Inside The Bills

Polian named finalist for 2014 HOF class

Posted by Chris Brown on October 22, 2014 – 4:34 pm

Former Bills general manager Bill Polian has been named as one of two Contributor finalists for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2015.

Polian along with former NFL GM Ron Wolf were chosen by the Hall of Fame’s Contributor Committee that met in Washington, D.C. Wednesday.

“It’s an incredible honor that I never envisioned happening,” Polian said.

Polian and Wolf will join senior nominee Mick Tingelhoff and 15 yet-to-be-named Modern Era finalists from which the Class of 2015 will be selected. The Pro Football Hall of Fame’s selection meeting will be held on Jan. 31, 2015, in Phoenix, Arizona, the day before Super Bowl XLIX. Tingelhoff was the nominee of the Seniors Committee that met in Canton in August.

Polian is most noted for turning the fortunes of three different teams that included a combined five Super Bowl appearances by the Buffalo Bills and Indianapolis Colts.  He guided the Bills to four straight AFC Eastern Division titles and earned three straight Super Bowl berths after winning the AFC championship in 1990-92.

As the general manager of the expansion Carolina Panthers, he helped build a team that advanced to the NFC championship in just its second season.

Polian next served as President/General Manager of the Indianapolis Colts from 1998-2011 during which time the club captured eight division crowns and advanced to a pair of Super Bowls including a win over the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI.

In all he had a 32-year NFL career with the Kansas City Chiefs (1978-1982), Buffalo (1984-1992), Carolina (1995-97), and Indianapolis (1998-2011). He also worked for the National Football League office in 1993 and 1994.

Wolf made his lasting mark as the Executive Vice President/General Manager of the Green Bay Packers and longtime player personnel director for the Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

Former Bills among HOF nominees

Posted by Chris Brown on September 18, 2014 – 11:15 am

There were a host of former Bills players and coaches on the Pro Football HOF nominee list released this week. There were 113 nominees in all.

Here’s a look at the names with Bills ties.

LB Cornelius Bennett
C Kent Hull
HC Chuck Knox
HC Lou Saban
NT Fred Smerlas
LB Chris Spielman
LB Darryl Talley
ST Steve Tasker
CB Troy Vincent
NT Ted Washington


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HOF chances for Polian significantly improved

Posted by Chris Brown on August 6, 2014 – 6:21 pm

In his Hall of Fame acceptance speech last Saturday night Bills all-time leading receiver Andre Reed mentioned former Bills GM Bill Polian and indicated that he too would soon be in the Hall of Fame. Reed perhaps knew something that others may not have known as the Pro Football Hall of Fame has altered their bylaws making the chances of enshrinement for Polian far greater now than ever before.

On Wednesday the Board of Trustees of the Pro Football Hall of Fame formally announced changes to the organization’s By-Laws for the Selection Committee. They approved a modification to the selection process by which a Contributor – defined as an individual who has “made outstanding contributions to professional football in capacities other than playing or coaching” – will automatically be included among the annual list of finalists for election. The Contributor finalist will also be voted on for election independent of all other finalists. The change to the By-Laws was approved at the Board’s annual meeting last Friday in Canton.

Although the Contributor finalist will be voted on independent of the other nominees, he will still be required – like all other finalists – to receive an eighty percent positive vote for election by the 46-member Selection Committee.

Contributors have previously been part of the modern-era nomination list that included coaches and players. The result has been that since 1963, when the Hall of Fame first opened, only 19 Contributors have been elected and 10 of those were elected in the first five Hall of Fame classes, including six as Charter Members.

“The Pro Football Hall of Fame Board of Trustees has carefully reviewed the process as it relates to Contributors,” stated Board of Trustees Chairman Randy Hunt. “It is our belief that this modification will create a more level playing field when it comes to considering Contributors for election to the Hall of Fame.”

The Board, in an effort to address the backlog of deserving Contributor candidates, also approved a temporary measure allowing for two Contributor finalists in years one, three and five, of the next five years. In years two and four of that same period, there will be just one Contributor finalist. At the end of the five-year period, the number of Contributor finalists going forward will be one per year.

Buffalobills.com talked to Hall of Fame Selector Committee member Jarrett Bell of USA Today, who told of the committee’s lobbying efforts to separate contributors (coaches, owners, commissioners, GMs etc.) from players. Now that it has happened Bell believes it will help in two ways.

“I think Bill Polian when you start talking about contributors and front office people and to (get to conference championship games) with three teams, having a second category for contributors will allow a GM type like Polian and NFL owners to get in the Hall of Fame and we can discuss them separately from the players. That will help.”

It will also keep contributors from serving as roadblocks to deserving players as was the case with Andre Reed when Ed Sabol, Bills Parcells and the late Ralph Wilson earned induction over the last eight years forcing Reed to wait until 2014 for enshrinement.

“A guy like an Andre Reed had to wait a little bit longer in part because along the way there were a couple of contributors,” said Bell. “This will help.”


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HOF visit and coin flip mean more for Kelly

Posted by Chris Brown on August 3, 2014 – 9:20 am

Bills Hall of Fame QB Jim Kelly, who is busy fighting sinus cancer, committed to attending Andre Reed’s Hall of Fame induction ceremony. On Sunday night he’ll also flip the coin at the Bills preseason opener in the Hall of Fame game against the Giants, with fellow Hall of Famer Harry Carson alongside him.

“This year especially, I am so thankful that I can be on hand to share in a great weekend that shines the spotlight on the Buffalo Bills,” said Kelly. “It is a great honor for me to represent the Bills organization at the coin toss to kick off the season. The entire experience will bring back memories from 2002 when so many of the Bills family – fans, players and staff – joined me in Canton for one of the most memorable times of my life.”

Kelly was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2002.


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Reed: Seeing teammates is going to be special

Posted by Chris Brown on August 2, 2014 – 4:15 pm

With four Hall of Fame teammates in James Lofton, Jim Kelly, Bruce Smith and Thurman Thomas and a Hall of Fame coach presenting him in Marv Levy, Saturday night’s enshrinement ceremony is going to have everything Andre Reed could ask for. But Reed’s teammates were more than teammates. They were more than friends and that relationship continues today.

“It’s like your own family being there,” said Reed. “You guys know over the years that’s what we preached. You talk to anybody on those teams and the camaraderie and how close we were and that had a lot to do with winning games, but we really cared about each other off the field. We cared about each other’s families and our kids and our kids grew up together.

“Even today it’s kind of like the same. That’s one thing that really sticks out with me with all those guys. You have your friends and you have people you know, but you went to war with those guys every single Sunday. You knew them as people, not just as football players and you can’t really fathom what that means.

“With Jim there especially with what he’s been going through with his life and with his son and that happening years ago and all the things that’s happening with him trying to beat this cancer and all the stuff he’s going through, it’s going to be real special to see him there in Canton on Saturday.”


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Reed feeling good about his speech

Posted by Chris Brown on August 2, 2014 – 3:05 pm

Bills 2014 Hall of Fame class inductee Andre Reed has been working on his speech for tonight’s enshrinement ceremonies. With a little bit of help Reed is confident the message he wants to convey will be effectively delivered.

“I feel really good about it,” said Reed. “I had Vic Carucci help me and he was a long time Buffalo guy with the (Buffalo) News and then he went to NFL.com and now he’s with the Browns writing for the Browns. What a perfect guy to help me out with these last five months of getting all my thoughts together and we’re dotting every ‘I’ and crossing every ‘T’. It’s going to be very nice. Very emotional at one point, but what he’s doing for me is have it flow very smoothly.

“You never want to forget anyone who was really important to you,  but you also want to relay a message in your speech. People just saw you on Sundays, but they don’t really know how you got there. They don’t know what it took to get on that podium. That’s really what I want to relay to everybody. Yeah there was hard work and dedication, but there were a lot of little things about me that people don’t know that kind of define me. That’s what I’m going to relay in my speech so it’s going to be really good.”


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Reed to have sizable contingent in tow

Posted by Chris Brown on August 2, 2014 – 1:40 pm

The Bills newest Hall of Famer Andre Reed will be anything but alone on Hall of Fame weekend. While most are expecting most of his hometown Allentown, Pennsylvania to be on hand in addition to his family and close friends, Reed is expecting there will be a good number of Buffalonians taking over Canton, Ohio.

“I’m sure there’s probably going to be four to five-hundred people,” said Reed when asked how many people he knows will be on hand for his induction ceremony. “Between family and friends and teammates and coaches and significant people it’s going to be probably four or five hundred who have been on this journey with me and maybe more who knows? I know there are going to be a lot of Bills fans. They’ve been on that journey too.”


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History of 90’s Bills not just about HOF’ers

Posted by Chris Brown on August 2, 2014 – 12:29 pm

You don’t need to ask a biased Bills fan. Anyone who remembers watching the early 1990’s Bills who won four straight AFC titles understands that documenting the history of that team must include Andre Reed. But as big a part as the now six Hall of Famers from that team counting James Lofton and head coach Marv Levy with Kelly, Smith, Thomas and Reed, played in those magical AFC title runs, Reed astutely points out that without their other teammates their success wouldn’t have lasted so long.

“I just went out and played football. That’s what I did. I didn’t think I was better than anybody else, I just did my job the best I could to help the team win. It just so happened that I played with four or five other Hall of Famers that thought the same way I did,” Reed said. “Our success on the field was probably all predicated that you’ve got your four or five guys who were perennial Pro Bowlers, but you have the guys that are backups who are just as good if not sometime during the year just like you. We had those kinds of guys on the team.

“That’s why we went to those four Super Bowls in a row and won all those games. That’s just a testament to how the guys worked and what it meant to them because after one or two years you could’ve been like, ‘Well…’ that’s really what it was about. That’s what we went to training camp for. And they always say we didn’t win, but if you put anybody in our shoes they would’ve loved to be in that situation. It just so happens I was in that position. I was on a great team with great players so we went on that way.”


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Reed trying to soak it all in

Posted by Chris Brown on August 2, 2014 – 11:36 am

Since he was selected as a member of the 2014 Pro Football Hall of Fame class Andre Reed’s schedule has been beyond busy. He hasn’t been home much and been to a countless number of banquets, but the Bills all-time leading receiver is trying hard to take it all in.

“I’ve been a feather in a whirlwind for five months,” he said. “It’s like planning for six weddings for six people. I haven’t been at home as much as I want to, but that’s part of the process. The guys that are in the Hall of Fame who I’ve talked to the past five months that I’ve seen at a couple of events here and there have told me to just enjoy every moment and that it’s a once in a lifetime thing. Besides it being well deserving they tell me to enjoy the process that I’m going through and believe me I’ve taken it all in. There’s no doubt about it.”


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Bell: Harrison was best HOF threat to Reed

Posted by Chris Brown on August 1, 2014 – 10:17 am

With the logjam broken at the wide receiver position for the Hall of Fame with Cris Carter going in last year, it was thought that Andre Reed had the inside track on Tim Brown to gain enshrinement first. What some outside the Committee of Selectors forgot about was that Marvin Harrison was also a finalist.

As USA Today’s Jarrett Bell pointed out to Buffalobills.com, Harrison, the second-leading receiver in NFL history was getting major consideration as a finalist. That’s why Bell thinks it’s good that Reed is going in this year to help clear the way for Brown before the more prolific stat receivers start making the list like Harrison.

“It’s important for Tim Brown because now you’ve got another group coming up with Marvin Harrison who is already in the room now and there were some questions in February amongst a lot of people inside and out of the room about Harrison and whether or not he would leapfrog Andre and get into the Hall of Fame. If it happened you look at Harrison’s numbers and his status when he played with Peyton Manning. That wasn’t out of the question.”


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Reed to be second to last in speech order

Posted by Chris Brown on August 1, 2014 – 9:42 am

Bills 2014 Pro Football Hall of Fame inductee Andre Reed won’t be speaking early among the group of seven former players chosen for enshrinement on Saturday night.

In fact Reed will be the penultimate speaker to accept induction at Fawcett Stadium. That according to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Here’s the order in which the inductees will accept their enshrinement.

1. Derrick Brooks
2. Claude Humphrey
3. Aeneas Williams
4. Walter Jones
5. Ray Guy
6. Andre Reed
7. Michael Strahan

 


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NFL Network special on Andre Reed Thursday

Posted by Chris Brown on July 30, 2014 – 9:00 pm

The NFL Network has put together one-hour specials on all the Hall of Fame inductees for the 2014 class. The special on Andre Reed airs Thursday. Here are the details.

Called ‘The Road to Canton’  the series will feature former Buffalo Bills wide receiver Andre Reed starting at 10:00 PM ET on Thursday, July 31.

The title of the special is called ‘Middle Man: Andre Reed’. The one-hour special features footage of Andre Reed as a high school quarterback, his transition to becoming a speedy and reliable wide receiver at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania, and his consistent play from the slot in the NFL.

Reed was referred to being too small to have an impact in playing football until his senior year of high school. During his senior season, the Allentown, Pennsylvania native became the starting quarterback at Deiruff High School. The future NFL fourth round draft pick was at one point a tremendous talent in the Division II Eastern Pennsylvania Conference.

Andre was regarded by his coaches and teammates for his work ethic and desire for excellence. He made his mark by going across the middle from the slot and turning short passes up field for major yardage after the catch.

Once solidified in the NFL, Reed contributed to a Buffalo Bills team that made four straight Super Bowl appearances with fellow Hall of Famers Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas, James Lofton and Bruce Smith. Even though they could never capture a ring, these players formed a family bond that exists to this day.

Middle Man chronicles those experiences for Andre Reed and also shows the story of how and why he attributes his success in life and the NFL to the values taught to him by his father who battled alcoholism throughout his life.

Middle Man features interviews with special people from Andre Reed’s life:

• Marv Levy – Bills coach
• Thurman Thomas, James Lofton, Bruce Smith, Cornelius Bennett, Steve Tasker and Frank Reich – Bills teammates
• Joyce Reed Ebling – Mother
• Tyrone, Teshia and Dion Reed – Siblings
• Larry Lewis – High School Football Coach


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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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Fan Friday 3-28

Posted by Chris Brown on March 28, 2014 – 11:45 am

Pre-draft visits will begin next week. We’ll have you covered here at Buffalobills.com as the draft is just over a month away. Now we turn to some of your latest questions from email at AskChris@bills.nfl.net and on Twitter @ChrisBrownBills.

1 - Hey CB,

Why are more people not talking about Martavis Bryant?  I saw his combine numbers and at 6 foot 5 I though they were quite impressive.  He was projected by some to go in the late 2nd or 3rd round and I was just thinking.  Wouldn’t that be a steal to get him in the 3rd round?  The bills need a tall receiver that can be a red zone threat.  Thank You

Morgan

CB: There’s no question that Bryant is an athlete after clocking a 4.42 at the NFL combine along with a 10’4” broad jump and a 39-inch vertical. His linear speed is unquestioned, but dropping his weight and getting in and out of breaks is still a bit of a question mark for him. He’s also considered a raw prospect, who wasn’t asked to run a full route tree at Clemson.

My biggest issue with him is his playing strength. Even though he had an impressive 16 reps on the bench it’s difficult to find that strength off the line or in traffic on the playing field in his game. He needs to add muscle to his frame as he goes just 211 pounds and has a slight build. Against the physical cornerbacks of the NFL he’s going to get knocked around. He’s probably a late second or early to mid-third round pick in a deep receiver class.

 

2 – @ChrisBrownBills Do you believe his lack of “body of work” will lower the #Bills interest in Mike Evans? He just started playing ball.

rockydm92

CB: I think what intrigues most NFL clubs with Mike Evans is his amazing production despite still being young in football. As most talent evaluators see it there is a very high ceiling there knowing when he does gain more experience his production could be even better at the NFL level.

And the reason teams are happy to wait on that potential is because right now even in the NFL he’s a size mismatch and he should be able to produce just off his measurables to start. Then as he hones his game he’ll be an even greater asset to a team’s passing attack.

 

3 –  Chris,

With Jairus Byrd now in New Orleans, do you anticipate the Bills are happy with their current S depth with: Aaron Williams, Searcy, Meeks, Duke Williams?

Also a random question, do you know why the NFL football is nicknamed “the Duke”??

-Jim

CB: As you probably saw this week with our coverage of the league meetings in Orlando, led by our own John Murphy, head coach Doug Marrone is considering lining Corey Graham up at safety as part of the competition. It sounds like he’ll compete for a role there, in addition to cornerback, with Duke Williams, Jonathan Meeks and Da’Norris Searcy. Aaron Williams is a lock at one of the safety spots already.

As we outlined in our story on this development this week, Graham isn’t completely foreign to safety.

As for your question about NFL footballs being nicknamed ‘The Duke,’ here’s the history behind it courtesy of the Wilson Sporting goods website.

In honor of the late New York Giants owner, Wellington Mara, one of the most beloved and respected figures in professional sports history, the Official Football of the NFL is called “The Duke”.

Wellington Mara, who spent 81 years with the New York Giants and made numerous contributions to the NFL, was named Wellington by his father, Tim Mara, after the Duke of Wellington. He was given the nickname “The Duke” as a youngster by Giants players.

The NFL first used a ball in honor of Wellington Mara called “The Duke” in 1941 at the suggestion of George Halas, as Tim Mara (Wellington’s father) had helped him arrange for Wilson Sporting Goods Co. to become the league’s official supplier of game balls.

“The Duke” ball was used through 1969 but was discontinued prior to the 1970 season, the first to be played post NFL-AFL merger. The NFL and AFL continued using a Wilson football, but with a new design and no official name. In 2006, the NFL returned the name of “The Duke” to the ball after Mara’s passing in October, 2005.

 

4 – Chris,

I think the two best prospects the Bills should consider are Khalil Mack and Sammy Watkins. Which do you think fits the team better? They would bit the best player available. What chances to you think they might make it to 9? How should the Bills protect a team jumping up to 7 or 8th pick if they find a player they love?

Josh

CB: I don’t disagree that Mack and Watkins are two of the best prospects in the class, but I’d be surprised if either are available at nine. If either one gets past the fifth pick I think a few teams will be making efforts to move up to six or seven to grab them. If both are still on the board when Tampa Bay is on the clock at 7, I think it’d be very tempting for Buffalo to swap spots with Minnesota at 8 to ensure they would get at least one of them. Still, parting with picks is not what the Bills typically do. Then again it’s Doug Whaley’s first draft and we don’t have a track record to work with concerning his approach in a fluid draft situation.

 

5 – Hi, Chris!

What criteria did the Bills and New York Giants, and the rest of the NFL teams qualify to be the selected matchup for the annual NFL HOF Game? Does both the PFHOF in Canton, OH, and the NFL decide which teams to play, is the selection if teams always announced in February, especially after the Super Bowl? Thanks. Llewellyn.

CB:  The league doesn’t have a specific criteria, but the fact that both NFL franchises have some of their most popular all-time players being inducted in this year’s Hall of Fame class in Andre Reed and Michael Strahan does play a factor. The NFL also takes into account the likelihood of fans from the respective teams traveling to the game. Knowing that fans of the Bills and Giants will already be on hand for the induction ceremony, there’s a strong likelihood that many of them will make a full weekend of it and take in the Hall of Fame game Sunday as well.


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Posted in Inside the Bills

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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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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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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