Inside The Bills

McGahee likes facing Buffalo

Posted by Chris Brown on December 23, 2011 – 9:06 am

Willis McGahee wasn’t a big fan of Buffalo as a city and often flew home on Monday nights after meetings to spend his off day in his native Miami before flying back for the work week. As a result he alienated himself from the fan base and though he never said it publicly made it clear to management that he wanted out. It eventually precipitated a trade in which McGahee was sent to Baltimore for a pair of 3rd round picks and a seventh.

Those picks for Buffalo wound up being Trent Edwards and C.J. Ah You in 2008 and the third-round in 2009 was used in a trade with Jacksonville to acquire Marcus Stroud. Ironically, Jacksonville traded the pick back to Baltimore with the Ravens using it to draft LB Tavares Gooden.

McGahee gave the Ravens just one season of better than 1,000 yards rushing, with a 1,200-yard campaign in 2007. He was eventually supplanted as the starter by Ray Rice. Set to be paid $6M by the Ravens in 2011 he was released and signed with Denver where he was to be the backup for Knowshon Moreno, but with Moreno gone for the season with an injury, McGahee found new life in John Fox’s run-first offense.

Now 10 yards away from his first 1,000-yard rushing season since that ’07 year in Baltimore, McGahee could become just the second back in NFL history to rush for 1,000-yards for three different NFL clubs, joining Ricky Watters.

When asked by the Denver Post this week about his time in Buffalo, McGahee was brief but fair.

“Got drafted there,” he said. “It was a good time in my life. I was happy.”
McGahee has faced the Bills twice since departing and has fared well. The only time he faced them at Ralph Wilson Stadium, was the first season after the trade. The Bills won the game 19-14, but McGahee did manage to roll up 114 yards on 19 carries with a touchdown while averaging 6 yards per carry.
His most recent effort came last season in the 37-34 overtime barn burner at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore. McGahee working as a backup to Rice had 64 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries (5.8 avg.). All told McGahee has averaged 5.9 yards per carry against the Bills.

Posted in Inside the Bills
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