Whereas the modern NFL is a passing league with more emphasis on outscoring opponents, in Tasker’s day it was all about slowing the game down and focusing on field position. Back then, the Bills gunner could change the momentum and direction of a game with one hit, and essentially helped turn prioritizing field position into an effective strategy. Whether it was sticking a hit on a punt returner the moment they caught the ball, blocking a punt, forcing a fumble, or breaking through tackles for long kick return, Tasker turned special teams into a valuable asset as well as an art form. No one else in the league came even close to doing what he did. But he wasn’t particularly focused on perfecting the skill position; he Pat Edwards Authentic Womens Jersey was simply capitalizing on an opportunity to play football. Tasker knew he’d only get on the field for maybe 20 to 25 snaps per game. So every time he stepped in for a play, he intended to make the most of it.
“I knew that was the only way I could be part of the team,” Tasker said. “Early in my career, when the rosters were expanded to more than 36 guys, there was room at the bottom on the rosters for guys to just cover kicks. I got in on that. I knew that I wasn’t going to get on the field over Andre or James Lofton, and I wanted to be on the team. And I was successful at it.”
“Tasker is an intriguing candidate because he doesn’t necessarily incite passion as with some other polarizing candidates,” said Clark Judge, writer and host of the Talk of Fame Network and an at-large selector. “There’s a lot of grey area there. It has nothing to do with him, it has to do with what he played—which is special teams.
“With the Hall of Fame, it comes down to numbers, numbers, numbers. Like sacks. We know double-digit sacks over the course of a season is a high number. What do we know about special teams tackles? We don’t.It’s difficult to measure what Tasker did, because there aren’t exact stats to measure.”
“In this day of advanced stats, there are more sophisticated numbers,” Judge later added, “but people on the outside don’t know about them and don’t care. The only numbers we really hear about with special teams is punt averages, return yards, and field goal percentage.”
Marv Levy is among those Hall of Famers who want Tasker to join them.
Still, Judge believes that special teams doesn’t get the respect it deserves. In Rashean Mathis Authentic Womens Jersey the 53-year history of the Hall of Fame, only one two special teams players have been inducted—pure place kicker Jan Stenerud, in 1991 and Raiders punter Ray Guy, in 2014. For Guy, it took more than a quarter-century to get there. (Guy was a senior candidate, meaning he had been out of the league for at least 25 years and involves a different voting process than Modern Era candidates.)
Mark Gaughan, a sportswriter for The Buffalo News for the past 32 years, was in the room for those discussions during the 12 years he sat on the Hall of Fame Selection Committee.