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Steve Tasker
No. 89     
Wide receiver / Special teamer / Gunner
Personal information
Date of birth: (1962-04-10) April 10, 1962 (age 57)
Place of birth: Smith Center, Kansas[1]
Height: 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m) Weight: 183 lb (83 kg)
Career information
College: Northwestern
NFL Draft: 1985 / Round: 9 / Pick: 226
Debuted in 1985 for the Houston Oilers
Last played in 1997 for the Buffalo Bills
Career history
Career highlights and awards
Receptions     51
Receiving Yards     779
Touchdowns     9
Stats at NFL.com

Steven Jay Tasker (born April 10, 1962 in Smith Center, Kansas) is a broadcaster for CBS Sports, who previously was a wide receiver/gunner in the National Football League. He was drafted in the ninth round (226th overall) of the 1985 NFL Draft by the Houston Oilers. He played college football at Northwestern. He began his college career at Dodge City Community College.

Tasker played most of his pro career with the Buffalo Bills, and was voted by Bills fans to the teams 50th season All-time Team.[2]

College careerEdit

Tasker first attended Dodge City Community College. After two years, he transferred to Northwestern University where he played the final two years of his college career before joining the National Football League. After finishing his college football career, and before being drafted into the NFL, he joined the school's rugby team. Although he had never played rugby before, he was named most valuable player at the Big Ten Conference Tournament.[3] Tasker continues to hold the Northwestern Wildcats football career record for kickoff return average (24.3).[4]

Professional careerEdit

Tasker was selected in the ninth round (226th overall) of the 1985 NFL Draft by the Houston Oilers where he played for two seasons. He was claimed off waivers by the Buffalo Bills on November 8, 1986.[5]

Tasker was officially listed as a wide receiver, however, most of his playing time came as a gunner, on punts and kickoffs. However, after he joined the Buffalo Bills, he began to play at wide receiver more than with the Oilers.

Play as gunnerEdit

Tasker stands just 5 feet 9 inches (1.75 m) tall and weighed 183 lbs., however, despite his lack of size, he gained a reputation as one of the league's most feared hitters, forcing numerous fumbles. Contributing to his success in breaking up kick and punt returns was his speed; he was almost always the first player to reach the return man. He was the first player to establish himself as a star almost exclusively through special teams play without being either a kicker or a returner.

Tasker played in seven Pro Bowls (1987 and 1990-1995) and became the only special teamer ever to be named the game's MVP in 1993.

Many, including former teammate and Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly, consider him to be the greatest special teams player of all-time and believe that he should be in the Hall of Fame. He was even ranked #9 on the NFL Network's NFL Top 10 Players Not in the Hall of Fame.

After footballEdit

Tasker is currently a color commentator for CBS football telecasts as well as play-by-play for the local broadcasts of Bills pre-season games, working alongside his former coach, Marv Levy, who also did color commentary until becoming the General Manager of the Bills in 2006. In 2007, Ray Bentley took over Levy's place as play-by-play announcer while Tasker provided color commentary. Tasker is also the spokesperson for the West Herr Auto Group. Tasker currently works with Bill Macatee during the regular season and is on the sidelines with Jim Nantz, Phil Simms, and during the playoffs. He also worked with Don Criqui (Criqui, himself a Buffalo native, and Tasker were assigned to the majority of Bills games from 1999 to 2004) and was best known working with Gus Johnson until Johnson left for FOX Sports. He and Johnson called the David Garrard game winning Hail Mary touchdown pass for the Jacksonville Jaguars' win over the Houston Texans in 2010.

On September 9, 2007, Tasker became the 24th person inducted to the Bills Wall of Fame.[6]

On November 22, 2011, Tasker was named one of the semifinalists in balloting for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.[7][8]

TriviaEdit

ESPN sportscaster Chris Berman gave Tasker one of his famous nicknames: Steve "A-Tisker, A" Tasker. Tasker was ejected from his final NFL game, a loss to the Green Bay Packers in 1997, for bumping a referee.

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. http://www.databasefootball.com/players/playerpage.htm?ilkid=TASKESTE01
  2. Major, Andy (April 25, 2009). "Bills All-Time Team Fan Voting Determined 26 Total Members". Buffalo Bills. http://www.buffalobills.com/news/article-1/bills-all-time-team-fan-voting-determined-26-total-members/892eb237-0f28-4bab-a22e-9b8c399ade64. Retrieved August 9, 2009.
  3. [1] Sullivan, Jerry, "Tasker elevates Bills' depth chart to new heights." Buffalo News,(Buffalo, New York) May 8, 1996, page C1. ProQuest (subscription) document ID 16933668.
  4. Northwestern Football 2011 Yearbook. NUSports.com. 2011. p. 162.
  5. "The Month of November in Bills History". Buffalo Bills. http://www.buffalobills.com/team/history/important-dates-november.html. Retrieved August 9, 2009.[dead link]
  6. "Steve Tasker Wall of Fame Ceremony". http://www.buffalobills.com/media-lounge/videos/steve-tasker-wall-of-fame-ceremony/ccb67893-439c-42db-8642-e392c246b586. Retrieved August 9, 2009.
  7. Class of 2012 semifinalists, Pro Football Hall of Fame, November 22, 2011.
  8. Pro Football Hall Of Fame Announces 26 Semifinalists, Sports Illustrated, November 23, 2011.

External linksEdit

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Michael Irvin (1991)
Pro Bowl MVP
1992
Succeeded by
Andre Rison (1993)
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