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Andre Reed knows importance of a solid No. 2 WR

By Tim Graham

PITTSFORD -- I wish I could accurately convey the sound Andre Reed made when I asked him how much better a No. 1 receiver can be when he has a reliable complement on the other side of the field.

Reed's face contorted a bit, and he emitted something along the lines of "Aw, fssssh."

The greatest receiver in Buffalo Bills history visited training camp today at St. John Fisher College and shared with reporters some of his thoughts on this year's team. One of the bigger questions is who will emerge as the Bills' receiver opposite Stevie Johnson.

There were some seasons Reed didn't have much help in that regard. The Bills receiver with the second-most catches in 1988 was Trumaine Johnson. In 1989, it was Flip Johnson.

"My first few, I had nobody," Reed said.

Reed also saw how much more explosive the offense could be when the Bills acquired Hall of Fame field-stretcher James Lofton.

"You never know who's going to be that No. 2, but that's a battle that's going to go through training camp," Reed said, "and it's going to be interesting to see who takes that pressure off [Stevie Johnson]."

The Bills have needed help from a menagerie of targets other teams didn't want -- either because they weren't drafted (David Nelson, Donald Jones, Naaman Roosevelt) or had been cut (Derek Hagan, Ruvell Martin). Also in the mix are David Clowney and third-year pro Marcus Easley, who hasn't played an NFL down yet.

As for the offense as a whole, Reed said it hinges on quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick and how head coach Chan Gailey handles the backfield tandem of Fred Jackson and C.J. Spiller.

"It'll be interesting to see what they do with the running backs," Reed said. "In the league now, you've got to have two guys that can do different things. Both of those guys are phenomenal in what they do. If Chan does it right and uses those guys right, that'll take a lot of pressure off Ryan and the passing game."

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About Press Coverage

Tim Graham

Tim Graham

Tim Graham returned to The Buffalo News in 2011 after covering the NFL for three years at ESPN and for one year at the Palm Beach Post. Before that, the Cleveland native spent seven seasons on the Buffalo Sabres beat for The News and was president of the Boxing Writers Association of America.

@ByTimGraham |

Mark Gaughan

Mark Gaughan

Buffalo native Mark Gaughan started working at The News in 1980 and has been covering the Bills exclusively since 1992. He is a former president of the Pro Football Writers of America, and he is a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame selection committee.

@gggaughan |

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski

Jay Skurski joined The News in January 2009. The Lewiston native attended St. Francis High School before graduating from the University of South Florida. He writes a weekly Fantasy column in addition to his beat writing duties.

@JaySkurski |