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The Bills' center of attention

It became something of a ritual after Buffalo Bills' home games during their memorable run in the early 1990s.

After a Bills' win -- and they usually won -- the media would gather around the big stars of the team. Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas, Andre Reed and Bruce Smith would give their description of the day's events.

From there, the reporters would head over to Kent Hull's locker. There they would find out what really happened in the game. Hull was the best analyst on that team.

I covered those teams as a stringer for the Associated Press, which meant I stuck my nose into those media scrums on a regular basis. I always had the impression that Hull wasn't particularly comfortable with the attention from reporters. But he knew it was part of the job, so he did the best he could at it -- and that was more than good enough for everyone, just like it was on the field.

Yes, the Bills' no-huddle offense needed great players at the skill positions, and it had that. But it also needed someone who could call the right signals on the offensive line without much time for thought. Hull obviously did that, and did it brilliantly.

I always had the sense that Hull would be more than content to head home to Mississippi when his career was done and not think much about football again, and that more or less was what he did. He deserved more time to do that. Hull will be missed by all who dealt with him on a professional and personal basis.

--- Budd Bailey


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