By Tim Graham
CANTON, Ohio -- The Buffalo Bills already have been blessed with an enviable number of Pro Football Hall of Famers. They have nine despite not winning a Super Bowl.
One of the greatest defensive backs of all-time believes the Bills should have at least 10.
Lem Barney has been an advocate for receiver Andre Reed to have a bronze bust and a gold blazer.
"When a guy can do things like Andre, he should be in," Barney told me today. He was inducted in 1992. "He was fierce going across the middle. That's really a danger zone for a receiver. He had the tenacity and the fearlessness to do it.
"Plus, he's got the numbers. Numbers are important, and I think if you would compare Dre's numbers with some of the other receivers that are already in there, you'd see he belongs."
Reed has been a finalist six times, including for this year's class, which is being inducted tonight here at Fawcett Stadium.
Reed, a seven-time Pro Bowler, had 951 catches for 13,198 yards and 87 touchdowns. Those stats rank among the top 12 all-time even as the NFL continues to throw more and more.
Barney also agreed that receivers who amass stats over the middle of the field should get extra credit.
"As long as a receiver gets first and 10, that's what matters," Barney said. "But Andre wasn't afraid to go across the middle to make the big plays.
"Hopefully, next year will be his year."
(Photo: Harry Scull Jr./Buffalo News)