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This Birthday in Buffalo Sports History: Frank Lewis

     (Born July 4, 1947) -- A retrospective of the career of Frank Lewis is very instructive. After all, how many wide receivers in the National Football League have their best seasons after the age of 30?

     Lewis was a first-round draft pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers out of Grambling in 1971. He was picked before John Brockington, Jack Tatum and Jack Youngblood.

     The receiver spent most of his rookie year on the bench, but moved into the starting lineup in 1972. He caught 27 passes for a Steelers team that was just starting to come into its own with such players as Terry Bradshaw and Franco Harris. But soon Lynn Swann and John Stallworth arrived at Lewis' position, and Frank had trouble getting footballs thrown to him.

     It was no surprise, then, that Lewis was traded in 1978. He went to the Bills for Paul Seymour, who flunked his physical so that the Steelers got nothing in the trade. In his first year as a Bill, Lewis caught a career-high 41 passes. He upted that number to 54 in 1979, and 70 in 1981.

     Lewis finished his time with the Bills after the 1983 season. He had caught 269 passes in 80 games as a Bill, and averaged 17.2 yards per catch.

--- Budd Bailey


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About Sports, Ink

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey

Budd Bailey has served in a variety of roles in Buffalo sports in the past 35 years, including reporter, talk-show host, baseball announcer, public relations staffer and author. He covers the Bandits and running for The News when not working as an editor.