Inside The Bills

Jim Kelly to co-host HOF ‘Day out with Dad’

Posted by Chris Brown on May 23, 2016 – 10:10 am

Bills Hall of Fame QB Jim Kelly will be co-hosting a special event at the Pro Football Hall of Fame next month.

Kelly along with fellow Hall of Famer Anthony Munoz will co-host the Hall’s ‘Day out with Dad’ event on June 25th in Canton. Kelly will be joined by his daughter Erin and alongside Muñoz will be his son Michael.

Pre-registration is encouraged as space may be limited for walk-up entries. Dads and children should pre-register at ProFootballHOF.com/dads-day. Cost for “Day Out with Dad” is just $35 and includes a father and up to four kids.

In addition to the exclusive character camp that is based off the Hall’s five core values learned from the Game – commitment, integrity, courage, respect and excellence – a ticket includes lunch vouchers from Chick-fil-A, admission into the Pro Football Hall of Fame and free parking.

The event includes a day of family fun centered around an official Hall of Fame Character Camp that will include football skills and drills. Fathers and their children can spend the day bonding while also getting up close and personal to two great Heroes of the Game.

 


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Wilson Foundation donates $2.5M to HOF

Posted by Chris Brown on February 17, 2016 – 3:09 pm

The Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation has provided a sizable grant to the Pro Football Hall of Fame. The Hall announced on Wednesday that they are the recipient of a $2.5 million grant from the Wilson Foundation earmarked for a variety of Hall of Fame programs and projects.

Among the projects is a dramatic holographic theater experience concentrating on the values learned from the game. Other initiatives funded by the grant include the digitization of the Hall of Fame archives that will focus on developing a comprehensive digital archive for every NFL player past and present. Also, $1 million of the grant will be set aside to create an endowment to support Hall of Fame programs on an annual basis.

Wilson Foundation Executive Vice President and Life Trustee Mary Owen was joined by Hall of Fame President David Baker Wednesday at the Hall of Fame to make the announcement.

“Ralph Wilson’s legacy was forever bronzed in Canton through his election to the Pro Football Hall of Fame,” said Baker. “His great love of the game and strong desire to preserve its history was made ever so evident when in 2012 he provided a generous $2.5 million gift to fund Hall of Fame’s new Research & Preservation Center, now named in his honor. This generous additional gift from the Foundation is further evidence of the special appreciation Ralph had for the Pro Football Hall of Fame and its Mission.”

The Ralph Wilson, Jr. Pro Football Research & Preservation Center was dedicated in August 2012 and today the state-of-the-art archive is home to more than 30 million pages of documents and five million photographic images.

“We are proud to announce today’s donation to the Pro Football Hall of Fame and honored to be a part of preserving the legacy of both Ralph Wilson and the game of football,” said Owen. “This grant will support the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s efforts to fulfill its mission through providing a state of the art museum experience rich in content from the Ralph Wilson, Jr. Research and Preservation Center.

Owen, who serves as a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame’s Advisory Committee, and Wilson’s niece, was at the Hall of Fame on Wednesday where Owen and Baker made the announcement at the entrance of the world-class archive that bears her uncle’s name.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Levy on being Polian’s HOF presenter

Posted by Chris Brown on July 15, 2015 – 7:52 pm

 

2015 Hall of Fame inductee Bill Polian has stated it before, but it was officially announced Wednesday that his Hall of Fame presenter will be Bills Hall of Fame coach Marv Levy. Levy was touched to be chosen by Polian to introduce him for enshrinement.

“I’m so honored and complimented that he asked me to be his presenter. He’s not just a former co-worker of mine; we are great friends as well,” Levy said. “His contributions to the game have been magnificent and I savor the opportunity to be his presenter.”

It is a reversal of roles for Polian and Levy. When Levy was enshrined into the Hall of Fame in 2001, Polian served as his presenter. This marks the fourth time that Levy will serve as a presenter having done so for three of his former Buffalo Bills players, Jim Kelly (2002), Thurman Thomas (2007) and Andre Reed (2014).

 


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How life has changed for Reed as HOF’er

Posted by Chris Brown on June 24, 2015 – 8:17 am

It’s been almost a full calendar year since his Pro Football Hall of Fame induction, and life has has changed for Bills all-time leading receiver Andre Reed. He recently explained how things are a bit different.

“It’s changed a lot,” Reed said. “Those three letters (HOF) really do something and watching Thurman (Thomas) and all the guys who went in years before me. I always envisioned that it might happen to me some day. It’s almost a year now and it’s been a tremendous year. It isn’t just really what you did on the field. The Hall of Fame stands for more than that. It’s how you carry yourself and present the game. They say it’s the values of the game and preserving its history and that’s what the Hall of Fame is about. That’s probably the most important thing.”

Reed, who will be serving as a coaching intern with the Bills at training camp this summer, just had a park and street named after him in his hometown of Allentown, PA.

 


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Bills HOFers to honor HS student athletes

Posted by Chris Brown on April 27, 2015 – 10:06 am

Bills Pro Football Hall of Famers, Joe DeLamielleure and Andre Reed will be honoring student athlete finalists for the U.S. Army-Pro Football Hall of Fame Award for Excellence later this week.

DeLamielleure will recognize two student athletes in Elizabethtown and Raleigh, North Carolina to honor Abby Norris and Austin Bell at East Bladen and Broughton high schools.

Meanwhile Reed will be on hand at New Brighton Area high school to honor Tara McFadden before her fellow classmates and family during a formal ceremony.

The Award for Excellence program highlights the achievements of student-athletes across the country. Open to all sophomore, junior and senior-level high school athletes in the United States, finalists were determined based on athletic, academic and civic achievements. These three honorees are part of an elite group of 20 finalists who have demonstrated excellence in all they do and that they understand the importance of adaptability and versatility when working as a team.


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Making the case for Kent Hull

Posted by Chris Brown on January 20, 2015 – 11:03 am

He’s never been a Pro Football Hall of Fame semifinalist let along a finalist, but Bills Wall of Famer Kent Hull was a pretty important cog in Buffalo’s four consecutive AFC title teams. Respected columnist Rick Gosselin took a stab at making the case for late Kent Hull recently for more Hall of Fame consideration.

Part of his argument centered around how important he was in helping the K-Gun offense operate. While Jim Kelly called the plays, Hull set up the blocking schemes on the fly to help make the breakneck pace of the offense possible. He also was a pretty darn good player.

Gosselin is also realistic in describing how the teams that don’t win the Super Bowl often find it more difficult to see players get enshrined, even if they are deserving.

There’s a very strong likelihood that the best chance for Hull might be as a Senior Committee nominee several years down the road, much like this year’s Senior Committe nominee, Mick Tingelhoff, a center as well on a very successful Minnesota club that won 10 division titles in 11 seasons and also appeared in four Super Bowls, and lost all of them.


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Two former Bills to salute vets at HOF

Posted by Chris Brown on November 8, 2014 – 9:15 am

A pair of former Bills offensive linemen will be saluting service veterans at the Pro Football Hall of Fame this weekend.

The Pro Football Hall of Fame, in observance of Veterans Day, will present the 14th annual A Salute to Veterans, program as a tribute to veterans and members of the active military on Saturday, Nov. 8.

This year’s program will feature Gold Jacket Joe DeLamielleure and Mike Montler, his former Buffalo Bills teammate. Montler, a Columbus, Ohio native, joined the Marine Corps in 1961, a move he said “changed my life.”  He served from 1961-65 and then went on to become an All-American guard at the University of Colorado. The Boston Patriots drafted Montler in the second round of the 1969 draft. DeLamielleure and Montler joined forces in Buffalo in 1973 when Joe D was the team’s first round draft pick. The duo became anchors of the famed Buffalo Bills’ “Electric Company” offensive line.

A special program is scheduled at 10:00 a.m. in the Hall of Fame’s Event Center. All visitors attending the program will receive a commemorative Pro Football Hall of Fame patriotic pin specially created for the program in honor of our nation’s heroes.

The Hall of Fame is collecting items to be donated to the USO of Massillon, Ohio. The most needed items include: canned fruit, granola bars, microwave popcorn, pasta sauce, coffee, cereal, peanut butter, rice, beans, pasta, laundry soap, shower gel, body wash, tampons, dish soap, cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer and paper towels.

A Salute to Veterans is one of many special events held by the Pro Football Hall of Fame at the museum and around the country. For more information, visit the Hall’s event calendar online at ProFootballHOF.com/events.


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Polian named finalist for 2015 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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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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