Inside The Bills

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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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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Posted in Inside the Bills

DL coach tonight on The John Murphy Show

Posted by johnmurphyshow on January 30, 2013 – 5:53 pm

We’re back on the air with The John Murphy Show Wednesday night, after the podcast on Tuesday because of hockey. And we’ve got a good lineup for the radio show.

At 720pm, we’ll be joined in studio by the new Defensive Line Coach for the Buffalo Bills. Anthony Weaver joins the Bills after working with Mike Pettine and the Jets defense last year. He’s a former NFL defensive lineman, and he was a teammate of Mario Williams when the two played in Houston. We’ll ask Coach Weaver about coaching his former teammate and settling in with the Bills.

This Saturday, at the Super Bowl in New Orleans, electors will vote on the 2013 class for the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Former Bills WR Andre Reed is one of 15-finalists for the eighth year. What are his chances this year?

We’ll talk with Mark Gaughan of the Buffalo News on the radio show Wednesday at 8pm. Gaughan will present Reed’s nomination again this year during an eight hour meeeting in New Orleans Saturday.

We’ll have Super Bowl news and we’ll talk about how the 2012 Bills Special Teams ranked last season. As usual, we’ll make room for phone calls from fans.

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

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