Updated: 08/01/2014 6:24 PM
Created: 08/01/2014 4:32 PM WHEC.com
By: Justin Granit
It was worth the wait for Andre Reed. The Buffalo Bills legend will be enshrined at the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday in Canton.
Before Andre Reed was number 83, he was number 46. He was a kid drafted in the fourth round out of Kutztown University. He was not even given a wide receiver’s number during the 1985 preseason. People soon learned how special number 83 would be.
Reed said, “When I came here in 1985, I never thought. I was just one of the guys that wanted to fit in and wanted to play.”
Reed spent 15 seasons in Buffalo. He ranks first all-time in team history with 941 receptions, 13,095 yards and 86 touchdowns.
Reed said, “Not too many people get blessed like that, but you take advantage of things. You are out there, doing your best and things happen, so I’m thankful for that.”
Those numbers are impressive, but they do not define Andre Reed. Reed was a member of the Bills four straight Super Bowl teams from 1991 through 1994. The team never raised the Lombardi Trophy, but four straight Super Bowl appearances will likely never happen again.
Reed said, “We didn’t win any Super Bowls, but that was the ride of my life. You couldn’t get me off that ride. During that time, there will never be an assembly of players like that again.”
His quarterback, Jim Kelly is recovering from chemotherapy and radiation in his fight with sinus cancer. Kelly is weak. He has lost 51 pounds, but has found the strength to be in Canton for his guy.
Kelly said, “People ask me, ‘Are you going?’ I wouldn’t miss it. I would get out of the hospital to go see it.”
Reed retired in 2000 after 16 NFL seasons. His final one was with the Redskins. Since then, he has watched as his friends, Kelly, Thurman Thomas, Bruce Smith, Marv Levy and Ralph Wilson, all get their calls to the hall of fame. Finally, it is the wide receiver’s turn.
Reed said, “It's bigger than I thought it was, but I’ve got five guys in the hall of fame that told me what it was like. Just to be in the same sentence as those guys now, it is pretty good.”