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Remember Danny Abramowicz playing for Bills? He doesn't either

By Tim Graham

Along a One Bills Drive corridor that goes past the weight room and to the field house are tiles for everyone who has played for the Buffalo Bills.

One of those tiles has Danny Abramowicz on it.

Stat databases, however, don't show Abramowicz played for the Bills.

While speaking with Abramowicz this week for an NFL Sunday story on Drew Brees, I asked the original New Orleans Saints' star about it.

"I was dressed," Abramowicz said from his home in Chicago. "I never even got off the bench."

Abramowicz's career was past its twilight in 1975. He was only 30 years old, but that was considered used-up in those days.

He signed with the Bills as a favor to Bills receivers coach Bob Shaw, who had been with the Saints and needed help when Ahmad Rashad went down with an injury.

"I really didn't want to do it, but I started looking at their team," Abramowicz said. "They had O.J. and Joe Ferguson.

"I told my wife, 'You know, these guys might go to the Super Bowl. I'm going to give it one more chance.' "

Abramowicz had been a great player for the Saints. He was an All-Pro and led the NFL with 73 receptions in 1969. He finished third in catches twice. He held the NFL record for consecutive games with a catch.

But Bills coach Lou Saban wouldn't put Abramowicz on the field.

"I said to Lou, 'I'll do special teams or do whatever. I'm here to help you out. I'll run down on a kickoff or do something,' " Abramowicz said. "They had some young receivers I could've helped."

Saban's reluctance bolstered Abramowicz's doubts. Then came the Western New York weather.

"I'll never forget," Abramowicz said. "Joe Ferguson and I were living in a little motel up there. I woke up one morning, and it was October.

"I couldn't hear no traffic. I threw the blinds open and said, 'Joe! It's snowing sideways out here, man!' He says, 'You've got to be kidding me!' I called my wife down in New Orleans and said, 'What's going on with you guys?' She said, 'Well, we're probably going to barbecue today.'

"I said, 'Well, I'll be home tomorrow.' I told Lou, 'I think you need to go with some young guy. I haven't even got my uniform dirty.' So I stepped away."

Abramowicz's time with Buffalo lasted two gameless weeks.

Just as well, he figured.

"When you start losing a step toward the end of your career, that's how you get hurt," Abramowicz said. "I wasn't very fast, but I relied on quickness and could catch the ball. If you can't get out of the way of those guys, you're going to get tore up."

Abramowicz, a 17th-round draft choice, played 111 games for the Saints and San Francisco 49ers. He made 369 catches for 5,686 yards and 39 touchdowns.

Abramowicz remained in the New Orleans area and worked as the Saints' radio analyst before a coaching career. He was Mike Ditka's special-teams coach with the Chicago Bears and offensive coordinator for the Saints.

Abramowicz now lives in Chicago so he can be near his children and grandchildren. He also co-hosts the show "Crossing the Goal" on Catholic television network EWTN.

tagged

Joe Ferguson | Lou Saban | O.J. Simpson
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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham | tgraham@buffnews.com


Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan | mgaughan@buffnews.com


Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski | jskurski@buffnews.com

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