Rookie Receiver embraces history, becoming Bills' Mafia Hero

Quickly becoming a fan favorite, Buffalo Bills' WR Keon Coleman connected with a Hall-of-Famer from the franchise's glory days.
Nov 18, 2023; Tallahassee, Florida, USA; Florida State Seminoles wide receiver Deuce Spann (5) and
Nov 18, 2023; Tallahassee, Florida, USA; Florida State Seminoles wide receiver Deuce Spann (5) and / Morgan Tencza-USA TODAY Sports

Andre Reed has been there, done that.

After being selected No. 86 overall by the Buffalo Bills in the 1985 NFL Draft, Reed proceeded to build a Hall-of-Fame career as a receiver in the vaunted K-Gun offenses of the late 1980s and early 90s. Quite frankly, when it comes to catching passes for the Bills, no one has done it better than Reed, who totaled 13,095 yards and 86 regular season touchdowns over a 15-year tenure.

That's why it made all the sense in the world for rookie receiver Keon Coleman to connect with the Bills' legend and solicit advice from a decorated predecessor.

"It came about just, I was taught to always respect those that stepped before you. The path that he paved here and legacy he left here, [a] Hall of Famer. I just felt that it was a respect thing to reach out and ask him for whatever advice he can give me," said Coleman, who contacted Reed after the Bills selected him with the No. 33 overall pick last month.

As it turns out, Coleman's respectful gesture was welcomed by Reed and old No. 83 provided a few pointers.

"Really just embrace the process," recounted Coleman. "As stuff starts to simmer down we’ll continue to talk more. When I did reach out there was a lot going on, back and forth, trying to get back to the training, all the trips and stuff. Looking forward to having more conversations, but the main thing was really just enjoy the process, take in all you can take in and just put your head down and be ready to work.”

Coleman, who will turn 21 years old on May 17, has shown a wise willingness to embrace the past.

"Moreso just showing my respect, that I respect everything he’s done, and [I’m] looking forward to competing as a Bill," said Coleman. "I wasn’t born when Jordan was playing, but I still know who he is. Wanting to know about football, you have to know. You have to know about the guys that came before you. That’s a big thing.”

It's another example of Coleman showing good judgement since being drafted. As a result, he's quickly gaining cult hero status amongst Bills Mafia.

Ralph Ventre