‘Call to Hall’ finally rings true for former Bills receiver Reed

When the Buffalo Bills become the topic of discussion one of the first things people think of is their run to four straight Super Bowls in the 1990s.

The next thing people think of is the powerhouse of talent and great coaching they had on those teams. Specifically, guys like Jim Kelly, Thurman Thomas, Bruce Smith, Andre Reed, and Marv Levy—all of whom shared the pride of those winning seasons, as well as the agony of defeat in four-straight Super Bowls.

Each of those players held different statistical records and played different roles on each AFC championship team, but still had much in common because they were great players.

But for wide receiver Andre Reed, it was different—he was different. Unlike Kelly, Thomas, Smith and Levy, Reed was not a member of the NFL Hall of Fame.

The Bills selected Reed in the fourth round of the 1985 NFL draft. He came from relatively unknown Kutztown State University, but he quickly became a well-known player, a huge part of the Bills’ high scoring “K-Gun” offense, and a fan favorite.

Reed was a seven-time Pro Bowler. He had 951 career receptions, which at the time of his retirement was good enough for third in NFL history. He had 87 career touchdowns, which is twelfth in NFL history. He also had thirteen-straight seasons of 50 receptions or more, second only to Jerry Rice, who is widely considered the greatest wide receiver of all time.

He wasn’t just good in the regular season; he stepped up when the games counted the most, in the playoffs and in the Super Bowl. He has the second most receptions and third most receiving yards in Super Bowl history.

Reed is considered the most prolific wide receiver in Buffalo Bills history and holds just about every Bills receiving record.

So, for a guy who played in such a prolific offense with first- and second-ballot Hall of Famers surrounding him, why did it take until his ninth year of eligibility to get the Call To The Hall?

The bottom line is he’s in. Sometimes you have to wait a while. But thank God, he’s in.

— Jim Kelly

Some blame it on the logjam of possible HOF wide receivers. Some blame it on playing in a small market. Some blame it on the fact that his numbers are becoming almost the average stats for NFL wide outs in today’s game. But the level of play he achieved in the playoffs and Super Bowl puts him over the top and makes him even more deserving.

He has said how disappointed he had gotten year after year when his name wasn’t called. He said he felt as if he let his family down more than himself.

The road from his first-year of eligibility in 2006, to his eventual induction in 2014 was a tough one for Reed and Bills fans alike.

For a guy who missed only one game or less in all of but two of his 15 seasons on the Bills, for a guy who consistently put up great numbers year-in and year-out, playing in Buffalo—where we know the weather isn’t the greatest during football season—this an honor that should have been awarded to him long ago.

Reed has said he is ecstatic to finally be joining his teammates and coach. Jim Kelly put it best, telling USA Today: “The bottom line is he’s in. Sometimes you have to wait a while. But thank God, he’s in.”

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