Andre Reed Makes the Hall of Fame

(From USA Today)

NEW YORK – Andre Reed hugged former Buffalo Bills teammates and now fellow Hall of Famers Jim Kelly and Bruce Smith so hard that his former quarterback Kelly yowled playfully, "You just broke my back, Andre!''

"I'm just glad to be with my teammates,'' Reed said inside Radio City Music Hall after he and six others were elected to the 2014 Pro Football Hall of Fame class. "This is the way it's supposed to be, me and my boys. I look at my teammates and my coach (Hall of Famer Marv Levy) and we were family.

"Yes, I've waited. But my dad always told me, 'Good things come to those who wait.' These guys are immortalized in the Pro Football Hall of Fame and for me now to be with them, next to the birth of my kids, there is nothing better.''

It was quite the emotional scene as Reed wiped away a tear while he embraced Smith after waiting eight years to join his buddies in pro football immortality.

The 46-member selection committee met for eight hours and 59 minutes. The longest debate – 46 minutes -- involved first-time finalist Dungy, the first African-American coach to win a Super Bowl.

Seven-time Pro Bowler Reed was Kelly's go-to slot receiver. His 951 career receptions (87 TDs) were third most all-time when he retired. Reed and Kelly combined for 663 of those receptions and the former Kutztown State receiver finished with 13,198 yards. Reed joined Hall of Famer Jerry Rice as one of only two players to record 13 separate 50-catch seasons.

"He was one of the run-after-the-catch guys ever to play,'' Kelly told USA TODAY Sports. "He was so consistent, tough and once he caught the football, he was tough to tackle.

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


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