HOF Weekend Preview and Review!

Andre will finally get the recognition he deserves. -  Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

Andre will finally get the recognition he deserves. –
Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images

Andre Reed of our beloved Buffalo Bills and Michael Strahan of the NY Giants will take their respective places alongside the NFL’s best when they are forever enshrined into the Pro Football HOF this weekend in Canton, OH. It only makes sense that the Bills are to play the Giants the next day in the Annual HOF game! (Check out the HOF Weekend schedule here http://www.profootballhof.com/enshrinement/festivalschedule.aspx )

I know, I know, I’m sure you haven’t even had time to think about the 1st preseason game of the 2014 season being upon us already. After all, there are literally 1000 story lines going on with the Bills and not to mention all that time you’re spending eating up the national press and reliving highlights of the best 10 years of football in Buffalo Bills history! As you watch highlights of the Greatest Comeback game, or the 51-3 beat down of the Raiders, The Kelly TD opening day 1989 against the dolphins or any one of their 1,000,000 highlights from back then, don’t forget about these current Bills! There’s a lot to be excited for and we’re getting our first glimpse as 100 guys battle it out for 53 roster spots. This is definitely no meaningless pre-season game to those guys or for us fans. Regardless if its preseason or not FOOTBALL IS BACK!!!

I do want to take time and thank the man and Fans responsible for this spectacular weekend of events. After all it was the induction of Jim Kelly and the flood of Buffalo Bills fans that forced the NFL to move the ceremony from the steps of the Hall of Fame to the inside of a 40k person Stadium in order to accommodate 20,000+ screaming die hard Red, White and Blue Bills Fans back in 2002. Since then it’s grown bigger with each year truly making it a unique fan experience.

These 5 guys are amazing! - Photo via Instagram

These 5 guys are amazing! – Photo via Instagram

The Bills have had a good run in the 21st century with players inducted in to the HOF as it started in 2001 with the introduction of Head Coach Marv Levy,. Followed by a man that Bleeds Buffalo, Jim Kelly in 2002 and James Lofton in 2003. 2007 saw Thurman Thomas make it for all the years he produced 1,000 yard rushing seasons and multiple 2,000+ total yard from scrimmage seasons (Leading the league 4 years in a row) while making it to 5 consecutive pro-bowls (6 total). 2009 finally brought our beloved owner Ralph Wilson into the hall of fame; the man responsible for the Bills existence from 1960 until 2014 giving us 54 years of memories thus far. Joining him in 2009 was the best DE the Buffalo Bills have ever produced; Bruce Smith. At the time he left the Bills he was 2nd, behind Reggie white for all time sacks. Bruce would eventually break White’s record and retired as the all-time sack leader with 200 sacks (2 more than white @198) over an 19 year career. That brings us to now, and the induction of Andre Reed. Reed and Kelly formed the most potent passing duo in league history as of 1996 when Kelly retired. Think about that for a minute when you look back at all the other QB / WR combo’s to ever play to that point and the best were right here in Buffalo! Not to mention they played on a team that had the best running back in the league and didn’t pass the ball more than 60% of the time. There are too many memories for me to list here for Reed. As my favorite receiver as a kid its such an honor to watch my childhood hero receive this great recognition. Its great for the fans and for the city of Buffalo. I’m sure many fans will shed some tears watching quite possibly for the last time as Reed joins Kelly, Thomas, Levy, Smith, and Lofton on stage while Mr. Wilson looks down from above.

Why can't Moeacki stay healthy? Jeez! - Photo via AP Photo

Why can’t Moeacki stay healthy? Jeez! – Photo via AP Photo

OK I could go on forever but as I said we can’t forget there’s a 2014 Bills team we should be excited about! Earlier this week I left off at Monday’s training camp. You know we’re down to 2 TE’s in Lee Smith and new comer Dominique Jones. Fred Jackson signed a contract extension taking him through the 2015 season! We need Fred’s leadership and lead by example attitude. Tuesday there was no practice which was good to allow tempers to cool down  from the night before, though everyone interviewed said it was all left on the field. Wednesday brought some stormy weather and the players saw just how die hard some fans were as it rained hard yet there were still about 100 people staying to watch. Manuel looked very good in the poor conditions. His strong arm and big hands appear to make him well equipped to deal with Buffalo’s 4 seasons of weather he may face in one game! An injury to Chris Hairston allowed rookie Cyril Richardson to get a lot of playing time at RG, rotating with Craig Urbik. Hairston was working at LT as well (Since Cordy Glenn is out) and Big Seantreal Henderson took those reps at LT. Hard count was the phrase of the day for the Bills QBs, they seemed to focus on that all practice. Thursday’s practice was moved to the afternoon from 8am to 2pm due to weather. The later start must have given Sammy Watkins some extra energy as he broke open for a 98 TD pass from EJ (40 yards in the air, 59 yard run after).Chris Hogan continues to have a really strong camp and is setting himself up as the slot receiver. Unofficially he has the 2nd most receptions of camp behind Watkins. Woods and EJ seem to be developing some chemistry as well and Mike Williams is providing the Veteran awareness we were expecting from the oldest man of the group at just 26 years old! Another day and another Injury, as newly signed Chris Williams went down with a Toe injury. As lineman go down the Rookies Richardson and Henderson need to step up now to make a case to start day 1.

Really NFL? Thanks! - Photo via buffalowdown.com

Really NFL? Thanks! – Photo via buffalowdown.com

We learned this week that Nigel Bradham has been suspended for the first game of the season stemming from an incident last year when he tested positive to PED’s. The league never acted on it last year but has chosen to now punish Bradham. Bad news being he was on track to start in place of Kiko Alonso as he has been steller in camp thus far.

On a side note, the Bills put together something really cool for Mom’s this week as they hosted the first ever Mom’s football safety clinic. The clinic showed them the proper way to fit gear, tape ankles even the proper way to tackle. All good stuff to know for parents of children playing football! I hope it continues! We are waiting to hear about the playing time allocations for this weekends game but Marone said he’ll decide after practice today when he sees who’s healthy enough to play where.

And that’s a wrap folks! Enjoy this weekend and make sure to check out both the ceremony Saturday and the Game on Sunday. Watch the entire game and check out the kids playing for their lives out there. See who might be a diamond in the rough like Fred Jackson was just 6 years ago. As always have comments or questions? Let me know, on here or follow me on twitter @jasonsins and LETS GO BUFFALO! This is our TIME!

By Jason Sinsabaugh

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