Inside The Bills

Andre open to coaching in NFL

Posted by Chris Brown on February 5, 2014 – 12:03 pm

He was a minority fellowship coach with the Chiefs this past summer, and just this past January coached receivers in the NFLPA bowl, an all-star game for NFL draft prospects. It has Bills Hall of Famer strongly considering a career in coaching.

In an appearance on the John Murphy show Tuesday, Reed admitted it’s something he’s given a lot of thought.

“I really enjoyed myself in California at the NFLPA bowl. I enjoyed myself in a couple of other bowl games that I’ve been in. I really enjoyed myself in Kansas City last year with Andy Reid’s staff,” Reed said. “Being back in the pro game as a coach I’m sure if I want to pursue it I can do that.

“I wouldn’t say it’s on the back burner, but it’s definitely a possibility. I’m sure I’m going to be busy for the next six months getting ready for Canton. The door is open. Canton opened up and this other door is going to open. I always say when one door closes another opens up. I have to really just see if it’s what I want to do and what the best situation might be.”


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Reed says Tim Brown should be next for HOF

Posted by Chris Brown on February 5, 2014 – 11:50 am

Bills Hall of Fame WR Andre Reed made an appearance on the John Murphy Show Tuesday evening and talked about the logjam of receivers that’s existed on the finalist list for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. He’s convinced it’s part of what led to the nine-year wait he had before being chosen for enshrinement in Canton. Unfortunately Reed sees the problem at the receiver position for the Hall continuing, but when it comes to wideouts he knows who he thinks should go into the Hall next.

“The logjam is going to continue,” Reed said. “The next guy that should be in is Tim Brown. He should be the next guy in line because that’s my era. Marvin Harrison is in a different era with T.O. and (Randy) Moss and Isaac Bruce and Hines Ward and all the other guys coming up. I think it’s going be more difficult for them than it was for all the guys who were bunched up in my era with Tim (Brown), Cris (Carter), Jerry (Rice), Michael Irvin and myself going up against each other.  The game has changed so dramatically to a passing game that what is going to be the criteria to put a wide receiver in the Hall of Fame?”

Isaac Bruce is going to be one of the new eligibles for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2015.


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Teammate: Andre Reed changed WR

Posted by johnmurphyshow on February 3, 2014 – 8:00 pm

Steve Tasker made his living on special teams, during his Wall of Fame career with the Buffalo Bills. But he also played wide receiver. And Tasker says teammate Andre Reed, elected to the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday, changed the way the receiver position was played during his career.

Tasker was a guest Monday night on The John Murphy Show, and he talked about Reed’s career and how he helped the WR position evolve.

“Nobody before him had the kind of career he had,” Tasker said. “He was the guy in that no huddle, in a league that was changing into more of what we see now, he was the slot guy.”

Tasker says Reed’s performance over the years opened eyes all over the league as to the potential production that could come out of the slot WR spot.

“He played Wes Welker’s spot ten years before Welker was in the league, and he made a living doing it,” Tasker told host John Murphy.

“He was different, at the time he played. His ability and the way he ran and the way he played was different from a lot of guys. The way he ran, his run after the catch was legendary.”

The entire interview with Steve Tasker is available here


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How Andre’s stage dive almost injured Kelly

Posted by Chris Brown on February 3, 2014 – 5:41 pm

Andre Reed was naturally excited about being named to the Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2014. He was even more excited to see his teammates Saturday night. Fellow Hall of Famers Bruce Smith and Jim Kelly were in attendance at the NFL Honors show and they attended the press conference after the show was over where the Hall of Famers were introduced.

“When I finally found out from Bruce and when it was over and they announced the Hall of Famers and Andre came out and me and Bruce were up front,” said Kelly on WGR Sportsradio 550. “Andre saw us and jumped off the stage right on me and I’m like, ‘Ohhhh my back?!’”

Kelly has had a couple of back surgeries the past couple of years, and his back was not in any shape to withstand a stage dive. Reed admitted he was a little over exuberant.

“I know when I came out at the NFL Honors thing I saw Bruce and Jim and Marv Levy,” Reed told Buffalobills.com. “Out of the whole crowd those were the first people I saw. My guys. I came off and I jumped on Jim and I almost hurt his back. I forgot he had back surgery and I jumped on him.”


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Teammates on Andre’s HOF nod

Posted by Chris Brown on February 3, 2014 – 5:35 pm

A handful of his teammates, his head coach and general manager were in New York when Andre Reed was named as a member of the 2014 Hall of Fame class over the weekend. They shared their feelings with us and on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550 Monday.

“For him I thought well finally,” Steve Tasker told Buffalobills.com. “I knew it would happen and I had been keen to listen to other guys who had to wait, like Cris Carter and some other guys, who had to wait for a while. Longer than you would think they would have to wait to get into the Hall of Fame. And all of them said when it happens it doesn’t matter how long you had to wait. You’re a Hall of Famer. Andre has been a Hall of Famer for the guys who played with him and fans that watched him here in Buffalo for 20 years. It was great and well deserved.”

“We were in New York. We had tickets to the Honors Program. We were hoping of course and they announced Andre’s name and he showed up on the big screen and my wife Fran let out a big scream,” said Marv Levy in an appearance on WGR Sportsradio 550. “It’s a thrill, but up there on that screen for Andre and the others, it’s like having your son being announced as a member of the Hall of Fame.”

“I couldn’t be happier,” said Bill Polian on WGR Sportsradio 550. “This was a long time coming. For some reason, I don’t know why, I just felt this was the year. Every voter that I talked to and I was blatantly electioneering and I kept telling them it’s his time put him in and they did.”

“To know that I had something to do with it, knowing there were many players that had a lot to do with me going into the Hall of Fame so to be able to impact somebody else’s life and their play on the football field, when Thurman got in it was very special and when James Lofton went in it was very special and of course Bruce, who was one of the greatest to play that position of all time,” said Jim Kelly on WGR Sportsradio 550. “Andre and I think we hooked up over 600 times on receptions and know that he should’ve been in a long time ago, to finally get there and feel the impact it had on my heart when they announced that he was in and the feeling of knowing he finally got it. He carried a little chip and we all did a little bit. He’s in and that’s what counts and I cannot wait for August.”

 


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Polian did “heavy campaigning” for Reed

Posted by Chris Brown on February 3, 2014 – 12:30 pm

Bills former GM Bill Polian, who was part of the personnel department that drafted Andre Reed in 1985, was doing some heavy campaigning for Andre Reed’s Hall of Fame induction this week at the Super Bowl site in advance of the Hall of Fame Selectors meeting on Saturday, which eventually chose Reed for Hall of Fame enshrinement on his eight straight year as a finalist.

Appearing on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550 this morning, Polian wasn’t shy in admitting that he spoke to an awful lot of the Selectors this week to advocate for Reed.

“I couldn’t be happier,” said Polian. “This was a long time coming. For some reason, I don’t know why, I just felt this was the year. Every voter that I talked to and I was blatantly electioneering and I kept telling them it’s his time put him in and they did.”

What Polian emphasized about Reed’s career was his consistent production.

“Competitiveness and production,” said Polian. “Some people really want to compete and have the gifts and the attitude to produce. That was Andre Reed. He was our go-to receiver. There’s no question about that. There are some who have tried to say that he had Don Beebe and James Lofton with him and Keith McKellar and Thurman Thomas, but in the Greatest Comeback game there was no Jim Kelly, no Thurman Thomas, no Cornelius Bennett it was Frank Reich and Andre Reed and he produced in every single situation.”

Reed caught three touchdowns passes in that AFC Wild Card comeback win over the Houston Oilers after they had trailed 35-3 in the third quarter.


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Congrats from Andre’s teammates & coach

Posted by Chris Brown on February 1, 2014 – 8:06 pm

Here’s a rundown of some of the congratulations that Andre Reed received tonight for his selection as a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame class of 2014 from his former teammates and coach all of whom are Hall of Famers themselves.

“What a thrilling evening it is,” said Hall of Fame coach Marv Levy. “How overwhelmed and proud I am of Andre. How deserving he was to now be a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Great player, great individual, great team man. How fortunate I was that I can say that I got to coach Andre Reed. I wish him well, him and all his family. I know how exultant he has to feel.”

“Congratulations to my Hall of Fame brother Andre Reed. Class of 2014,” said Hall of Famer Bruce Smith.

“Andre Reed, yeah! It’s about time you got in,” said Hall of Famer Jim Kelly. “You deserved to be in a long time ago, but sometimes good things just have to wait. I love you man, we’re going to have some fun.”


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What Marv first thought of Andre

Posted by Chris Brown on February 1, 2014 – 7:23 pm

Andre Reed had just gotten his rookie NFL season under his belt and was midway through his second NFL campaign when Marv Levy was hired as head coach. What did the Bills’ new sideline boss first think of the newest Bills Hall of Famer?

In an appearance on the John Murphy Show, Levy said it didn’t take him long to like him more and more.

“He was good. I didn’t know much about him when I got there,” Levy said. “When the practices started I said, ‘Wow this guy is good.’ And then two weeks later I said, ‘This guy is really good.’ Then about a month later I said, ‘Wow we’ve got somebody special here.’”


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Reed’s 1985 draft slot among WRs

Posted by Chris Brown on February 1, 2014 – 7:21 pm

Bills all-time leading receiver Andre Reed, who has been chosen for enshrinement in the Pro Football Hall of Fame, was taken in the fourth round of the 1985 NFL draft and was the 13th wide receiver selected. Here are the 12 receivers taken ahead of him, which includes one other Hall of Famer in Jerry Rice.

First round
#10 – Al Toon (Jets)
#13 – Eddie Brown (Bengals)
#16 – Jerry Rice (49ers)
#23 – Jessie Hester (Raiders)

Second round
#31 – Vance Johnson (Broncos)
#42 – Chris Burkett (Bills)
#46 – Stacy Robinson (Giants)
#50 – Chuck Scott (Rams)

Third round
#78 – James Maness (Bears)
#79 – Tim Moffett (Raiders)
#81 – Danny Greene (Seahawks)

Fourth round
#85 – Buster Rhymes (Vikings)
#86 – Andre Reed (Bills)


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Andre Reed’s 951 catches by QB

Posted by Chris Brown on February 1, 2014 – 7:18 pm

To celebrate Andre Reed’s Hall of Fame selectionwe’ve decided to break down his 951 career receptions by the quarterbacks who threw to him.

Not surprisingly, Jim Kelly heads the list, but there are a host of other interesting names who threw to the Bills all-time leading receiver.

Jim Kelly                     665
Doug Flutie                 100
Todd Collins               58
Frank Reich                41
Bruce Mathison           28
Vince Ferragamo         20
Rob Johnson               15
Alex Van Pelt             11
Brad Johnson              7
Billy Joe Hobert          3
Jeff George                  3


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How Reed has fared as a HOF finalist

Posted by Chris Brown on February 1, 2014 – 9:15 am

This is the eighth year that Bills all-time leading receiver Andre Reed has been a Pro Football Hall of Fame finalist. Here’s a look back at how he fared in each of the voting results since 2007.

2007 – Reed was eliminated in the first cut from 15 to 10 with both Michael Irvin and Monk advancing. Monk was then eliminated when the group was reduced to six, with Irvin making the cut and eventually being selected for enshrinement.

2008 – Reed was eliminated in the first cut from 15 to 10 with both Cris Carter and Monk advancing. Carter was then eliminated in the next reduction from 10 to 5, with Monk making the cut and eventually being selected for enshrinement.

2009 – Reed again did not make the cut from 15 to 10. Veteran committee finalist Bob Hayes was the only receiver selected for induction.

2010 – Reed advanced past the first cut with Cris Carter and Tim Brown both getting clipped, but Reed was eliminated in the reduction from 10 to 5, with Jerry Rice advancing and being selected for enshrinement.

2011 – Reed again advanced past the first cut with Cris Carter and Tim Brown both getting clipped again, but Reed was again eliminated in the reduction from 10 to 5, with Shannon Sharpe and Ed Sabol being selected for enshrinement.

2012 – Reed advanced past the first cut with Cris Carter both making it to the final 10. Tim Brown was eliminated. But in the reduction from 10 to 5 both Reed and Carter were eliminated.

2013 – Reed advanced past the first cut with Cris Carter both making it to the final 10. Tim Brown was eliminated. In the reduction from 10 to 5 Reed was eliminated and Carter made it through to the final 5. Carter was selected for enshrinement with a yes or no vote by 80 percent of the Selectors.


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Reed: I’m more optimistic this year

Posted by Chris Brown on January 31, 2014 – 2:57 pm

Bills all-time leading receiver Andre Reed is again a finalist for Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement and he said he feels better about his chances this year.

“I’m more optimistic this year than in previous years,” Reed said in an appearance on NFL Network Friday. “I think right now it’s the family, they have a party every year and I want this for them so much more than myself and you talk about validation and what your career is about. There are only 275 guys here and to be on this stage at this time it speaks volumes.”

Reed is competing with fellow receivers Tim Brown and Marvin Harrison. He’ll know his Hall of Fame fate Saturday afternoon.


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ESPN’s Clayton a Reed HOF supporter

Posted by Chris Brown on January 31, 2014 – 12:58 pm

ESPN NFL reporter John Clayton in an appearance on Bills flagship station WGR Sportsradio 550 this week was asked to handicap the Hall of Fame voting on Saturday. He is one of the 46 Hall of Fame Selectors and believes this should be the year that Andre Reed is selected for enshrinement.

“I think Walter Jones has a great chance to be first ballot as does Derrick Brooks,” said Clayton. “I think Michael Strahan should and would make it. That takes care of three (out of a maximum of five). Everyone is going to be saying that Marvin Harrison should make it on the first ballot. But I would love it for Andre Reed to make it in before Marvin Harrison. It’s not a knock on Marvin Harrison. I think he’s a Hall of Fame receiver and that he will make it.

“But as you know from Tim Brown and Andre Reed and last year with Cris Carter it takes us forever to get receivers in. I just think justice needs to be served that if there is a receiver to go in this year that it be Andre Reed. Then maybe Harrison makes it in next year.

“I think on the fringes not in any order, throw Reed in, you’ve got Charles Haley, Jerome Bettis, Tim Brown and Will Shields. They’re on the fringe for the number four or number five spot.”

When asked how he would rank the three receivers among the 15 finalists this year (Tim Brown, Marvin Harrison, Andre Reed), Clayton said Reed was his top guy.

“This is just my opinion and it could change in the room, but I would go Reed first, Harrison second, Tim Brown third,” Clayton said.

 

 


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King: NFL to air HOF presentations

Posted by Chris Brown on January 31, 2014 – 11:20 am

According to MMQB columnist Peter King, a Hall of Fame Selector, the NFL will be airing the presentations made by Selectors for each of the 15 Hall of Fame finalists up for possible enshrinement as members of the 2014 Pro Football Hall of Fame class.

King wrote the following in his column Friday.

The NFL plans to film and air the presenters in 2014, allowing cameras in the room for the first time. Writers originally bristled at the prospect of airing any portion of the meeting publicly, but they have largely accepted the intrusion so long as it is confined to the presentations and not the ensuing discussion.

That means that Buffalo News reporter Mark Gaughan’s presentation and case for Andre Reed’s enshrinement will be aired. King does not give details as to when these presentations will be aired, or if they will be aired live, but it’s assumed they will be broadcast on NFL Network at some point. We’ll pass along a time when the coverage begins if and when we get word.

Here is a list of the 46 Hall of Fame Selectors.


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The Case for Andre Reed in the Hall of Fame

Posted by johnmurphyshow on January 29, 2014 – 8:25 pm

Who better to make the case for Andre Reed’s candidacy for the Pro Football Hall of Fame, than another Hall of Famer?

Former Bills coach Marv Levy says Reed belongs in the Hall for a variety of reasons. Levy was a guest on The John Murphy Show Wednesday night.

The Bills all time leading receiver, Reed has been one of the 15 finalists for election to the Hall of Fame for the eighth time. And his former coach, Marv Levy, says Reed has handled the disappointment well.

“He has, he’s handled it very graciously,” Levy said. “I think he’s tremendously deserving.”

Levy, who was elected to the Pro Football shrine in 2001, says there’s more to Andre Reed’s resume than just numbers.

“You can talk about statistics,” Levy told host John Murphy. “When he retired,he was the third most prolific receiver of all time. But it went way beyond that with Andre.”

“If you stop to think about it,” Levy said, “we had a balanced offense, it wasn’t just focused on one guy, and yet he racked up the catches. There was nobody ever in the history of the game better at coming across the middle, more courageous. His nickname with our players was ‘YAC,’ not because he talked about, but because of Yards After the Catch.”

Levy also said playing in Buffalo weather should bolster Reed’s case for inclusion in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

“There’s one other element with Andre, with all those statistics you mentioned. He didn’t get them in the nice weather, in a warm climate or in the confines of an indoor stadium, he got them in weather that was sometimes tremendously challenging. Modest guy, a team player, so deserving, I hope this is his year.”

The complete interview with Hall of Fame Coach Marv Levy is available here


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Irvin: Embarrassed that Reed not in HOF

Posted by Chris Brown on January 29, 2014 – 10:30 am

Pro Football Hall of Famer Michael Irvin had some pointed comments concerning Andre Reed’s candidacy for enshrinement.

Speaking with Bills flagship TV station WKBW-TV, Irvin said he was embarrassed that Reed is not already in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Reed, a HOF finalist for the eighth time this year, will find out this weekend if he’s finally chosen for induction as a member of the 2014 class.


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Fan Friday 1-17

Posted by Chris Brown on January 17, 2014 – 1:26 pm

Don’t forget to check in on our Senior Bowl coverage all next week on Buffalobills.com. Here’s the latest edition of your questions on email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 - Hello Chris,

Well, another year like all years.  Just wait fans, we have something started here!!!  Marrone’s first mistake will be not letting Hackett go.  As I have said previously, loyalty is Marrone’s achilles heel.  He won’t know how to “can” Hackett so we are stuck with him.  What really stinks is that another year has slipped away and this team still has multiple problems to address.  Where do we even start with the next draft?  Please don’t draft another Alabama player!  We let players like Levitre sign elsewhere and then we say we need to address our weakness at offensive line.  Does this make any sense?  It is just one wasted draft choice after another on positions we could have fixed with players already selected.  When is this team going to address an age old problem at the tight end position?  Successful teams have tight ends who stretch the field.  When are the Bills joining the 21st century?  Sad leadership to say the least. I won’t even get started on the QB position.

Jim (Skaneateles)
CB: Jim, I respect the frustration. You fans have waited a while for a winner, but regarding your question on losing Levitre in free agency, keeping a player at a non-priority position at what would’ve been an exorbitant price ($8M plus a season) was unrealistic. Tennessee chose to spend big money on their offensive line and where did it get them?

They ranked 22nd in offense, 14th in rushing and 21st in passing. They were 19th in scoring. As coach Marrone said recently guard is position where you can develop a player into a competent to strong contributor. Offensive tackle and center are where you need the bona fide stars.

As for the tight end position, I think the new staff with GM Doug Whaley is looking to address the need for more athleticism at that spot. Tony Moeaki and Chris Gragg were the first steps in that direction. We’ll see where it goes this offseason.

Concerning your criticism of Hackett I think it’s misguided. Hackett had to curtail the variety and tempo of his offense to accommodate not one, but three “green” quarterbacks over the course of the year who were all spending their first year in his offensive system. Circumstances compromised his talent for calling plays. I’m confident the offense will expand and diversify considerably next season.

 

2 – Chris,

As always, thanks again for being a great source of Buffalo Bills information. We appreciate your feedback.

Can you explain the recent signings of 7 players to reserve/future contracts? The team moved quickly to sign these 7 right after the end of the regular season. What is this type of contract?

Bob Hammond

CB: Those contracts are typically reserved for players who were on a team’s practice squad during the regular season. If the team would like to keep those players on the roster through the offseason they must be signed to a reserve/future contract. If memory serves they have a week from when their season ends to sign their practice squad players otherwise they’re free to be signed away by other clubs.

Essentially players that the club believes can still be developed into something more are signed to these kinds of contracts, which are modest in nature.

 

3 – Chris,

With the release of WRs coach Ike Hilliard, would the Bills seriously consider bringing in Andre Reed to take over as WR coach ?  I think Reed would be a great choice. Andre had great work ethic in Buffalo and was as tough as they come running routes over the middle.

Randy C
Coach

CB: While I do not debate the qualities you described of Andre Reed’s game, it’s hard to say it’s a move that will be made. His coaching resume is very, very short though he is coaching in the NFLPA bowl on Saturday. I get the sense that coach Marrone wants someone with a more lengthy coaching background.

 

4 – Hi Chris,

I was looking at wide receiver free agents for this year, and I see that Eric Decker from the Broncos is a free agent after the playoffs. Would the Buffalo Bills pursue Decker and possibly make an offer?

Tony, Ormond Beach, Fl
CB: Yes, Decker is scheduled to become a free agent. I don’t think there’s any question that the Bills have already demonstrated a concerted effort to add size at the receiver position with the reserve/future signings of Ramses Barden (6’6”) and Chris Summers (6’4 ½”). But they need a proven answer with size at receiver. Decker is certainly a proven player, but I think they want the big receiver on their offense to also be a bona fide number one target. I don’t know that Decker can be that.

I feel that a lot of his production is a byproduct of the fact that opponents scheme to limit DeMaryius Thomas and Wes Welker and Decker becomes the beneficiary. Without a similar supporting cast, I’m not sure what you could count on with Decker in terms of production.

 

5 – Chris

When I see the names of Jason Peters and Karlos Dansby on the list for 2013, I think what if they were playing for the Bills now…… Two big problems solved…….Dansby is a run stopper as MLB, and Peters as T is one of the best.  Why don’t we as fans make the Bills FO accountable for their errors of poor decisions re. personnel choices……….And throw in there, their choice of ST coach……..Last season the FO thought Dansby as washed up… Hello, over the hill………..The Bills FO is on the clock in order to get their act together for 2014……………………

Tim in TN, Bills Fan
CB: While I understand your frustration in seeing talent flourish elsewhere instead of on Buffalo’s roster, your Bills history is a bit cloudy. The team wanted to keep Jason Peters and were willing to renegotiate his contract, which had two years left on it, but after he held out and then threatened to hold out again the next season it was clear that keeping Peters in Buffalo was going to be monumentally difficult.

So he was traded to Philadelphia for a first, fourth and sixth-round pick. When you have a player that doesn’t want to play for your team it’s hard to even make them happy with more money.

As for Karlos Dansby the Bills brought him in on a free agent visit so to indicate the front office thought he was washed up is just wrong. He chose to look elsewhere to sign essentially using Buffalo to drive up the market price for his services.

Both have been accomplished players, but if they don’t want to be here you’re not going to win with them on your roster.


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Andre coaching WRs at NFLPA bowl

Posted by Chris Brown on January 14, 2014 – 8:38 am

Andre Reed has been in the news of late because for the eighth time he is a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. This week he’s also busy doing some coaching in a college all-star game.

Reed is coaching inside receivers at the NFLPA bowl practices this week in California and will be on the sidelines during Saturday’s all-star game of college prospects. Among the players Reed will be coaching is UB WR Alex Neutz.

There are also two other Bills ties to the coaches who will be working this week at the NFLPA bowl. Another former Bills player, LB Keith Goganious is going to be coaching defensive tackles on the same staff with Reed under head coach Dennis Green for the ‘American team.’

On the staff under Dick Vermeil that’s coaching the ‘National team’ is former Bills receivers coach Charlie Joiner, who coached on Buffalo’s staff under Marv Levy and Wade Phillips.


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Vote for Andre for Hall of Fame

Posted by Chris Brown on January 11, 2014 – 11:20 am

Bills fans have the opportunity to let their voice be heard and win something for themselves in the process.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame will provide NFL faithful with the unique opportunity to vote exclusively for the Class of 2014 Pro Football Hall of Fame nominees for induction by simply logging on to vote for the 15 finalists they feel are most deserving for enshrinement.
During the voting period (ending Feb. 1, 2014), fans will be able to hear and read about the 15 modern-day finalists via digital content.  Fans will also be given the chance to enter a sweepstakes for a trip to Enshrinement Weekend among other prizes.
So vote early and often for Bills Wall of Famer and now eight time Pro Football HOF finalist Andre Reed right here 

 


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HOF Selectors not all about the numbers

Posted by Chris Brown on January 10, 2014 – 1:24 pm

With Bills all-time leading receiver and Wall of Famer Andre Reed once again a Pro Football Hall of Fame finalist, fans wonder if this will be the year he’s given the thumbs up for enshrinement. At the same time fans worry that his career numbers, which were very impressive when he retired, have been minimized by the proliferation of the passing game with more modern candidates like this year’s first ballot finalist Marvin Harrison.

Last year Cris Carter leapfrogged Reed to gain induction, even though Reed had made the final cut from 15 to 10 three of the previous four years and Carter had not. Buffalo presenter and Buffalo News Bills beat reporter Mark Gaughan in an appearance on the John Murphy Show this week indicated it was largely due to the fact that Cris Carter had 135 career touchdowns to Reed’s 87.

At the same time Gaughan assures that the Hall of Fame Selectors are not guided solely by career numbers.

“That is a point that I can assure I make at length, and that is an issue that the selectors have embraced that it’s about more than numbers,” Gaughan said. “When Michael Irvin got in his total numbers are much lower than Andre’s and Tim Brown and all those guys. But what did Michael Irvin mean to his team and the Super Bowl and what did he do for his team in the biggest games on the biggest stages? All those arguments can be made on Andre’s behalf as well.

“The Cowboys wanted to give the ball to Emmitt Smith much like the Bills wanted to give the ball to Thurman Thomas. That’s another point that I make. The Bills had a balanced offense. Even though they were the K-Gun they were not an aerial circus like Peyton Manning’s Colts or the Rams. In Andre’s six most prime years the Bills averaged 479 pass attempts per year. Four-hundred seventy-nine pass attempts would’ve been 29th in the league this year.”

When asked for the strongest argument that he makes in presenting Reed, which he will again do for an eighth time this year, Gaughan said he highlights Reed’s team first approach.

“I think that Andre was what a Hall of Famer should be all about,” Gaughan said. “He has the numbers, but he wasn’t just about the numbers. He was a team player. He produced in the biggest moments for his team. He was a quintessential tough receiver who did the dirty work. He was about impact, not just about the numbers. How much he meant to the Bills offense and what he did in the biggest games at the most important times. And his playoff numbers in three of the first four Super Bowls, the Bills probably don’t get there without great games from Andre. So he epitomizes what a larger than life Hall of Famer should be all about.”


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