Inside The Bills

Breaking HOF WR logjam not easy

Posted by Chris Brown on January 10, 2014 – 9:23 am

Bills WR Andre Reed is a Pro Football Hall of Fame finalist for the eighth straight year, after he was named to the list of 15 Thursday night. The presenter for Buffalo candidates is Hall of Fame Selector and Buffalo News Bills beat reporter Mark Gaughan. He appeared on the John Murphy Show this week and explained that while Reed is a solid candidate breaking the wide receiver logjam is easier said than done.

Gaughan said the main reason Cris Carter leapfrogged Reed last year, even though Reed had made the first cut from 15 to 10 three of the previous four years, was in large part because Carter had 135 touchdowns to Reed’s 87. Now that Carter is in Murphy asked Gaughan if that clears the way for Reed this year.

“I hope so although it’s not simple,” said Gaughan. “Tim Brown is still there, but he has never made the final 10. Andre has made the final 10 for four of the last five years. Marvin Harrison is up this year so how does that impact the dynamics of the vote? That’s a good question.”

Still, Gaughan believes Reed is just as solid as about any other candidate on the final 15 list this year.

“He is a very strong candidate,” said Gaughan. “He’s viewed as a strong candidate or he wouldn’t keep making it. Not only has he made it eight times to the final 15, but he’s made the final 10 four of the last five years . I’m sure everybody knows this, but the way it works is the final 15 are whittled down to 10 and then five and then you vote up or down on those five.”

As for any so called “slam dunk” finalists that are most likely to gain enshrinement, Gaughan isn’t certain there are shoe-ins, but has a favorite for such a designation.

“It’s tough to predict,” he said. “Of the four first time eligible guys, Marvin Harrison, Walter Jones and Derrick Brooks, I think Walter Jones is probably the closest thing to a slam dunk. Nobody is a slam dunk like Joe Montana or Bruce Smith or Dan Marino. But Walter Jones is probably one of six or seven best tackles of all time. He’s an all-1st team all-decade player.”

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