Inside The Bills

How Henderson fixed McKelvin’s game

Posted by Chris Brown on February 6, 2015 – 9:36 am

Before Bills DBs coach Donnie Henderson arrived in Buffalo, the knock on Leodis McKelvin was that he didn’t make enough plays on the ball. His coverage would be air tight, but he couldn’t knock balls away, let alone intercept them. Since 2013, when Henderson walked in the door, McKelvin has been a different player.

In 2013 McKelvin led the team in pass breakups, then this past season, despite playing in just 10 games, he led the team in interceptions with four. In an appearance on the John Murphy Show this week, Henderson talked about what he did to fix McKelvin’s game.

“When I came here I was trying to find some of his problem areas,” Henderson said. “His biggest issue is he’s so fast and quick that when I evaluated him his problem was getting his head around and finding the football. When you’re playing man coverage as much as we do you’ve got to find the football. So I talked to him about how to do that and it’s really about repetition. As you get down the field you’ve got to get your hips around and you’ve got to get your eyes back, but you’ve got to have a belief in your mind that you can run with anybody. As fast and as quick as he is he can run with anybody.

“So we took it from stepping and replacing and moving his foot laterally, next thing was to get your hips around and when I say, ‘Ball’ you get your head around. So we took it step by step and with the progress we’ve made over a period of time he’s got it where he understands it now.”

McKelvin is expected to be fully cleared for football in mid-March after suffering a fractured ankle in Week 11 at Miami this past season.


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