Mark Pike, a versatile defensive player and special teams player for the legendary 1990s Bills, has died. He was 57.
Pike passed away from non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. His condition was complicated by a recent bout with COVID-19, which led to pneumonia, the Bills' release says.
Buffalo selected Pike out of Georgia Tech in the seventh round of the 1986 NFL draft. He played his entire 13-year NFL career with the franchise and retired after the '98 season.
He played both linebacker and defensive end, but his legacy was built on special teams. His 255 tackles on special teams make him the Bills' record holder. He is second in NFL history in special teams tackles behind former Patriots linebacker Larry Izzo.
“He was a big man who played special teams, which was a matchup nightmare for our opponents,” said Bills great Steve Tasker said. “He was a unique specimen. His ability to run and play special teams with his versatility was unbelievable."
Legendary Bills coach Marv Levy, who coached Pike for the first 11 years of his career, said Pike was a model player for the team.
“It had been such a great privilege for me to have been his coach with the Buffalo Bills during the 1990s when Mark had been such an integral part in contributing to the success our teams enjoyed during our four trips to those Super Bowl games and beyond,” Levy said. “Mark was not only an outstanding defensive lineman, linebacker and special teams standout, but he was the epitome of all that I had ever hoped our players would be like.”
Pike played in the team's four-straight Super Bowl appearances, from 1990 to '93, appearing in 173 games for the franchise.
He is survived by his wife, Sharon, and three children, sons Ezekiel and Malachi and daughter Kramer.
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