Reed, Dumervil recall overcoming Draft Day disappointments


 

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(Photos courtesy of Buffalo Bills and Baltimore Ravens)

Talk of Fame Network

The Talk of Fame guys continue their eight-week countdown to the NFL Draft with a visit with two of the mid-rounds’ greatest selections: Hall-of-Fame wide receiver Andre Reed and pass rusher extraordinaire Elvis Dumervil. Both discuss how having to wait until the fourth round affected them and fueled their rises to the top of the league.

“I think I had a brick on my shoulder coming out of college,” the 5-foot-11 Dumervil said when asked if he came out of Louisville with a chip on his shoulder. “I still carry it as a reminder.”

After making 20 sacks his senior season at Louisville, Dumervil was the 126th player selected in 2006 but made an immediate impact with the Broncos. By his fourth season, Dumervil led the NFL with 17 sacks after being moved to linebacker and showed last season Elvis was still in the house with 17 more for the Baltimore Ravens — further proof that lack of textbook size and speed are less important than skills and doggedness.

“I think my size is beneficial to me,” Dumervil said. “I have instant leverage.”

Despite coming out of tiny Kutztown State, Reed played 16 years in the NFL, finishing with 951 receptions and an invitation to Canton in 2014 after having been a finalist eight times. Few people saw that coming when he was drafted in the fourth round in 1985, but Reed had some advice for all the small-school players who come into the NFL.

“It doesn’t matter where you go to school,” Reed said. “You have the same amount of chances as guys who went to USC or Georgia. I didn’t settle for mediocrity. I went all in (and) took advantage of every opportunity I had.”

That was true throughout his career but never more so than when he had eight catches for 136 yards and three touchdowns in the greatest playoff comeback in NFL history against the Houston Oilers in 1992. Reed had a unique recollection of that day.

“We were down 21-0 and the week before we lost to Houston, 28-3, so we were down 49-3 against them in less than a day,” he recalls with a laugh.

As it turned out, it was Buffalo who had the last laugh. The Bills won 41-38 in overtime.

With the NFL owners meeting in Phoenix last week, our Hall-of-Fame guys discuss the league’s failure to change the catch rule after the controversial Dez Bryant “non-catch” cost the Cowboys a playoff victory, as well as Bill Belichick’s ire after his proposal to add cameras on the boundary lines and goal lines was tabled.

Our Dr. Data, Rick Gosselin, delves into the Colts’ decision to go after older players in pursuit of the Patriots, and the guys debate whether that will pay off or be their undoing. In the Borges or Bogus segment, Ron takes on the Cowboys’ controversial decision to sign troubled defensive end Greg Hardy, and Rick makes the Hall-of-Fame case for long-retired Dallas’ safety Cliff Harris.

Our host, Clark Judge, recalls the last NFL player to play 60 minutes in a game, “Concrete Chuck” Bednarik, the Eagles’ Hall-of-Fame linebacker who passed away last week, and takes on Rick in our weekly two-minute drill. That, and more, this weekend on the Talk of Fame Network.

 

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