Bills Great Kent Hull Dies from intestinal bleeding

October 18, 2011 Updated Oct 19, 2011 at 1:18 PM EDT

By WKBW News


Bills Great Kent Hull Dies from intestinal bleeding

October 18, 2011 Updated Oct 19, 2011 at 1:18 PM EDT

Buffalo ( Former Bills legend Kent Hull, a key part of the teams Super Bowl run in the 1990's, has passed away. Officials at the Leflore County Coroners office in Mississippi confirmed with Eyewitness News on Wednesday that the cause of death was a G.I. Bleed (intestinal bleeding).

Hull was 50 years old.

The three-time pro bowl center played from 1986 to 1997 for the Bills, and appeared in all four Super Bowls with the team in the early 1990's.
He was a member of the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame, and the Bills Wall of Fame.

Former Bills WR Andre Reed told Eyewitness Sports he was shocked and saddended by the news. "Kent was not only a great football player, one of the best centers that every played in my opinion, but also a great person.", said Reed. "He was the anchor of our offensive line, the anchor of our offense. What more can I say? He was one of us. One of the nicest guys you'll ever meet.", continued Reed.

Bills Hall of Fame QB Jim Kelly who joined the Bills with Hull in the summer of 1986 released this statement on Tuesday night.

"Words fall short when the pain runs so deep. I’m finding it hard to describe what this loss means to me and my family."

"Kent Hull was my best friend."

"A man of great courage, faith and character."
"He will be missed and never forgotten."

"My family and I will continue to pray for Kent’s wife Kay and his two children, Drew and Ellen as they grieve the loss of this great man. "

Eyewitness News will have fan, player, and reaction from the Buffalo BIlls.

Here is a bio on Kent from the Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame website:

When Bills' fans recall the no-huddle offense that terrorized NFL defenses in the early 1990s, the names Kelly, Thomas and Reed spring quickly to mind, for these were the marquee players who lit up the scoreboard. As vital as these men were to the Bills success, each one would undoubtedly acknowledge that the key to the no-huddle offense was its brilliant offensive line, anchored by All-Pro center Kent Hull.

As a boy growing up in the delta town of Greenwood, Mississippi, Hull didn't hunger for the NFL; basketball was his first passion. Although he starred in both sports in high school, football eventually won out as his tall frame began to fill out. He was the starting center at Mississippi State for four seasons and parlayed an outstanding college career into selection as a seventh round pick of the New Jersey Generals of the United States Football League in 1983. Hull didn't anticipate an NFL career when the USFL folded after three seasons, but he also never anticipated the injury to center Tim Vogler which created an opportunity for an experienced center with the Buffalo Bills. The Bills signed Hull in August 1986, on the same day that Jim Kelly became a Bill.

Kent's versatility was the key to his success, and to his NFL longevity. The Bills ran a traditional offense upon Kelly's arrival and ran it well enough to win division titles in 1988 and 1989. Hull's contributions to those teams were recognized by selection to the Pro-Bowl squad in 1989. However, the birth of the no-huddle offense in 1990 not only changed the team's offensive philosophy, but placed new demands and responsibilities on its center. Hull not only adapted, but flourished, gaining Pro-Bowl status in 1990 and 1991 as the Bills won their first two American Football Conference Championships.

The complexity of any center's job is often unappreciated by fans, but this was particularly true in Hull's situation. The no-huddle offense is severely physically demanding and forces a center to read defenses and react quickly. The Bills' wide-open offense also required Hull to block opposing nose tackles one-on-one. Hull's teammates appreciated the key role he played as the hub of the offense, however, and his coaches considered him among the best ever to play the game at his position.

Hull's contract expired after the Bills' disappointing 1994 season, but he eschewed potential riches elsewhere to stay with the Bills for two additional seasons. His loyalty was rewarded by two more trips to the playoffs in 1995 and 1996. In 1997, Kent's years of tireless, quiet service to his team were recognized by the community as he joins teammate Jim Kelly as the first members of the Bills' Super Bowl teams inducted into the Greater Buffalo Sports Hall of Fame.

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