Inside The Bills

Why LeSean McCoy didn’t play Thursday night

Posted by Chris Brown on August 10, 2017 – 11:09 pm

LeSean McCoy was dressed, but didn’t play a single snap on Thursday night in the team’s preseason opener. Head coach Sean McDermott explained why.

“I’ve been around LeSean as you guys have heard me say for a long time. I like where he is at this point in training camp in terms of getting himself ready to play for the season,” said McDermott. “I wanted to get a good look at the other backs and I was impressed with the way some of those running backs performed.”

The decision by McDermott makes sense. McCoy has looked dynamic in camp practices and doesn’t need to be exposed to risk of injury when he’s showing well in practices. Plus getting a long look at the backs further down the depth chart will help the offensive staff make the best decision on who to keep for the 53-man roster.

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Posted in Inside the Bills

McCoy just one familiarity factor for Bills with Maclin

Posted by Chris Brown on June 5, 2017 – 7:10 am

LeSean McCoy made no secret that he’s recruiting surprise free agent WR Jeremy Maclin hard to sign with the Bills. But he’s not the only familiarity factor working in the Bills favor with Maclin. 

Head coach Sean McDermott was on the Eagles staff for Maclin’s first two seasons in Philadelphia. 

Perhaps even more important is Bills QBs coach David Culley was Maclin’s receivers coach for all but two of his eight NFL seasons. First in Philadelphia and then Culley went with Andy Reid to Kansas City where Maclin signed as a free agent in 2015. 

Having people in the locker room and on the coaching staff that know your skill set intimately gives a player confidence that they’ll be utilized properly on the field by their new team and easily accepted by new teammates. 

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Posted in Inside the Bills

McCoy has warmed up to Buffalo

Posted by Chris Brown on May 30, 2017 – 2:59 pm

When he was traded to Buffalo prior to the 2015 season, the move came as a shock to LeSean McCoy. While McCoy did everything he could to help the Bills get wins on the field, off the field he had not yet adapted to his new professional city.

McCoy had known only the state of Pennsylvania, from his childhood to his college playing days at Pitt to his time playing for the Eagles in Philadelphia. Now entering his third season with the Bills, McCoy has warmed up to Buffalo.

“It’s a big difference. Big difference,” said McCoy of how comfortable he feels in the Queen City. “Hanging around Buffalo, there are times where I hang out on the weekends here. Before every chance I got I would leave and get out of here. Even just like family members coming up. You go from a place where you’ve always been to somewhere else, you’ve got to adjust and adapt. I’ve done that. It’s just like home to me.”

Posted in Inside the Bills

McCoy & O’Leary miss practice due to illness

Posted by Chris Brown on December 28, 2016 – 4:53 pm

LeSean McCoy and Nick O’Leary were two of the new notables on the injury report this week.

Both players were unable to practice Wednesday due to illness. Stephon Gilmore did not practice either as he’s in the concussion protocol after exiting last week’s game early.

Lorenzo Alexander was given a veteran’s rest day.

Player Pos Injury Participation Wednesday
Cordy Glenn T Back DNP
Sammy Watkins WR Foot DNP
Kyle Williams DT Back DNP
Stephon Gilmore CB Concussion DNP
Charles Clay TE Knee DNP
Nick O’Leary TE Illness DNP
LeSean McCoy RB Illness DNP
Lorenzo Alexander LB Not injury related DNP
John Miller G Hip LP
Preston Brown LB Foot LP
Lerentee McCray LB Concussion LP
Tyrod Taylor QB Groin FP
Jerry Hughes LB Hamstring FP

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Vote for Shady

Posted by Chris Brown on December 20, 2016 – 8:26 am

Bills RB LeSean McCoy is up for the NFL FedEx Ground Player of the Week for his Week 15 performance against the Browns. McCoy rolled up a season-high 153 yards and a pair of touchdowns as he went over 1,000 rushing yards for the season in the 20-point win for Buffalo. Here’s a look at his competition.

Green Bay’s Ty Montgomery went for 162 on the ground on 16 carries in a 30-27 win over the Bears.

Atlanta’s Devonta Freeman rumbled for 139 yards on 20 carries and three touchdowns in the Falcons win over the 49ers.

You can vote for Shady here as many times as you like. Winners are announced at the end of the week.

Posted in Inside the Bills

McCoy would prefer playoffs to personal stats

Posted by Chris Brown on December 18, 2016 – 9:39 am

He’s just 24 yards away from a 1,000-yard rushing season and he leads the league in yards per carry average. But LeSean McCoy would gladly trade it in for a playoff berth.

“It’s hard to really think about, individually,” said McCoy. “It’s hard to think about success when you’re not winning games. You know, one of my best seasons was a losing season, stats wise and that kind of sucked. So, you always want to win, I mean that’s why you play the game. You play the game to win, compete, take care of your family. That’s the main reason that I play this game.”

McCoy was referring to his career best season in 2011 when he had more than 1,600 all-purpose yards and 20 total touchdowns.

Posted in Inside the Bills

Shady to go less shake and bake?

Posted by Chris Brown on December 4, 2016 – 12:23 pm

LeSean McCoy is known as one of the most elusive backs in the NFL. For backs like him, old scouts used to say that he could make a defender miss him in a phone booth. But last week even McCoy admits he tried to do too much with his escape skills and made things more difficult for the offense in terms of down and distance situations.

“Last week, we kind of started slow. A lot of that was me,” said McCoy. “I was trying to do too much in the backfield early in the game. Once we got everything lined up, we made some plays and we started gashing them in the running game and throwing some balls over the top. That’s how we play. We always make plays. We run the ball well and we keep the drives alive. We eat up a lot of clock, and we really need that this week to beat a team like Oakland.”

Offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn has seen McCoy trying to pick his spots in practice to make more direct runs to the hole when it’s there instead of trying to juke a linebacker out of his shoes. He’s hopeful that translates to the games.

“He’s running a little bit more direct and not as much shake and bake,” said Lynn. “I think he’s evolving as he gets a little older understanding that you’re not always going to be able to make that one guy miss. Sometimes you have to get that tough yard, so I’m very pleased with what I’m seeing from him.”

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Vote for Shady

Posted by Chris Brown on November 29, 2016 – 10:34 am

LeSean McCoy is once again up for the NFL’s FedEx Ground Player of the Week award coming off his 103-yard rushing day, which included a pair of touchdown runs in the win over Jacksonville. Here’s who McCoy is up against in the fan voting this week.

  • Le’Veon Bell of the Pittsburgh Steelers rushed for 120 yards on 23 carries and a touchdown in a 28-7 win over the Indianapolis Colts.
  • Mark Ingram of the New Orleans Saints rushed for 146 yards on 14 carries and a touchdown in a 49-21 win over the Los Angeles Rams.
  • LeSean McCoy of the Buffalo Bills rushed for 103 yards on 19 carries and 2 touchdowns in a 28-21 win over the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Every week, following the Monday Night Football game, through Thursday at 3 pm, fans can visit to vote or tweet using #AirandGround and the nominees’ last name to cast their vote. FedEx and the NFL will announce the winners every Thursday afternoon and then FedEx will award a $2,000 donation in the winning players’ names to The USO.


Posted in Inside the Bills

Rex: Gillislee looks good for this week

Posted by Chris Brown on November 28, 2016 – 6:03 pm

A hamstring injury suffered in practice last week cost Mike Gillislee an appearance in Sunday’s win over Jacksonville. But head coach Rex Ryan is optimistic that Gillislee will be fit to return to the lineup this weekend.

“I think everything looks good,” said Ryan of Gillislee. “So hopefully he’s on track to return this week.”

Gillislee is the team’s third leading rusher behind LeSean McCoy and Tyrod Taylor.

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Gillislee out, Watkins availability looks promising

Posted by Chris Brown on November 25, 2016 – 1:25 pm

Bills RB Mike Gillislee sustained a hamstring injury in Wednesday’s practice and left the session early. He didn’t practice again and is now out for Sunday’s game against Jacksonville. The good news is it appears that Sammy Watkins will be able to play on Sunday.

“I think he’s good to go,” said head coach Rex Ryan of Watkins in relation to Sunday’s game. “He won’t have a full workload, but we’re definitely going to get him in there.”

All the Bills need to do now is move Watkins from injured reserve onto the active roster. They have until 4 pm on Saturday to do so.

RB LeSean McCoy also looks good to go for Sunday, feeling no ill effects from the minor procedure on his thumb to get his dislocation from last week’s game corrected. Jonathan Williams and Reggie Bush will be McCoy’s backups.

WR Robert Woods – knee
S Robert Blanton – foot
RB Mike Gillislee – hamstring

DT Corbin Bryant – shoulder

WR Sammy Watkins – foot
LB Lorenzo Alexander – ankle
TE Charles Clay – knee
OT Seantrel Henderson – personal matter
OT Cordy Glenn – back
RB LeSean McCoy – thumb
WR Percy Harvin – illness

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Fan Friday 11-25

Posted by Chris Brown on November 25, 2016 – 12:37 pm

It’s time for the Bills to stack wins to remain a part of the AFC playoff conversation. Let’s get to your questions from email at and on Twitter at @ChrisBrownBills.

1 – @ChrisBrownBills who’s Gillislee’s backup?

Fat Norton@TheConqueror21

CB: That would be rookie Jonathan Williams. Some might think it would be Reggie Bush, but Bush is more of a specialty player who is used only occasionally in the backfield, can be split out wide or return kicks. Williams has just 17 carries for 61 yards, which has largely come in times when the game has already been decided.

2 –
@ChrisBrownBills is Watkins a game changer this week?

Chris Huber@chrishuber14

CB: I think the Bills would love it if he could be a game changer. The bottom line though is he hasn’t played in two months and will need a few series to get back into the flow of game speed. I anticipate that the offensive staff will use him as much as they can knowing they’ll be down Robert Woods.

I don’t think there’s any doubt he’s a game changing talent, but coming off the layoff it’s hard to know whether he can be that right away this Sunday.


3 – @ChrisBrownBills what have our secondary players been focusing on in practice?

Leah Fallesen@LeahCF

CB: They focus on a lot of things. During individual position drills a lot of their work involves their footwork and tracking the ball. Tackling was a focus this week with emphasis on getting their head across the body of the ball carrier. Beyond that the focus is the game plan and executing the game calls for this week.
4 – @ChrisBrownBills will McCoy’s thumb affect him at all this next game?

Jared Bailey@JaredBailey23

CB: We hope to get that answer from McCoy himself after practice today. He has a good sized wrap on the thumb following the minor surgical procedure to re-attach the dislocated digit. The strength of his grip is probably the biggest concern because back have to apply three points of pressure on the ball to secure it under their arm and the thumb is one of those three. If he doesn’t have any strength to do that it could compromise his ball security.

Catching could be another potential issue. Hopefully we can get some answers from Shady before the game on Sunday.

5 – @ChrisBrownBills How is the team going to approach Watkins’ 5th year option and possible new contract? Great player but also some injuries.

COLIN SCHULTZ@Schultzy0620

CB: I would expect the Bills to pick up Watkins fifth-year option because of the injuries. I know that sounds strange, but a fifth-year option gives Buffalo time to wait and see if Watkins can put together a season where he can stay relatively healthy all season long.

Since the fifth-year option has to be picked up in May next year for his fifth season which would be in 2018, I’d be inclined to think Buffalo wants to take as much time evaluating his ability to stay on the field. It buys them time.

There’s no debating his talent level, but availability is critical. So I would think before the Bills even think about signing Watkins to a big time deal, they’ll see what he can do in 2017 and maybe even 2018 before they take that step.

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McCoy: I know Sammy’s close

Posted by Chris Brown on November 16, 2016 – 3:29 pm

Bills RB LeSean McCoy knows that the Bills margin for error with a 4-5 record is thin. Subpar performances can’t happen the rest of the way. McCoy says the team has done a good job of sticking to the ‘one game at a time approach.’ He’s hoping they can come off the bye with a solid performance, get a road win and then hopefully get their top receiver back in the lineup.

“I feel like our offense is playing well right now. Guys got healthy off the bye week,” said McCoy. “Take care of this game and hopefully we have our big dog back, Sammy. Another tool for this offense.”

Watkins was not cleared to practice this week by the team’s medical staff, even though he’s eligible to do so. He won’t be eligible to play in a game until Week 12 against Jacksonville. McCoy isn’t certain, but it certainly sounds like it’s a game where Watkins could return to the lineup.

“I know he’s close,” said McCoy of Watkins. “We see him all the time. His development and working out and getting prepared. We don’t want to rush that. We want to make sure he’s back healthy so when he gets back he’s full go. That’s always a good thing.”


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Lynn: McCoy’s conditioning the main factor

Posted by Chris Brown on November 7, 2016 – 1:52 pm

LeSean McCoy did not practice or play last week when the Bills faced the Patriots. This week he practiced on a limited basis. McCoy is good to go in tonight’s game at Seattle, but for offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn, there is one particular thing he’s going to be mindful of in his usage of McCoy in Buffalo’s attack.

“Well you have to be conscious of his conditioning because he’s been for a couple of weeks, hasn’t played, hasn’t practiced a lot,” Lynn said. “But he looks good in practice. His stamina, his quickness and just the rest, he’s had two weeks to rest, so I feel confident that he’s going to be able to play and play well, but I have to be cautious of his conditioning.”

Before his hamstring injury McCoy was averaging 17.3 carries per game. He averaged just over 47 plays per game (47.6). The highest percentage of offensive plays for McCoy came in Week 2 against the Jets (49 of 53 – 92%). The highest number of plays in a game for him was in Week 4 (54 plays).

So it will be interesting to see how much time on the field McCoy gets and then how many times he’s asked to carry the ball.

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Rex still confident McCoy will be ready

Posted by Chris Brown on November 5, 2016 – 2:00 pm

Bills RB LeSean McCoy is questionable for Monday night’s game at Seattle, but head coach Rex Ryan expressed optimism Friday and that didn’t change Saturday. 

“I’m still confident he’ll be ready to roll,” said Ryan. 

McCoy was a limited participant in practice again on Saturday. 

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Dareus, Bryant, Tate all out for Monday night 

Posted by Chris Brown on November 5, 2016 – 12:16 pm

Bills defensive tackle Marcell Dareus was unable to practice Saturday and has been ruled out for Monday nights game at Seattle with a groin injury. 

This will be the fourth game Dareus will miss due to injury this season. Fellow defensive tackle Corbin Bryant will also miss the game with a shoulder injury. Jerel Worthy is expected to see a lot of snaps in their absence. 

All of Buffalo’s other injured players are questionable for the game including running back LeSean McCoy. McCoy was limited again in practice on Saturday, but head coach Rex Ryan has stated that he thinks McCoy is really close and has a good chance to play Monday night. 


DT Marcell Dareus – groin

DT Corbin Bryant – shoulder

WR Brandon Tate – concussion


TE Charles Clay – knee

OT Cordy Glenn – ankle

RB LeSean McCoy – hamstring

LB Lorenzo Alexander – hamstring

RB Reggie Bush – groin

LB Lerentee McCray – knee

WR Robert Woods – foot

LB Jerry Hughes – hand

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Rex: McCoy “really close”

Posted by Chris Brown on November 4, 2016 – 4:11 pm

LeSean McCoy practiced for a second straight day on Friday lending more optimism to the feature back returning to the Bills lineup on Monday night. 

Head coach Rex Ryan believes barring a setback McCoy should be good to play. 

“I think he’s really close,” said head coach Rex Ryan. “I’m thinking he’s going.” 

McCoy said Thursday that he tested his hamstring and pushed it a few times and didn’t “feel it.” 

Final player designations come on Saturday with the Bills playing a day later on Monday night. 

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Where will we see Reggie Bush vs. Miami?

Posted by Chris Brown on October 23, 2016 – 8:56 am

Reggie Bush was signed about a week into training camp to be the team’s primary return man. He and free agent pickup Brandon Tate have shared the role. The Bills could be down in numbers at running back today depending on LeSean McCoy’s availability and at receiver with Robert Woods doubtful for today’s game. Bush has proven capable of filling a RB or WR role in his 11-year career. So where might we see him today against the Dolphins?

If McCoy doesn’t play he could be a complement back to Mike Gillislee, who is expected to shoulder most of the rushing load in the absence of their bell cow back.

If McCoy does dress and play, but Robert Woods doesn’t it wouldn’t be shocking to see Bush being split wide as a receiver at times. Bush presents matchup problems if split wide. It would be supremely difficult for a linebacker or safety to stick with him on routes.

“I’ve always had the attitude and mentality that whatever the team needs me to do then that’s what I’ll do,” said Bush. “They know I can play running back and they know I can play receiver. They know I can return punts. I don’t think that’s anything new so we’ll see what happens.”

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Woods still hoping to play Sunday

Posted by Chris Brown on October 20, 2016 – 2:23 pm

Robert Woods missed a second straight day of practice. He’s dealing with an undisclosed foot injury. Woods said he is still trying to get to a point where he can play Sunday in Miami.

“I’m still day to day and just getting treatment to try to get back as fast as I can,” said Woods. “I don’t want to say too much on it. I just want to get healthy and get back as fast as I can and make it through the rest of the year. It’s a big game for us so I’m doing everything possible to play this week.”

Woods confirmed that he had an X-ray, but there’s no broken bone in his foot. He said it’s an injury that can heal in time. In the throes of an NFL season however, it might prove difficult to get back to 100 percent.

As for Rex Ryan’s assessment of where Woods and the other non participants in practice stand, Buffalo’s head coach is not ready to declare anyone out for Sunday’s game.

“I think the fact that these guys don’t practice I don’t think is a good sign. But that doesn’t mean than any of them are ruled out for Sunday,” said head coach Rex Ryan.

Here’s the Bills injury report following Thursday’s practice.

DT Marcell Dareus – hamstring
OT Seantrel Henderson – back
RB LeSean McCoy – hamstring
FB Jerome Felton – back
WR Robert Woods – foot

TE Charles Clay – ankle
LB Lerentee McCray – knee
CB Kevon Seymour – shoulder
OL Patrick Lewis – knee
OT Cordy Glenn – ankle
DT Kyle Williams – neck

CB Corey White – shoulder
OT Cyrus Kouandjio – ankle

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Felton, Henderson, McCoy added to injury list

Posted by Chris Brown on October 19, 2016 – 4:18 pm

The Bills already had a good-sized injury list. They had to add to it on Wednesday.

OT Seantrel Henderson did not practice due to a back injury and FB Jerome Felton and RB LeSean McCoy both left practice early with back and hamstring issues respectively.

Player Pos Injury Participation Wednesday
Marcell Dareus DT Hamstring DNP
Seantrel Henderson T Back DNP
Lerentee McCray LB Knee DNP
Robert Woods WR Foot DNP
Cordy Glenn T Ankle DNP
Charles Clay TE Ankle DNP
Corey White CB Shoulder LP
Cyrus Kouandjio T Ankle LP
Kevon Seymour CB Shoulder LP
Patrick Lewis OL Knee LP
Jerome Felton FB Back LP
LeSean McCoy RB Hamstring LP

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Posted in Inside the Bills

Injury update: Clay & Seymour

Posted by Chris Brown on October 16, 2016 – 10:16 pm

While the Bills dodged a major bullet with LeSean McCoy narrowly escaping a major knee injury late in the first half, another offensive playmaker did not finish the game.

TE Charles Clay left the game with an ankle injury in the second half. CB Kevon Seymour also left the game late in the second half. Head coach Rex Ryan provided an update.

“Yeah, he’s got an ankle, so we’ll see how that goes during the week but he did not finish the game with an ankle,” said Ryan of Clay. “And then (Kevon) Seymour did not finish the game with a shoulder injury.”

Robert Woods left the game briefly at the end of the first half, and though he returned and finished the game, contributing a touchdown catch in the effort, he was hobbling the rest of the contest.

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Posted in Inside the Bills