Bills’ McCoy not talk­ing as yardage keeps drop­ping

Frus­tra­tion mount­ing for 2013 NFL rush­ing leader

The Hamilton Spectator - - Sports - JOHN WAWROW

OR­CHARD PARK, N.Y. — The more Le­Sean McCoy’s pro­duc­tion drops, the less the Buf­falo Bills run­ning back wants to talk about it.

“Don’t worry about me, I’ll be all right,” McCoy said fol­low­ing prac­tice Wed­nes­day, be­fore ex­cus­ing him­self to, he said, go lift weights. “I ain’t duck­ing you, hon­est. I’m try­ing to get my­self to­gether.”

And off he went. McCoy re­turned to the locker-room briefly about 45 min­utes later, be­fore ex­it­ing yet again upon see­ing a large group of re­porters gath­ered at his stall.

What­ever frus­tra­tions McCoy has while en­dur­ing the worst start to a sea­son in his 10-year ca­reer, or con­cerns he might have about an of­fence not pro­duc­ing at an alarm­ingly ane­mic rate, he’d pre­fer to keep to him­self, as Buf­falo (2-7) pre­pares to play at the New York Jets (3-6) Sun­day.

McCoy hasn’t for­mally ad­dressed the me­dia since ac­knowl­edg­ing he’s never been through as bad of a stretch as this in his life, fol­low­ing a 25-6 loss to New Eng­land on Oct. 29. Af­ter gain­ing 12 yards on his first carry against the Pa­tri­ots, McCoy com­bined for just 1 more yard on his fi­nal 11 at­tempts of the game.

“I’ve had bad games, but this, the flow of the sea­son and ev­ery­thing, is bad,” he said.

Things got worse Sun­day, when McCoy man­aged 10 yards on 10 car­ries in a 41-9 loss to Chicago.

“He’s’ too tal­ented for that,” full­back Patrick Di­Marco said. “He’s a guy that can change a game and take over a game. He knows that. We know that. Up­stairs they know that. We’ve got to get him go­ing.”

One is­sue is he’s part of a patch­work of­fence that’s scored just 96 points, topped 300 yards net of­fence twice and has no con­ti­nu­ity at quar­ter­back. McCoy’s also had off-field dis­trac­tions amid al­le­ga­tions of abus­ing his son — which he’s de­nied — stem­ming from a law­suit filed by his ex­girl­friend.

And age could be catch­ing up to McCoy, who turned 30 in July.

Coach Sean McDermott doesn’t buy it, and blames McCoy’s strug­gles on the en­tire of­fence.

A year af­ter top­ping 1,100 yards rush­ing for the sixth time, the NFL’s 2013 rush­ing leader is barely on pace to break 500.

He’s man­aged 267 yards rush­ing and has yet to score in es­sen­tially seven games this sea­son. McCoy missed one game due to a rib in­jury, and was lim­ited to play­ing two snaps be­fore sus­tain­ing a con­cus­sion in a 37-5 loss at In­di­anapo­lis three weeks ago.

McCoy hasn’t scored since hav­ing a touch­down rush­ing and re­ceiv­ing in a 24-17 win over Mi­ami last Dec. 17. And he hasn’t topped 100 yards since fin­ish­ing with 156 on a snow-cov­ered field in a 13-7 over­time win against In­di­anapo­lis on Dec. 10 a week be­fore that.

The drop in pro­duc­tion spans the NFL trad­ing dead­line Oct. 30, and amid spec­u­la­tion McCoy may have been dealt be­cause he has one year left on his con­tract. Or that he was open to leav­ing a re­build­ing team in or­der to play for a con­tender.

GM Bran­don Beane dis­missed those nar­ra­tives by say­ing McCoy’s si­lence stems from mere frus­tra­tion.

“I can tell you, Le­Sean is very happy here. He’s frus­trated just like I am, just like a lot of guys on our of­fence,”

ADRIAN KRAUS THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Bills run­ning back Le­Sean McCoy is hav­ing just a so-so sea­son, and is speech­less as he strug­gles to gain yardage. He is barely on pace to break 500 yards this sea­son.

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