Almost a decade after becoming eligible, Andre Reed finally got his chance to take the podium at the Pro Football Hall of Fame on Saturday night.
And when Reed, the Bills’ all-time leading receiver, finally got the stage, he made sure to thank his quarterback, Jim Kelly.
“You’re the reason why I’m standing here today,” Reed said of Kelly, calling him “(the) toughest individual I’ve ever met.”
Kelly, who has fought a recurrence of cancer, was present for Reed’s speech.
A seven-time Pro Bowler, Reed joked about always wanting the ball from Kelly.
Then Reed turned serious.
“I wanted you to be proud of me and know you could count on me any time,” Reed said.
He added: “You know the old saying, bro — 12 plus 83 always equals six.”
The crowd — filled with fans wearing Bills gear — cheered its approval, and Kelly smiled and pumped his fist.
At the conclusion of Reed’s speech, Kelly emerged with a football. He tossed it to Reed, who made the catch. The two then embraced.
Reed, 50, was presented for induction by former Bills coach, Marv Levy.
“I don’t believe, in the history of the game, there was ever anybody better or more courageous coming across the middle than Andre Reed,” Levy said in a pre-recorded introduction speech.
Reed is the ninth Bills player, coach or owner to be inducted into the Hall of Fame.