ANDRE REED FINALLY GETS HIS RESPECT
Andre Reed is the Rodney Dangerfield of NFL wide receivers...he gets no respect. Reed spent 15 of his 16 seasons in Buffalo and posted some amazing numbers for the Bills, yet he is not mentioned enough as one of the best receivers of his era. It took until now, 2014, for Andre Reed to get his due and make it into the Hall of Fame. Congratulations! I will examine his career and demonstrate why he was one of the best receivers of his era, and why it is travesty it took this long for him to get the honor he deserved.
Andre Reed and his no respect goes all the way back to his college days. Reed did not attend one of the college football factories, and instead played for the University of Pennsylvania at Kutztown. He was a dominant force in college, demonstrating great speed and the ability to make a tough catch in traffic. Although, he fell to the fourth round in the 1985 draft, where he was selected 86th overall by the Bills. This was due to the college he went to, as well as the fact that he did not have the prototypical size for what general managers were looking for in receivers, at 6’2” and 190 pounds.
Rodney Dangerfield: With my dog I don't get no respect. He keeps barking at the front door. He don't want to go out. He wants me to leave.
When Andre got to Buffalo he became the best receiver in Bills history. The most impressive feat Reed had was that he was so durable and consistent during his 15 years as a Bills receiver, most of which was spent in the slot. #83 lived over the middle and was not afraid to stick his nose into traffic to make a catch. The era in which Reed played was one that favored running attacks over passing games. When Andre Reed played the NFL looked very different than it does today, and Jim Kelly provides the perfect evidence.
Kelly was the leader of the Bills K-Gun offense, and was known as one of the best passing quarterbacks of his day. Although, you would not know that if you went back and looked at Kelly’s stats. Jim Kelly never had a season with more than 4,000 yards passing and only two seasons with more than 3,500 yards. Kelly did throw for more than 3,000 yards eight times in his career. If Kelly had played into today’s era, he would definitely have been a candidate to throw for over 5,000 yards.
Rodney Dangerfield: A girl phoned me and said, "Come on over. There's nobody home." I went over. Nobody was home!
Not only did Andre play in an era where the passing game was dwarfed by the running attack, he played with a ton of other talented players on the offensive side of the ball that limited his overall touches. The Bills had one of the greatest running backs of the day in Thurman “Thurmal” Thomas who was an absolute dual threat running back. Thomas had over 40 catches in a season six times, and more than 25 catches ten times. Then there all the other receivers that Reed had to fight against for attention.
The Bills were one of the most dominating teams in the NFL during Reed’s time there. A big reason for this was the fact that Reed never had to do it alone. The Bills had plenty of other receivers that Jim Kelly could spread the ball around to: James Lofton, Quinn Early, Chris Burkett, Bill Brooks, Don Beebe, Pete Metzelaars and Eric Moulds. Even with all of these receivers stealing catches from Reed, he was still able to post great and consistent numbers.
Rodney Dangerfield: I remember I was so depressed I was going to jump out a window on the tenth floor. They sent a priest up to talk to me. He said, "On your mark..."
Reed had four 1,000-yard receiving seasons in his Bills career, but had more than 739 receiving yards 12 times. Andre was just as consistent with receptions having 90 catches once, but more than 60 catches nine times and more than 50 grabs 13 times. Reed was a consistent source of production throughout his entire 15-year career with the Bills, and showed just how durable and great he was.
When you compare Reed’s numbers versus the rivals of his day his numbers do stack up. Of the receivers that played in his era that have made the Hall of Fame, Reed’s numbers are very comparable to James Lofton, Art Monk and Steve Largent. His yearly consistency was just as good as all of these players with seven seasons over 900 yards receiving, which was more than Monk, the same as Lofton and two less than Largent. Reed was a more prolific in his receptions than both Largent and Lofton, both of whom never had 80 or more catches in a season, which Reed did three times. When it comes to ability to score touchdowns, Reed was better than Monk (79) and Lofton (75) with 87 scores in his career. Largent bested him with 100, but Largent did not have many other receivers to steal targets away from him as Reed did.
Rodney Dangerfield: When I was a kid I got no respect. The time I was kidnapped, and the kidnappers sent my parents a note they said, "We want five thousand dollars or you'll see your kid again."
Andre finished his career with 951 catches for 13,198 yards and 87 touchdowns. Those numbers rank him 11th all-time in receptions, 12th in touchdowns, and 13th in yardage. In terms of receptions Reed finished in the top 25 amongst receivers eight times, top 10 five times and top five twice. As for yardage he finished top 25 nine times, top 10 three times and top five twice. Reed may have played in the slot, but he scored touchdowns with frequency, and finished top 25 eight times, top 10 four times, and top five once. What he did for the Bills during his 15 years was even more amazing.
With all the talent the Bills had on their roster during Reed’s time, he still led the team in touchdowns and catches 10 times and in receiving yards nine times during his 15 years with the team. While Reed dominated for the Bills, he still gets no respect as one of the greatest receivers of his day. Reed was the leading receiver on a team that went to four straight Super Bowls. He also made seven Pro Bowls and was named an All-Conference player four times in his career.
Rodney Dangerfield: I was making love to this girl and she started crying. I said, "Are you going to hate yourself in the morning?" She said, "No, I hate myself now."
There is no doubt in my mind that Andre Reed was one of the greatest receivers of his generation. If Reed did not have all the other great complimentary players around him he would have posted bigger individual numbers, but Reed was never about individual accomplishment. He was a consummate team player and team leader in that regard. The reason the Bills were as successful as they were, was due to the unselfish nature of the guys on offense, and that started with Andre Reed. So when you go back and think about Reed, don’t you think it is time to give him credit as a player that posted awesome numbers while also being a great team player, on a great team? Give the man his RESPECT!!! HOF!!! Worthy!!! Worthy!!! Worthy!!!
CHART OF THE BEST WRS OF ANDRE REED'S ERA (like every single one of 'em)
ANDRE REED HIGHLIGHTS
RODNEY ON CARSON