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Beebe supports ex-Bill Reed in Canton

Published: Monday, Aug. 4, 2014 10:58 p.m. CST

Don Beebe broke countless huddles alongside Andre Reed, making a trip to salute Reed's enshrinement into the Pro Football Hall of Fame a natural.

A Kaneland alumnus and Aurora Christian's offensive coordinator, Beebe traveled to Canton, Ohio for the Saturday night ceremony honoring Reed, a fellow longtime former Buffalo Bills wide receiver who entered the Hall with six other inductees.

"One thing about Andre, and I've always said this to everybody, he just has absolutely no weakness in his game, you know," Beebe said. "Caught the ball well. Very strong. Got off the line of scrimmage. Explosive. Maybe the best ever as a run-after-the-catch guy. So in that respect, I needed to be back there to be there for Andre."

Beebe's trip to Canton preceded a return to western New York this week, as Beebe and another former Bills teammate, CBS NFL analyst Steve Tasker, were together Monday for a charity event in Rochester.

Today, Beebe and his wife, Diana, planned to visit with Hall of Fame Bills quarterback Jim Kelly and his wife, Jill, before returning home to Aurora.

Kelly connected with Reed for 67 touchdown passes from 1986 to 1996 – then the third-highest total for a quarterback-receiver tandem in NFL history – and traveled to Canton amid a battle with jaw cancer.

Kelly is set to undergo an MRI in the coming weeks, with the procedure determining whether the cancer has left his body.

The Canton crowd greeted Kelly with what Beebe called a "very touching" reception.

"What's special about the whole weekend was just seeing Jim again and the whole applause," Beebe said. "I mean, the standing ovation, it was over five minutes … when they introduced him on the stage at the Hall of Fame."

Of course, that was par for the course as Beebe, a six-time Super Bowl participant in the 1990s – four with the Bills, two with the Green Bay Packers – surveyed the entire crowd.

"I mean, it had to be 80 to 90 percent Buffalo Bill fans," Beebe said. "It was incredible. It felt like a home game back in the old stadium."

Next week, Beebe will return to the ACS sidelines as the team opens fall practices.

"Yeah," he said. "Comes quick."

Beebe stepped down from his head coaching position in the offseason but will remain as offensive coordinator.

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