James Edward Kelly, an ex-quarterback for the Buffalo Bills of the National Football League (NFL), was born on February 14, 1960. He played for the USFL’s Houston Gamblers for two seasons (USFL). Kelly was the Most Valuable Offensive Player in the 1981 Peach Bowl for the University of Miami Hurricanes football team. With the 14th overall pick in the 1983 NFL Draft, Kelly became one of only six quarterbacks to be drafted.
Instead of joining the Bills, he went with the Gamblers and didn’t start playing for Buffalo until the USFL disbanded in 1986. Using the no-huddle shotgun formations of the “K-Gun” style, Kelly directed one of the most potent offensive units in NFL history. He was a crucial figure in the Bills’ run of four straight Super Bowl appearances (1990–1993), ending in defeat. In addition to his 1991 first-team All-Pro selection, Kelly was selected to five Pro Bowls.
Jim kelly Early Life And Career
Kelly was born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but she spent much of her childhood in East Brady, a town about 60 miles to the northeast. He was a star quarterback for East Brady High School, where he threw for 3,915 yards, 44 touchdowns, and just one interception throughout his career and was named all-state. Kelly participated in the Big 33 Football Classic after his senior year. Kelly also played basketball in high school, amassing over 1,000 points and six games of 30 or more.
As a senior, he led East Brady to the quarterfinals of the Pennsylvania Class A state basketball tournament, averaging 23 points and 20 rebounds per game. Kelly was recruited by Joe Paterno to play collegiate football for Penn State University, but Paterno envisioned him as a linebacker, not a quarterback. Instead, Kelly was lured to South Florida by University of Miami head coach Lou Saban, who assured him of a starting quarterback position. Kelly emerged as a critical cog in the machine that elevated the program to national prominence.
Kelly completed 376 of 676 passes attempted for 5,228 yards and 33 touchdowns in his career at Miami. In 1992, he entered the school’s hall of fame. Kelly’s agent inquired whether there were any teams he would not play for after fellow quarterback John Elway’s public refusal to play for the Baltimore Colts, who drafted him in 1983. Kelly mentioned the Buffalo Bills, the Green Bay Packers, and the Minnesota Vikings because of his distaste for the cold.
While watching the 1983 NFL Draft on TV, he was relieved that the Buffalo Bills did not select him with the 12th first-round choice. Instead, he learned from his agent that the Bills had another first-round pick, and they used it to choose Jim Kelly with the 14th pick. Kelly claimed at the time that he thought the Bills would pick him, but he clarified his position by saying, “You have to say such things… When I heard that, I burst into tears. No, I didn’t cry like a baby. To be honest, I simply started crying. Honestly, at this point, all I can say is “You got to be kidding me.”
Kelly was resigned to playing for the Bills despite his belief that team owner Ralph Wilson would not bring in the necessary players to produce a championship team. A Bills secretary inadvertently put Kelly on the phone with the general manager of the Chicago Blitz of the rival USFL. Allen talked Kelly into leaving his meeting with the Bills to talk business.
Kelly later stated that the USFL gave him a free agency to choose which team to play for due to their desperate need for quarterbacks. He said, “Would you rather be in Houston, where they play in the Astrodome, or Buffalo, where they don’t?” before signing with the Gamblers of Houston.
Kelly led the run-and-shoot offense of offensive coach Mouse Davis for two seasons in Houston, accumulating 9,842 passing yards, 83 touchdowns, and 45 interceptions while completing 63% of his passes for an 8.53-year average. In 1984, when he threw for a USFL record 5,219 yards and 44 touchdowns, he was named the league’s most valuable player.
Kelly’s USFL stats were better than those of both Doug Williams and Steve Young combined. Kelly was supposed to start at quarterback for the New Jersey Generals after the Houston Gamblers disbanded. Kelly held a Generals helmet on the cover of Sports Illustrated, but the league disbanded before he played a single down for the team.
Jim Kelly Diagnosed with Oral Cancer Again
Jim Kelly, a future Hall of Fame quarterback who led the Buffalo Bills to four consecutive Super Bowl appearances in the 1990s, revealed this week that he would be engaged in another struggle off the field: against cancer. Sadly, oral cancer that Kelly and her team had hoped was completely eradicated has reappeared. Even though this news has left me stunned and grieved, I am comforted in the knowledge that God is with me.
Squamous cell carcinoma of the upper jaw was Kelly’s official diagnosis in 2013. His tumors were surgically removed, but in 2014, his cancer returned. He had radiation therapy and chemotherapy and was proclaimed cancer-free in September of that year. Kelly is going through treatment for the third time.
Dr. Trad Wadsworth, vice chair of the Department of Head and Neck-Endocrinology at the Moffitt Cancer Center, stated that MRI, PET, or CT scans would likely be used to identify the extent of the recurrence. To be sure, he recommended getting a biopsy. “Treating a recurrence is frequently more tough, complicated, and involved than the initial malignancy, but not always,” added Wadsworth. When it comes down to it, surgery is still the gold standard in terms of treatment.”
Wadsworth suggested a team of specialists work together to help a patient like Kelly. “These cancers commonly impact speech, swallowing, body image, and general quality of life,” Wadsworth added. Therefore, a group of specialists including surgeons, medical doctors, radiation oncologists, radiologists, speech therapists, dietitians, and oncology nurses should work together to treat cancer patients.
Wadsworth said that having good people around you is crucial. Kelly’s daughter shared news of her father’s diagnosis and a prayer request on Instagram. Wadsworth argues that a person’s outlook and the involvement of their support system are crucial to achieving the most excellent possible outcomes during and after therapy.
Jim Kelly’s Health Remains Good After Beating Cancer
Bills Hall of Fame quarterback endured a long fight with mouth cancer that gave him a grim prognosis and necessitated many surgeries on his jaw, radiation, and chemotherapy. Kelly has said for over three years that cancer has not returned and that he is in good health. Kelly said he is healthy while hosting his football camp in Buffalo and throwing passes to kids, with only a slight impairment to his speech.
I’m still feeling fine; he told the Buffalo News. Once in a while, the constant talking still causes discomfort in my mouth. Still, I’m enjoying it. I do. Kelly said he is more concerned about the well-being of others, such as the late Bills trainer Ed Abramoski (who was 88) and the team’s owner, Kim Pegula, who was recently hospitalized for treatment of an unidentified medical condition.
Kelly recalled that the late Eddie Abramoski was not only a close friend but also his trainer throughout their time together. We’re all feeling up and down about how much we miss him. Then there’s Kim Pegula, who’s been going through a lot recently, and we’re all praying for her. Kelly claims his main problem today is that he feels ancient whenever a group of young campers tells him they heard about him through word of mouth. “Their parents, grandparents, and great-grandparents all told them about me,” he stated. To paraphrase, “It wasn’t a mom and dad; it was grandma and grandpa.”
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