Inside The Bills

Marv Levy gets street named after him

Posted by Chris Brown on November 29, 2016 – 9:07 am

Bills Hall of Fame coach Marv Levy was recently honored in his native Chicago with an honorary street designation on the Windy City’s north side.

Marv Levy Way was dedicated last week with Levy and his wife Fran on hand for the dedication ceremony. In typical Levy fashion, the former Bills head coach has a bit of humor for those in attendance for the unveiling.

“I just want everybody to know that effective January 1st this will become a toll road,” Levy quipped.

Here’s the report on Levy’s honorary street designation.


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Marv Levy honored at World Series

Posted by Chris Brown on October 28, 2016 – 9:38 pm


Bills Hall of Fame coach Marv Levy was honored during the fourth inning of game 3 of the World Series tonight at Wrigley Field.

Levy was honored because as a devout life long Cubs fan he was at the last World Series game played at Wrigley in 1945 when he was on leave from the US Army Air Corps.

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Marv Levy to again be a presenter at HOF

Posted by Chris Brown on August 5, 2016 – 4:12 pm

Bills Hall of Fame head coach Marv Levy has been a presenter several times before at the Pro Football Hall of Fame. For once he won’t be doing it for an enshrined Buffalo Bills player.

Levy will be the presenter for Senior Committee inductee Dick Stanfel. The former Detroit and Washington offensive linemen is being enshrined largely through the efforts of Levy, a former coaching colleague of Stanfel’s.

Stanfel’s three sons largely credit Levy for campaigning for Stanfel to be considered and re-considered by the Senior Committee for enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

“Marv was the hugest proponent of getting, if I had to pick one single person, Marv Levy sort of carried the banner for dad,” Stanfel’s son Rick told ESPN.

Stanfel was an offensive lineman during his playing days and worked under Levy on the Cal coaching staff in 1963. They also coached together as assistants with the Philadelphia Eagles in 1969.

Stanfel passed away last year at the age of 87, and with his sons knowing they were too young to speak about their father’s playing days, they chose Levy to do the honors.

So once again Levy will be in Canton for Hall of Fame weekend.

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The 2 people who whipped Bruce into shape

Posted by Chris Brown on May 11, 2016 – 3:04 pm

As a rookie, Bills Hall of Famer Bruce Smith was a doughy defensive end, who thought his ability was good enough to get away with it. That is until a Bills teammate got on his case about his fitness level, along with someone from his alma mater at Virginia Tech.

Bills Hall of Fame coach Marv Levy relayed a story about the two people who helped to change Smith’s approach to the game.

“In his early years even though he was a number one pick in the draft and so much was expected. He was overweight, self-indulgent, didn’t have great practice habits, all of those things,” said Levy. “Two people had quite an impact on turning him around.

“One was his coveted teammate Darryl Talley, who really sort of gave him that proverbial kick in the butt to get going. But the other in the offseason I understand he went back to Virginia Tech to finish his degree, which was good. There he met a woman counselor who put him on the right track in every respect. Boy he dropped weight with the urgings of her and Darryl. Shaped up and got ready, his principles changed.

“He not only turned out to be the greatest player, he married that woman, what a wife she was, his wife Carmen. So those people had great impact on him. What a change in his practice habits, his excitement about playing the game, all of those things occurred.”

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Some history for Rex Sunday

Posted by Chris Brown on September 11, 2015 – 9:35 am

As we profiled on this morning, Rex Ryan has a strong won-loss record in season openers with a 5-1 mark as a head coach. If Ryan can emerge victorious from Buffalo’s Week 1 matchup with Indianapolis he’ll be in some select Bills coaching company.

With a win Rex Ryan can become the first Bills head coach to win his first Kickoff Weekend game. He can also become the second Bills head coach to win his first game joining Hall of Famer Marv Levy.

Levy’s first game was a win, but came in the middle of the 1986 season after he replaced Hank Bullough.

With a win, the Bills will also post their first home Kickoff Weekend game victory since September 7, 2008 when Buffalo beat Seattle 34-17.



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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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Levy on what makes a winning coach

Posted by Chris Brown on January 30, 2015 – 12:55 pm

Bills Hall of Fame coach Marv Levy was enormously successful in his second go round as a head coach in the NFL in Buffalo. He’s a big part of our story today on as we look at the trend of Super Bowl success for second-time head coaches and how it may apply to Bills new head coach Rex Ryan. In the conversation with Levy by phone he laid out three of the most important qualities in a successful head coach.

“Every good coach to me has these three qualities,” said Levy. “He’s a good teacher, and he can inject his own personality, but he gets his teaching across to the players and they buy in and see the value of his teaching. Two and this is overwhelmingly important, he works well with others in the organization. Yeah you can disagree, but don’t be disagreeable. Whether it’s who you ought to draft or stuff of that nature. Third he’s a straight shooter.”

Ryan explained some of the experience he gained in working with young quarterbacks in New York that he believes will help him with EJ Manuel in Buffalo in his sitdown interview with He talked about how they don’t intend to give Manuel 600 plays to memorize. Levy saw that as a smart move on Ryan’s part.

“One of the greatest things that helped us in our success, and if I had any advice for any other coach I’d say throw away half your playbook,” said Levy. “Our no huddle offense, we had a playbook about 20 percent the size of all of those in the league, so that’s an astute remark on Rex’s part I would think.”

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Levy: Coaches are often fired too quickly

Posted by Chris Brown on January 30, 2015 – 10:04 am

Bills Hall of Fame coach Marv Levy lent his expertise on the success of second-time NFL head coaches in our feature story on today (Friday). He also expressed a few opinions on how quick some NFL owners are to pull the trigger in making a coaching change.

“You look at the two head coaches who are in the Super Bowl now,” Levy told “Pete Carroll was fired in New England and Bill Belichick was fired in Cleveland. I was fired in Kansas City and I was on George Allen’s staff and he had been fired with the Rams and was hired by the Redskins and two years later we were in the Super Bowl. There are more examples that I could mention.

“I think that there is a give in to media and public clamor about getting rid of a coach. I think the Bears did that with Marc Trestman. I think if they stayed with him he’d be a good 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. 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, 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 “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 “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 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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