Jim Kelly shows true grit, surprises rookie in touching minicamp photo


Newly drafted Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen said he was “shaking” after getting the chance to meet a former Bills quarterback, the legendary Jim Kelly.

On the first day of the Bill’s rookie minicamp Saturday, Bills coach Sean McDermott walked Allen over to the sideline and surprised him by introducing him to Kelly, The Associated Press reported.

It was a great moment that made for a very touching photo, per NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo.

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“I’m shaking right now,” Allen told reporters as he and Kelly walked off the field. Though it was the first time the two had met in person, they did exchange text messages following the NFL draft.

Kelly, who underwent surgery in March to remove oral cancer from his jaw, had to walk with a cane, and admitted that it was difficult to speak. Instead of addressing reporters, he raised his right thumb.

”It’s the best thing I can do: Thumbs up,” Kelly said.

Allen had very high praise for the Bills legend, who led Buffalo to four straight Super Bowls from 1990 to 1993. “He’s the greatest quarterback to play the game, and obviously the greatest quarterback in Buffalo history,” the first-round draft pick said.

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“That’s where I want to be. That’s eventually (the goal of) my career, to be regarded in the city of Buffalo like a Jim Kelly,” he added, according to ESPN. “I think that every quarterback who plays here wants to be in the same sentence as him, just because of what he is and what he holds to the city. For him to come out here is an awesome experience.”

After meeting each other, Allen and Kelly walked to the Bills locker room, where they had a private conversation.

“He said to embrace the city of Buffalo. He said a few more things that I’ll keep to myself,” Allen said of their discussion. “I’m still shaking from meeting him. He’s a special man.”

Allen also said he recognized Kelly’s toughness, particularly in his battle against cancer.

”I can’t say anything else but he’s a special man. He’s been through a lot,” Allen said. ”And to be in the spirits that he is and to come out here and show support for the Buffalo Bills, that just shows to me how much he means to Buffalo and Buffalo means to him. It’s awesome.”

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Allen, who Buffalo moved up five spots to draft tenth overall, is looking to prove that he was worth it.

If he’s anything like Kelly, widely considered to be the greatest Bills player of all time, then both the Bills organization and their fans will be very, very happy.

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Joe Setyon was a deputy managing editor for The Western Journal who had spent his entire professional career in editing and reporting. He previously worked in Washington, D.C., as an assistant editor/reporter for Reason magazine.
Joe Setyon was deputy managing editor for The Western Journal with several years of copy editing and reporting experience. He graduated with a degree in communication studies from Grove City College, where he served as managing editor of the student-run newspaper. Joe previously worked as an assistant editor/reporter for Reason magazine, a libertarian publication in Washington, D.C., where he covered politics and wrote about government waste and abuse.
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