Levy: Put Tasker in the Hall

Talk of Fame Network

Hall-of-Fame coach Marv Levy began his pro football coaching career as a special teams coach, so he’s partial to guys who excel in that department. He’s also insistent that one who excelled more than others belongs in Canton.

Steve Tasker, come on down.

Tasker was a seven-time All-Pro who made his name as an extraordinary gunner -- forcing fumbles, making tackles and helping establish field position that launched the Buffalo Bills to four consecutive Super Bowls in the 1990s.

“There’s not been a special teamer in history that performed like Steve Tasker on our team,” Levy said on the most recent Talk of Fame broadcast. “Bill Parcells once told me, ‘We had to prepare harder for him than we did for Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas, Bruce Smith, any of them.’ Steve belongs in the Hall of Fame. It is one third of the game.”

Levy is one of six members of those Bills currently in the Hall (seven if you count owner Ralph Wilson). Kelly, Thomas, Smith, Andre Reed and James Lofton are the others, with general manager Bill Polian nominated for the Class of 2015 as part of the Hall’s inaugural contributors category.

All were part of a franchise that did what none other has – make it to four straight Super Bowls – and while they didn’t win one, they were one of the game's most memorable teams. Unfortunately for Buffalo, the Bills never returned to the Super Bowl after 1993, and we wondered if the advent of free agency (1993) and a salary cap (1994) changed the landscape for Bills.

“It definitely had impact,” said Levy. “I can remember when free agency was there, and we had all these top-flight players. Ralph Wilson, our great owner, and Bill Polian called me in, and said, ‘Marv, who are the ten best players we got?’ And I said, ‘What do you mean?’ They pinned me down, (and) I reeled off the names of ten of them. And then they said, ‘All right, which six are we going to be able to keep?’ And I said, ‘What do you mean?’ They said. ‘Well, we can’t keep all of them.’ Wow, was that a blow.”