Inside The Bills

2014 Hall of Fame presenters

Posted by Chris Brown on July 17, 2014 – 12:16 pm

Everyone who is a Bills fan knows that Hall of Fame coach Marv Levy will be the presenter for Bills 2014 Hall of Fame inductee Andre Reed. Here’s a look at the rest of the presenters for the 2014 class, with four inductees choosing their children as their presenters.

Class of 2014 Presenters
• Decaon Brooks for his father Derrick Brooks
• John Madden for former Oakland Raiders punter Ray Guy
• Cheyenne Humphrey-Robinson for her father Claude Humphrey
• Walterius Jones for his father Walter Jones
• Marv Levy for former Buffalo Bills wide receiver Andre Reed
• Jay Glazer for his friend and colleague Michael Strahan
• Lawrence Williams for his son Aeneas Williams

Induction ceremonies are set for Saturday Aug. 2nd. Buffalobills.com will be on hand for coverage of Buffalo’s 10th player being enshrined in the Pro Football Hall of Fame.


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Levy: He wasn’t my boss, he was my friend

Posted by Chris Brown on March 25, 2014 – 9:07 pm

The passing of Bills founder and owner Ralph Wilson Tuesday led to an awful lot of sadness throughout the Bills family. One of the men that helped to bring him the most success in team history was also one of his closest friends in Hall of Fame head coach Marv Levy. Levy shared his thoughts on the man he worked for 12 years as a head coach and a few more as a general manager.

“He wasn’t my boss. He was my friend,” said Levy. “He was a magnificent guy to work with. I’m deeply saddened to hear of his passing. He meant so much to the game that both of us revered and to the community of Buffalo and beyond.”

Levy and Wilson had a unique relationship that was far different from most of the coach-owner relationship in the league then and now.

“I truly enjoyed getting together with him. If we went to the league meetings we would go out to dinner together or have breakfast together. He was fun to be with,” Levy said. “We shared interest in many things and certainly the game of football. He was a unique man to work for in that he would strongly express his opinions and he would really listen even if you had a contrary opinion.

“I could remember once he wanted me to replace an assistant coach on the staff and I thought it was so wrong to do in that case and I persisted and I wondered if I was putting myself under the gun and finally at the end he said, ‘Ah I still don’t agree with you, but you’re the coach.’ And a few years later he liked the guy.”

“He was fun to be with and players would tell you that. Almost every time he’d come to practice he would exchange jibes with the players, particularly Thurman, but certainly others too who weren’t reticent about doing that with the owner.”

Levy said since the day he retired from football he made a point to call Mr. Wilson every month to check in, but he sensed the Bills owner might be struggling with his health of late.

“I’d call him and on occasion he’d call me just to see how you were doing. I did this for all the years since I retired,” he said. “But about four or five months ago I began to detect that maybe he was struggling a bit to communicate and I spoke maybe a time or two more with Mary Wilson to see how he was doing, but it was about once a month we’d have a telephone conversation about nothing just to talk to each other.

“It’s quite a loss and he’s going to be remembered so fondly by everyone who knew him.”


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Levy mum on Reed speech vocabulary

Posted by Chris Brown on February 7, 2014 – 3:28 pm

In the past when Bills Hall of Fame coach Marv Levy has been a presenter for one of his former players for induction he’s inserted some of his obscure and advanced vocabulary into his speech. In the Jim Kelly induction speech he used words like ‘elan and enigmatic. In his speech for Thurman Thomas he made use of the word prodigious. In both speeches he turned to Thomas and told him to look it up, harkening back to the numerous occasions when Thomas was stumped on a word that his head coach might have used in a team meeting back in his playing days. So in crafting his presentation speech for Andre Reed’s induction, Buffalobills.com asked Levy if he intended to make use of his wide-ranging vocabulary to send Thomas and everyone else scurrying for the online dictionary on their phone.

The Hall of Fame coach played coy in giving his response.

“Well I know I’ve incorporated that in others (speeches) and I refuse to comment in advance,” said Levy.


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Marv to be Reed’s HOF presenter

Posted by Chris Brown on February 7, 2014 – 9:30 am

In an interview on Sirius XM NFL Radio last night, Andre Reed told host Alex Marvez that Marv Levy will be his presenter for the Pro Football Hall of Fame enshrinement ceremony this August.

This year’s enshrinement ceremony will take place on August 2, 2014 at 7:00 pm in Canton, Ohio.

For Levy this will mark the third time he will serve as a presenter for a Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee.  Levy presented Jim Kelly in 2002 and Thurman Thomas in 2007.  Bill Polian served as Marv Levy’s presenter in 2001.

In the Sirius XM NFL Radio interview, Reed also reveals his emotions when he received the news  regarding his induction from Buffalo-native and Pro Football Hall of Fame vice president Joe Horrigan. Click here for a link to the interview.


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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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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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Super Bowl XXV postgame Parcells-Levy

Posted by Chris Brown on January 30, 2014 – 9:53 am

As we profiled on Buffalobills.com today (Thursday) Super Bowl XLVIII between the Seahawks and Broncos will mark the first time the number one scoring offense (Denver) will face the number one scoring defense (Seattle) since the Bills and Giants squared off in Super Bowl XXV. Giants head coach Bill Parcells was naturally proud of his players, but gave credit to the Bills after the game that day.

“I realized a long time ago that God playing in some of these games and he was on our side today,” said Parcells. “Both teams were valiant. I thought we played as well as we could. I don’t think there’s too much to choose between the two teams. If we played tomorrow they’d probably win 20-19.

“Our whole plan was to shorten the game for Buffalo. We wanted the ball and we didn’t want them to have it. We accomplished that.”

Meanwhile Bills head coach Marv Levy lamented the missed opportunities.

“We knew we weren’t playing very sharp in the first half with the lead and we knew the second half was going to be the determining factor and it was,” he said. “The touchdown they scored just before halftime certainly had to give them a big lift, but we still had 30 minutes to play and we had our chances.

“Even though we did do better defensively in the second half, the Giants had a very good mix of the run and pass and they used it to good effect. Possession time it’s pretty tough to beat a team with a very good running game and a very good defense.

“We would like to have won. I’m proud of what our players accomplished this season. I don’t think any less of them.”


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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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Levy on Super Bowl-”You never forget being there”

Posted by johnmurphyshow on January 29, 2014 – 7:50 pm

It’s been 20-years since the Bills last appearance in the Super Bowl, January 30th, 1994, the 30-13 loss to the Cowboys in Atlanta.

But the coach who led the Bills to that game says the memory remains vivid.

Hall of Fame Coach Marv Levy was a guest on The John Murphy Show Wednesday night, and he reminisced about the Bills four year run to the big game.

“You never forget being there,” he said. “At the time when it happened, you say, are we really here? It’s exciting. It’s a culmination what you thought about when you were a little kid. There was no Super Bowl, by the way, when I was a kid, but you get the gist.”

The Bills suffered bitter disappointment by losing all four of their Super Bowls. And Levy told host John Murphy that after the first few losses, he and GM Bill Polian realized that all the minutiae they tried to control before the game had little impact on the outcome.

“After we lost the second or the third time,” Levy said, “we were riding back in the somber confines of the team bus to the hotel after the game. Bill turned to me and said, ‘ Marv, y’know, the only thing that really matters is what you do after kickoff.’”

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


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Bills Rally at Niagara Square on this date

Posted by Chris Brown on January 28, 2014 – 1:00 pm

It was not the kind of rally Bills fans were hoping for, but they turned out in droves in Niagara Square downtown after a very humbling 20-19 loss in Super Bowl XXV on this date in 1991.

Estimates had the crowd at 10-thousand as the players spilled off buses after returning from their gut-wrenching loss. No one took it harder than kicker Scott Norwood, whose 47-yard attempt missed with two seconds remaining.

After a handful of dignitaries, coach Levy and a few players stepped to the microphone to address the crowd, the fans began chanting, ‘We want Scott! We want Scott! We want Scott!’

Eventually Norwood came to the lectern and expressed his gratitude for the support he got the day after his most humbling day in professional sports and perhaps his life. Here’s a look at Norwood stepping to the lectern amid the chants.

Buffalo Bills


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Wednesday’s John Murphy Show

Posted by johnmurphyshow on October 3, 2012 – 5:29 pm

The Bills have put New England behind them.  It’s all about the Niners now, and we’ll talk about the first day of the practice week tonight on The John Murphy Show.

We’ll have the news from the locker room right off the top at 7pm, including Mario Williams talking about his wrist injury, the Bills talking about mental toughness, and Kyle Williams thoughts on his $15,000 fine.

Former Bills Head Coach Marv Levy joins us live at 7:20pm.  We’ll get Marv’s thoughts on the upcoming induction of Bill Polian to the Bills Wall of Fame, and other NFL issues.

At 8pm, Kimberly Jones of NFL.com and the NFL Network joins us to give us her view of San Francisco’s blowout win over the Jets last Sunday.  Kimberly says Rex Ryan’s Jets are in complete disarray, and we’ll talk to her about that.

And at 820pm, Bills OT Chris Hairston joins us in studio.  He’s got to step into the starting lineup at left tackle for at least the next couple of games, with Cordy Glenn on the sidelines.

As usual, we’re ready for your questions and comments.

The John Murphy Show airs weeknights from 7pm-9pm on the flagship station of the Buffalo Bills, WGR Sports Radio 550.


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Levy likes Reed’s HOF chances

Posted by Chris Brown on February 2, 2012 – 4:59 pm

Bills Hall of Fame coach Marv Levy has seen his top receiver Andre Reed make the list of finalists for enshrinement five straight times, but fall short of earning induction into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. This year marks the sixth time he’s made it to the final 15, and Levy is as optimistic as he has ever been about this being the year that Reed makes the final cut.

Appearing on 97 Rock this week Levy, who has spoken with some of the Board of Selectors that vote for the Hall of Fame inductees, believes this year is perhaps Reed’s best shot yet.

“He’s been a finalist before,” said Levy. “It’s always a tough call in that final group. There are two other top receivers in that group as well in Cris Carter and Tim Brown. They’re also under consideration, but in talking to some of the board of selectors it’s sounding a little bit more favorable than I’ve ever heard in previous years. I think Andre’s chances are pretty darn good. I sure hope so. He belongs in the Hall of Fame, no one was better in yards after the catch than Andre Reed. No one.”

The 2012 Hall of Fame induction class will be announced on NFL Network on Saturday at 5:30 pm.


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Uniform superstitions

Posted by Chris Brown on June 16, 2011 – 8:16 am

Some players are more superstitious than others, whether it’s listening to the same music, putting their uniform on in a specific order on game day. There’s a wide range. Here are a couple of the lesser known uniform superstitions on the part of one specific Bills player and one Hall of Fame Bills coach courtesy of long time equipment manager Dave Hojnowski.

When it came to the most superstitious guy with respect to his uniform and equipment it was former OL Joe Devlin.

“Joe was the most superstitious guy as far as that goes,” said Hojnowski. “First and foremost he wouldn’t want his facemask altered. After a while his facemask would get flattened out from all the collisions, and when it flattens out it actually makes your helmet wider. So he would complain something awful if we did anything to it.

“Sometimes though we’d have to do it. So we’d have to show him what a facemask would normally look like and then show him what his looked like after all the collisions. At least at that point he would look at it and say okay and let us change it or whatever.

“He never wanted decals replaced. He wanted all the battle scars left on his helmet to show. He was probably be one of the guys that never wanted anything changed. He may have had his jersey sewn and repaired 25 times, but he never wanted it switched.”

As for superstitious coaches, Hall of Fame coach Marv Levy had his share and most were tied to the team’s uniform.

“I got that (uniform superstitions) from the coaches more than anything else,” said Hojnowski. “Coach Levy especially. If we won in a certain attire we were wearing that attire until we lost. Then it was okay for me to change it. Then I could change it to whatever.”  

In 1988 the Bills began the season 4-0 en route to 12-4, but had a road game at New England in Week 3 where they’d normally be required to wear white. Hojnowski isn’t certain, but is pretty convinced they wore their blue at the old Foxboro stadium that day.

“I’m sure we wore pretty much the same stuff when we started out that year 4-0 or whatever it was home or away,” he said.


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Marv welcomes Wilson to Hall of Fame

Posted by Chris Brown on July 21, 2009 – 3:43 pm

Bills Hall of Fame coach Marv Levy penned an open letter to his former boss Ralph Wilson welcoming him as a new inductee to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

The letter appears on NFL.com. Titled ‘Congratulations to the Pride of Buffalo,’ Levy calls Mr. Wilson’s induction an honor not only for the Bills owner, but the entire city of Buffalo.

Bills HOF QB Jim Kelly did that same thing for Bruce Smith, welcoming him to the Hall as well with a letter appearing on NFL.com.

That August weekend is certainly going to be a big one for the Queen City.


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HOFers that have RSVP’d for induction day

Posted by Chris Brown on July 10, 2009 – 4:09 pm

More than 70 Hall of Famers have RSVP’d and will be attending enshrinement ceremonies on Aug. 8 at the Pro Football HOF in Canton. And there are several former Bills on that list as expected.

Among the Bills HOF’ers who have already RSVP’d are Joe D., Jim Kelly, Marv Levy, James Lofton and Billy Shaw. I think it’s safe to assume that Thurman Thomas will be attending knowing he’s one of Bruce Smith’s closest friends. He just probably hasn’t sent the RSVP back yet.

Here’s the whole list of the HOF’ers that have RSVP’d that you can expect to see if you’re attending HOF weekend.


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Bruce chooses Cottrell to be his presenter

Posted by Chris Brown on June 1, 2009 – 6:55 pm

Bills HOF enshrinee Bruce Smith was down to two men to be his presenter for the Pro Football HOF on Aug. 8, Marv Levy and Ted Cottrell. Smith revealed at the Jim Kelly golf tournament on Monday that Cottrell will be his presenter.

He’ll be the first of the Bills players under Marv Levy’s tutelage to go with his position coach as Jim Kelly and Thurman Thomas both had Levy as their presenter. Smith strongly feels that Levy’s hiring of Cottrell as his defensive line coach represented a turning point in his career.

“He taught me how to study film,” said Smith of Cottrell. “There are three phases to the game that need to take place, conditioning, studying film and having a coach that you can relate to. If you put all three of those things together you have the makings of something special.”

Bruce felt the first turning point in his career came after his rookie season.

“I think when I ballooned up to 310 pounds after my first year I quickly realized I wasn’t going to become the player that I wanted to be unless I changed some of my eating habits and conditioning,” said Smith. “I quickly made some adjustments as far as that was concerned.”


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Bruce down to two candidates to present him

Posted by Chris Brown on January 31, 2009 – 8:37 pm

Bruce Smith is down to just two candidates for presentation into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. One is obviously Marv Levy and he said the other is former defensive line and defensive coordinator Ted Cottrell.

Mr. Wilson said he had honestly not given it any thought to this point.


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Levy to be in Tampa for HOF announcements

Posted by Chris Brown on January 26, 2009 – 9:02 pm

Just spoke with Bills Hall of Fame coach Marv Levy about this weekend’s Hall of Fame announcement in which the 2009 induction class will be revealed (Sat. 2:30pm) in Tampa. Levy will be traveling down to Tampa later in the week for some business, but confirmed he’ll be on hand for the announcement on Saturday.

“I’m not going to the game,” said Levy of the Super Bowl. “But I do want to be there for Andre, Bruce and Mr. Wilson.”


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