Receivers Reed, Carter, Brown left out of Hall again

INDIANAPOLIS — Andre Reed had 951 catches during his 16-year NFL career, but he still can’t catch a break when it comes to the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

Reed, along with fellow wide receivers Cris Carter and Tim Brown, all were on the outside looking in when the 2012 Hall of Fame class was announced Saturday at the JW Marriott.

Bills coach Marv Levy was outside the ballroom where the announcement was made, still stumping for a personal favorite.

“I believe Andre Reed belongs in the Hall of Fame,” said Levy, 86. “Now that’s one voice speaking, but I know his teammates would all say it very strongly. I don’t believe there’s ever been anyone better at yards after catch than Andre. And as a self-effacing, modest, hard-working, always-prepared individual that makes me root for him even more.”

Former Chargers great Dan Fouts made it to the Hall of Fame with the help of his receivers, and he still believes all three of the snubbed pass-catchers eventually will be fitted for a gold jacket.

“I think they are all deserving,” he said, “and I think they’ll all get in at some point.”

When Reed retired, he was third on the NFL’s receiving-yards list, though he has dropped to 13th in the 11 seasons since he last retired. I asked Levy if he believes Reed is hurting after missing the cut again.

“No, he’s hurting, darn right,” said Levy, who reached four consecutive Super Bowls with Reed’s help. “He won’t lash out, but he thought he was closer this year than ever.

“I keep pulling for him. OK, we lost one, you don’t just lie down and whimper and quit,” he said. “Keep going, and I’ll keep promoting for him.”

— Dan Hanzus

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