Center Kent Hull remembered warmly by family, Bills teammates

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Center Kent Hull might have been the silent "K" on a Buffalo Bills "K-Gun" offense led by Hall of Fame quarterback Jim Kelly. Make no mistake, it was Hull's grit and quick thinking that provided the no-huddle attack true pop in its heyday in the early 1990s.

Hull was remembered Wednesday as much for his leadership and toughness on the field as for his gentlemanly nature off it. The 50-year-old Hull died suddenly in his native Greenwood, Miss.

"Kent was a terrific player for us, who was often overshadowed by some of the bigger names we had in our Super Bowl teams," Bills owner Ralph Wilson said in a statement released by the team. "But Kent was one of the key components of our team and of our high-powered offenses in the 1990s."

Wilson added there was so much more to Hull than the No. 67 jersey he wore for the Bills from 1986-96.

"He was a true gentleman who was as nice as anyone you'd ever want to meet, and as tough as any player I've ever known," Wilson added. "If you were lucky enough to have Kent as a friend, you had a cherished friend for life."

Leflore County, Miss., coroner Will Gnemi ruled that Hull died from gastrointestinal bleeding just before 5 p.m.

"It's certainly a sad day for his family, the Bills family and all of those who loved him," Hall of Fame defensive end Bruce Smith said. "Kent was an incredible teammate, human being and friend. No matter what your status was on the team, he treated everyone the same."

Hull was a three-time Pro Bowl selection. He missed only two games with the Bills.

Hull broke into pro football in 1983 with the USFL New Jersey Generals, and was signed by the Bills once the league folded.

"He had the warmth and strength that was very attractive to other people," said Mike McEnany, Hull's roommate for two seasons at Mississippi State. "He was the kind of guy that if he had 20 bucks, you had 20 bucks. And he was an amazing football player, but he never felt comfortable talking about it. He wanted to talk about you."

McEnany added: "He was the kind of guy that everyone wants their son to be like when they grow up."

Hull was heavily involved in charitable organizations, including the United Negro College Fund and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Upon his retirement, Hull focused on working his large cattle ranch in northeastern Mississippi.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press

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