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Bills Players React to Wilson's Passing

Orchard Park, NY (WBEN) Bills of the past and present came to One Bills Drive to give their thoughts and memories of Ralph Wilson as news broke of his passing.


Steve Tasker
Booker Edgerson
Thurman Thomas
Former Coach Marv Levy
Joe DeLamilleure
Thurman Thomas: My heart's been heavy for the last 24-48 hours, and with Mr. Wilson passing away, it hurts. I was truly blessed to be around Mr. Wilson during the glory days, to see the passion, his energy, the love for the game he had when we were an exciting team and to see him in the locker room after the game. I'm going to miss him, without a doubt. He used to call me his favorite son, we laughed and joked about it. When you have that type of relationship, that hits home.

Steve Tasker: A lot of Bills fans have been standing on this cliff for a long time, but for those of us who played for him and knew him, we were hoping the day would never come. I am brokenhearted over this. He's a guy who not only I had a lot of affection for personally, but I have a lot of respect for him, and I owed a lot of my success in my peraonal and professional life to him and this organization. I've never forgotten that and I never will.

Fred Jackson: He made a point to be here, even though he wasn't here physically. We did hear from him, it just wasn't directly from him. I've been in the locker room when he'd come in pregame and walk through the room and talk to us, and give us speeches at training camp and minicamp. We are motivated to cement his legacy and honor him, and what a great way to honor him by winning a lot of football games this year.

Ruben Brown: Ralph came around the team often and we got to know him on a decent level. I didn't get to spend as much time as I'd like, but he made time for players, especially those who played well. I did get to spend some time with Ralph. We always had a peraonal relationship with him, and I have a deep affection for him because he is the only person who hired me for my first job. The only real job I had, the only real job that mattered.

Bill Polian: I'm eternally grateful to Mr. Wilson for giving me the opportunity to be general manager, and giving Marv and I the opportunity to build up a great football team. I know for a fact during my tenure that he had opportunities to entertain offers to move the franchise to other cities, but he gave his word and he said the Bills would never leave Buffalo in his lifetime, and he was as good as his word. While he was a fierce competitor and a tough boss, on a peraonal level, he cared about you and your family. There was never a conversation where he didn't ask about the family.

Don Beebe: I was one of the fortunate 24 guys who played in all four Super Bowls under him, and I think if you asked all 24 they'll tell you they had the time of their lives. To play for an icon guy who ran a first class outfit. One of the original owners of the AFL, and turning into what it is today, is one of the fondest memories of my lifetime. I always appreciated his stoic, humble approach. He'd show up at practice and roam the sidelines, talk to the players. It was always good to see Mr. Wilson.

Mark Kelso: He was expressly adamant about character guys, guys involved in the community because he felt that was the formula of success on the field. He loved coming into the locker room and talking to everyone on the team, and having a Christmas party with everyone in the organization together from the players to the coaching staff and administrative assistants. He loved being at games cheering on his team.



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Topics : Human InterestSports
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Locations : Buffalo
People : Bill PolianDon BeebeFred JacksonMark KelsoRuben BrownSteve TaskerThurman Thomas
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