Bills induct Talley onto Wall of Fame

Updated: October 20, 2003, 3:51 PM ET
ESPN

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- The Buffalo Bills honored former linebacker Darryl Talley as the 20th member of their Wall of Fame on Sunday.

Talley was awarded at a halftime ceremony during the Bills game against the Washington Redskins.

"This day means just about everything to me," said Talley. "It's a stepping stone towards getting me to where I want to go and that's Canton."

A second-round 1983 draft pick, Talley never missed a game during his 12-year career with Buffalo, playing in 188 contests and four Super Bowls from 1983-94.

He finished his Bills career with 1,137 tackles, ranking second on the all-time franchise list. Talley also is fifth on the team's all-time sacks list with 38.5.

"He was a great leader for the team," said Bills' owner Ralph C. Wilson, Jr.

Talley retired from the NFL after the 1996 season after playing one year with Atlanta (1995) and Minnesota (1996).

When asked by the Bills over the summer to pick a date for the ceremony, Talley selected the Washington game so his former teammate and roommate, Bruce Smith, could participate in the event. The two embraced in the tunnel before Smith went onto the field for pre-game warm-ups.

"Very rarely do you come across someone that you have so much in common with," said Talley. "We both love football and he's as close to me as a brother."

Smith played for the Bills from 1985-1999 before he was cut in a salary cap move.

After showing a short highlight video, Wilson presented Talley with a commemorative ring.

Talley was a major component on a Bills team that captured four-straight AFC Championships from 1990-1993, averaging 120 tackles. He also was named to the Pro Bowl in 1990 and 1991.

"A lot of people said that we were lucky," said Talley. "Yeah, we may have been lucky, but we were also damn good."

Former teammates Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas and Kent Hull along with coaches Marv Levy and Walt Corey joined Talley, who wore his No. 56 jersey, at midfield for the ceremony.

After his retirement, Talley returned to Buffalo in 2000 to receive the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Distinguished Service Award.

Talley currently lives in Orlando, Fla. and owns a barricade company for traffic control devices in Lakeland, Fla.

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