Andre Reed: Over The Middle

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The 2014 Hall of Fame class was announced on Saturday evening. One of the players that made it was Andre Reed of the Buffalo Bills. He had been on the ballot for a while now. Reed’s first year of eligibility was 2006. There has been a logjam at the receiver position with players such as Jerry Rice, Chris Carter, Michael Irvin and Tim Brown. This had caused Reed to be passed over but 2014 was a different story.

If you look at Reed’s career statistics, it is hard to over look the fact that he is one of the best ever. He is near the top of the all time list in multiple receiving categories:

951 receptions (11th)

13,198 yards (13th)

87 touchdowns (12th)

Furthermore, when it came to Super Bowls, few have accumulated better numbers than Reed. Reed (27) is second only to Jerry Rice (33) in all time Super Bowl receptions. Only Jerry Rice (589 yds) and Lynn Swann (364 yds) have more yards than Reed (323 yds) in Super Bowl history. Additionally, Reed posted the fifth highest individual receiving yards total in one game.

reed_featureIt is hard to deny the greatness of Andre Reed. He was known for his relentless pursuit of the end zone after catching the slant. He seemed to have a knack for bouncing off of defenders and keeping his balance as he raced towards the end zone. Reed’s best season came in 1994 when he had 90 receptions, 1,303 yards and eight touchdowns. 

Reed was a seven time Pro Bowler from 1988 – 1994. He played in 234 games between 1985 and 200. The one game that he is known mostly for is the 1993 playoff victory over the Houston Oilers. The game came to be know as the comeback.  Houston led decisively 35-3 during the third quarter, Reed caught three touchdowns in the second half to lead the Bills to the largest comeback in NFL history. Reed finished the game with eight receptions for 136 yards and three touchdowns.

I spoke to Jim Kelly at Radio Row on Thursday before the Super Bowl. The first thing that I said to him was that he has to get Andre Reed into the Hall of Fame. He agreed and said that he is praying for his receiver. Chris Carter was enshrined into the Hall of Fame last year. When I asked him about Reed getting into the Hall, Carter felt that Reed was deserving of going in as well.

There isn’t much not to like about the underdog that went from a Kutztown University, a small college in the Pennsylvania South Athletic Conference (PSAC). He was the epitome of taking on the odds and beating them. Reed was selected in the fifth round and went on to become one of the all time greats.

Reed was still around the game after he retired. This past year saw Reed spending some time with the Kansas City Chiefs as a temporary receivers coach. Andre Reed is well deserving of his being nominated into the Hall of Fame.

nfl_thomas_reed_195He was a major part of a revolutionary offense with the Buffalo Bills. The offense was known as the “K Gun.” They used the no huddle to keep defenses off guard. Year after year, Reed was the top receiving threat for Jim Kelly and the high powered offense. It should be noted that Jim Kelly and Thurman Thomas are both a part of the Hall of Fame already. It is only right that Reed joins them this summer.

The Bills fell short of winning the Super Bowl in their four attempts but Andre Reed did his best to put his team in position to win the big game. His best game came in Super Bowl XXVII when he posted eight receptions and 152 yards. Unfortunately, that stellar performance was lost in the      52-17 loss to the Dallas Cowboys.

The voters got it right this time. Reed had previously been in a finalist twice before. He was regarded as one of the best receivers in the 1990s and that warrants Hall of Fame status. I look forward to his speech at Canton this summer.