Former Buffalo Bills ’90s Player Mark Pike Passes Away
The Bills teams of the late-80s to the mid-90s will forever hold a special place in the hearts of Buffalonians' hearts forever. The team went to four straight Super Bowls, along with four other playoff runs between 1988-1996. They never won the whole thing, but accomplished everything else that era.
Everyone knows about Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas, Andre Reed, Bruce Smith and Steve Tasker, but the Bills also had another unsung hero on special teams, who played for the Bills for over a decade. His name was Mark Pike.
On Wednesday, the Bills announced that Pike passed away at the age of 57 after a long and courageous battle with Non-Hodgkins lymphoma.
Mark Pike played 13 seasons for the Bills from 1986-1998 and was a key player for the Bills special teams, as he looked to tackle kick returners and destroy blocks.
Pike was drafted in the 7th round out of Georgia Tech in 1986 and played his entire career for Buffalo, which was rare, even for back then.
To play special teams in the National Football League, a player must posses both size and speed. Pike was listed as a defensive lineman, but was quick enough to run down kick returners, and was very important in kick coverage, which was why the Bills valued him for so many seasons.
In fact, Pike has the second most special teams tackles in NFL history -- only behind longtime New England Patriots special teams specialist, Larry Izzo. Pike led the Bills in special teams tackles for seven of his final eight seasons.
My dad used to always mention how underrated Pike was to those Super Bowl teams, and even played one season with Doug Flutie and Rob Johnson with Wade Phillips as head coach.
Rest in peace to a Bills legend.