TALLEY: Veteran 'gratified' Bills are getting last laugh

January 23, 1991|By Ken Murray

TAMPA, Fla. -- What Darryl Talley remembers from his formative years with the Buffalo Bills are the knock-knock jokes.


"Who's there?"


"Owen who?"

"Owen-eight, Owen-10," Talley said with a wince during th opening round of interviews for Super Bowl XXV.

Talley, a linebacker, is one of two current Bills who were on th field through a pair of 2-14 seasons and a 4-12 campaign in the mid-1980's. Guard Jim Richter is the other.

Which is what makes this more "gratifying" for Talley. Th eight-year veteran said it hit him yesterday morning when he pulled on his Bills jersey with its new Super Bowl patch. And then he remembered those consecutive 2-14 teams in 1984-85.

"You have to remember that," he said. "It's what drives you. Tha and pride."

Talley's pride has driven him a long way since. He is the unsun member of an excellent group of Bills linebackers, so much so that teammate Bruce Smith calls Talley the best linebacker in the NFL. The irony for Talley this week is that he wears No. 56, which is more famous on the back of the Giants' Lawrence Taylor.

"If I'm underrated, would somebody please rate me?" said Talley who intercepted two passes in last Sunday's 51-3 AFC title rout, returning one for a score.

The Bills, who will send eight players to the Pro Bowl in tw weeks, generally feel Talley should have been the ninth. He takes his Pro Bowl snub in stride, though.

"I can't let me not making the Pro Bowl weigh on my back," h said. "This [reach the Super Bowl] is what I wanted to do. If the guys around the league don't think I'm good enough to go there, I'll go out and prove it."


TAMPA, Fla. -- Cornerback Mark Collins, an emerging star in the New York Giants' defensive galaxy, says great defense wins championships, while "offense sells tickets." As for great defense, Collins says, "I think we have that in the Giants."

The Giants need to play inspired defense in Super Bowl XXV o Sunday because they face a team, the Buffalo Bills, that sold a bunch of tickets this season.

Collins' primary task will be to cover Andre Reed, a six-year ve and the Bills' all-time leading receiver. Reed won a Dec. 15 matchup with Collins, making four catches for 54 yards and one TD in the Bills' 17-13 win. The no-huddle offense stunned the Giants for two TDs.

"We knew it was coming, we just didn't execute well," Collin said. "I came away with some things I'll do differently this time."

Said Reed of Collins: "He's probably one of the best defenders i the league. He plays smart and heady. He doesn't gamble too much."

Told that Miami tried to cover Reed with a safety in a playof game two weeks ago, Collins grinned and said, "That's stupid. That's why they're home watching the game."

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