiver recorded 100 or more receptions.
poff02 emouldsBy 2005 Moulds contract numbers were reaching over 10 million a year for a 30+ year old receiver. The Bills and Eric came to terms that it was time to move on and traded him to the Texans for a 5th round pick. Eric chose the Texans over the Eagles because he wanted the opportunity to play alongside upcoming receiver Andre Johnson. It seemed to be a win/win situation as the Texans also wanted Moulds to bring a veteran presence to the wideout corps. I remember being extremely excited about this move.

It was a time of transition for the Houston Texans. Gone was former coach Dom Capers, but the remnants of Charlie Casserley’s decisions were still there in quarterback David Carr.  The Texans hoped that Moulds could take pressure off of Johnson, who was drawing double and triple teams from defenses, but things didn’t work out that way. He finished with 57 receptions for 557 yards and a career low 9.1 yard average. In 2007 the Texans decided to  reshuffle their receiver corps. With  free agent Andre Davis signed, Kevin Walter starting to come into his own, draftee Jacoby Jones in the fold, and David Anderson making noise, the writing was on the wall for Moulds. He’d be cut ending his brief tenure with the Texans.  The always receiver needy Titans kicked the tires and decided to bring Moulds in. He started 8 games for Tennessee in 2007 recording 32 receptions for 342 yards.

Moulds is still remembered fondly by Bills fans. Perhaps if his career didn’t straddle over the late 90s and early 00s, on such bad teams with quarterback issues, he’d also be regarded with much more fanfare throughout the league. Still- Eric made an impression with the Bills faithful and was honored by Buffalo as a member of their 50th Anniversary Team in 2009.

I hoped that way back in 2012, Moulds would be my first success of the year. Unfortunately I got an RTS instead. I bode my time until he resurfaced this year and shot out the cards again and surprisingly got these great autographs back in 12 days flat.

Rec 764    Yds 9995      Avg 13.1     Td 49    Lg 84t
Rush 29    Yds 163     Avg 5.6    Td 0   Lg 29
KR   52     Yds 1205    Avg 23.2   Td 1   Lg 97t

Hull, Kent (1961-2011)

Card: Bowman 1992
Acquired: Canton Acquisition 2012

Kent Hull flew under the NFL radar after he graduated from Mississippi State in 1983, but the New Jersey Generals of the USFL would be waiting to swoop him up. He’d block up front for Herschel Walker and Maurice Carthon, paving their way to 1,000+ yard seasons each in 1984, and then blocking for quarterback Doug Flutie in 1985. When the USFL ran into financial trouble the Generals and Houston Gamblers were merged. Jim Kelly was to be his quarterback with wide receiver Ricky Sanders, and coach Jack Pardee running the show in the prolific Run ‘N Shoot, but the league collapsed before it could take the field again.

Kelly and Hull were almost immediately reunited in Buffalo and both became instant starters helping to energize a once woeful Bills team. Buffalo quickly assembled talent and marched into the playoffs with their Hurry Up Offense. With the final piece assembled in 1989 in the form of future Hall of Fame runningback Thurman Thomas, the Bills reached the Superbowl an unprecedented 4 times during the 1990s. During that span Kent started 121 straight games at center, from 1986-1993, and retired after the 1996 season.

In addition to his 3 ProBowl appearances, Hull was named to the Bills’ 50th Anniversary All-Time team in 2009, and inducted into the Buffalo Bills Wall of Fame in 2002. Jim Kelly called him one of the finest players that he ever played with and his best friend. Considered a smart tactician, Hull called plays for the line and also was a team captain for 7 seasons.  Kent Hull passed away at home on October 18th, 2011 and is survived by his wife and two children.

Smerlas, Fred

Cards: Score Supplemental 1990, Action Packed Rookies 1990
Acquired: TTM 1991, 1992 c/o The New England Patrioits

Fred Smerlas’ name alone feels like a lineman’s name. It so happens that Smerlas was a fire plug of a nose tackle, who is remembered for his playing time with the Bills, and then later for the 49ers and Patriots before he retired in 1992 after a 14 year career. Smerlas was a East Coast kind of guy, of Greek descent, playing for Boston College and then his time with the Bills and Patriots.  Smerlas career is interesting as when he was drafted in the second round by the Bills in 1979, the team had been a perennial doormat of the AFC East for years. His rise to prominence along the Bills defensive front helped solidify the Bills line and assisted in their climb to prominence.   During this period he’d be an integral part of Buffalo’s Bermuda Triangle Defense.

Fred notched 5 ProBowl appearances over his career (1980,1981, 1982, 1983,1988) and was a first team All Pro in 1982.  At the time of his retirement he was the all time leader in games played by an NT, and was third on the Bills list with a string of 155 consecutive games played, which is amazing considering he played in the trenches.

After football Smerlas has remained as popular as ever with his recognizable mustache and colorful persona. He has dabbled in a variety of business interests and considered even a run into the political arena along with his budding radio career.  A motorcyclist, Smerlas also gives a fair amount of his time and money away to charities. Smerlas was inducted into into the Bills 50th anniversary team in 2009.

Games 200       Sacks  29.5              Tac 383               FF  10
Int  2               Yds  28           Avg  14.0            TD 0