The 300: #9 Steve Tasker

It’s the ninth entry in our 300 and time for our first wide receiver – or is it?


Houston Oilers (1985-1986)

Buffalo Bills (1986-1997)



Wide Receiver, Special Teamer



The NFL has never officially recognised ‘special teamer’ as a position. Officially, all special teams players have another position assigned to them. And, officially, Steve Tasker was a wide receiver. Except that at just 5’9″ tall, he was a bit on the short side for that position, especially in an era where the presence of a slot receiver was far less common than it is today.

What Tasker was, though. was quick and brave. Unusually for an (at least officially) offensive player, he was regarded as one of the hardest tacklers of his time. These qualities were put to good use as a specialist special teams performer. When the Bills (who he joined after an uneventful time in Houston) kicked or punted, the opposing receiver would often catch the ball and then find himself flattened by Tasker a fraction of a second later.

He could play the other way, too. Although he was sparingly used as a kick returner, he notched up a 67 yard touchdown return in his career. And, despite not seeking playing time at that position, he did also enter games as a wide receiver, scoring nine touchdowns in his career.

Tasker certainly wasn’t the first player to make a name for himself as a contributor on special teams, but he was almost certainly the first to become known solely for his play in that part of the game. Arguably, that alone justifies the place in the Hall of Fame that he is still waiting for.

Richard O’Hagan



Richard O'Hagan
Writer on such diverse topics as sport, music, theatre, law and politics. Author of 'Eddie the Sheep'. Supporter of underachieving teams, including the Chicago Bears from before that brief, heady, period in the mid-1980s when they were actually any good. All I want for Christmas is a Jim McMahon away shirt.
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    Richard O'Hagan
    Richard O’Hagan

    It’s the ninth entry in our 300 and time for our first wide receiver – or is it? NFL CAREER Houston Oilers (1985-1986) Buffalo Bills (1986-1997)
    [See the full post at: The 300: #9 Steve Tasker]

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