1983 Buffalo Bills season
Head Coach Kay Stephenson
Home Field Rich Stadium
Record 8-8
Place 3rd in AFC East
Playoff Finish Did not qualify for playoffs
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1982 1984
The 1983 Buffalo Bills season was the 24th season for the club and its 14th in the National Football League (NFL). It was the first of three seasons for head coach Kay Stephenson. Bills running back Joe Cribbs was both the Bills' leading rusher (1131 yards), and the team's leader in receptions and receiving yards (57 catches for 524 yards).[1] The team looked to improve on its 4-5 record from 1982. With the NFL schedule back to 16 games, the Bills were a more competitive team during 1983. The team started 5-2 through its first 7 games. However, they would struggle the rest of the way, as they went 3-6 in its final 9 games en route to a mediocre 8-8 season. This season also saw the Bills beat the Dolphins in Miami for the first time since 1966, Miami's inaugural season.


NFL draftEdit

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The Bills drafted future Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly, the third of a record six quarterbacks taken in the first round of the 1983 draft. Kelly would play for the USFL's Houston Gamblers from 1983–1985, before making his first start with the Bills in Week One of the 1986 season. The Bills later retired Kelly's #12, at the time the only number the franchise retired. Linebacker Darryl Talley played for twelve years with the Bills. He was a two-time Pro Bowler, in 1990 and 1991. He was inducted into the Bills Wall of Fame.

1983 Buffalo Bills draft picks[2]
Round Pick Player Position College Made Roster? Pro Bowl (?) HOF (?)
1 12 Tony Hunter Tight end Notre Dame Yes No No
1 14 Jim Kelly


Quarterback Miami (FL) Yes Yes Yes
2 39 Darryl Talley Linebacker West Virginia Yes Yes Yes
4 93 Trey Junkin Linebacker Louisiana Tech Yes No No
4 112 Jimmy Payne Defensive end Georgia No No No
5 126 Matt Vandenboom Defensive back Wisconsin No No No
7 180 Gurnest Brown Defensive tackle Maryland No No No
8 207 James Durham Defensive back Houston No No No
9 234 George Parker Running back Norfolk State No No No
10 260 Richard Tharpe Defensive tackle Louisville No No No
11 293 Larry White Defensive end Jackson State No No No
12 320 Julius Dawkins Wide receiver Pittsburgh Yes No No



1983 Buffalo Bills staff
Front Office
  • Majority Owner/Team President – Ralph Wilson
  • General Manager – Stew Barber
  • Senior Executive Vice President/Minority Owner – Pat McGroder
  • Vice President of Football Operations – Kay Stephenson
  • Vice President of Player Personnel – Norm Pollom

Coaching Staff

Offensive Coaches

Defensive/Special Teams Coaches

Special Assignments


1983 Buffalo Bills roster

Running Backs

Wide Receivers

Tight Ends

Offensive Linemen

Defensive Linemen

Linebackers Defensive Backs

Special Teams

Note: Rookies in italics


  1. 1983 was the last of Cribbs' three NFL Pro Bowl seasons before he left the NFL for the USFL's Birmingham Stallions in 1984.
  2. 1983 Buffalo Bills draftees. Retrieved on November 15, 2014.
  3. Went to play in the United States Football League (USFL), signing with Houston Gamblers, before signing with the Bills, who retained his draft rights, in 1986, upon the folding of the USFL.

External linksEdit

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