Famed Bills receiver Reed joins team as coaching intern
Jun. 18, 2015
ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Legendary receiver Andre Reed is once again looking to make his mark with the Buffalo Bills.
The Hall of Fame wide receiver joined his former team this week as a coaching intern. As part of the Bill Walsh Minority Coaching Fellowship, Reed is one of seven coaches who will work with the team through training camp.
After being inducted into the Hall of Fame last August, Reed said the timing was right to focus on the next part of his career.
"I have a lot to give back to the game," Reed said. "I had a feeling I wanted to do something after I was done playing, even before that but my kids were too small and I think as they're older now I can devote more time to it if I want to."
It's Reed's second opportunity as a coaching intern. He worked with the Kansas City Chiefs in 2013 but naturally feels more comfortable with his former team of 15 years.
"The difference is I'm here in Buffalo," Reed said. "I'm not in Kansas City. Nothing against Andy Reid and his staff, they welcomed me and I had a great time there. But when you come somewhere where you played and you have some roots, it's like you go home."
With 951 receptions, 13,198 yards and 87 touchdowns under his belt, Reed certainly has the qualifications to lend a hand. The 51-year-old was known for his toughness and tenacity in the middle of the field, as well as his hands and deceptive speed.
"This is a Hall of Fame receiver," Bills coach Rex Ryan said. "I think any time you can bring in a guy like that ... it can only help."
Reed didn't waste any time before offering advice at his first practice with the team on Tuesday. After practice he worked with young wideouts Sammy Watkins and Chris Hogan on their technique.
"The little, small things," Reed said. "I told a lot of these guys you're going to do what you do on the field but the smallest things really put you over the top. When you do the extra work and all that, it makes a difference in how you practice and how you go out and play games."
Reed hopes to focus on more than just X's and O's this summer. Given his vast experience, he'd like to serve as a sounding board for Buffalo's young talent at wide receiver.
"I told the guys, look, if you need anything, just about anything, it doesn't have to be about football," Reed said. "I just am opening myself up to them to talk to if they want to talk to me about anything. I'm not an expert on anything, but I think if they want to talk to me about anything they're going through or whatever as far off the field, on the field, I think you know I can help them out."
Reed is not sure what his future holds after the internship but is open to further coaching opportunities down the line.
"I don't know if you call it getting my feet wet, but it's a little different being a player than a coach," Reed said. "Who knows what's going to happen. If I continue to do this and I want to pursue it, there's no reason why I can't be a coach somewhere, if not here, in college or wherever."
"I'm very open (to more coaching). I mean, I'm not here to pass time. This is something I want to do," he said.
NOTES: The Bills signed free agent tight end Matthew Mulligan on Thursday. The 6-foot-4, 267-pound Maine product has played in 69 career games with five different teams. ... To make room for Mulligan, the Bills released cornerback Merrill Noel.