McCoy frus­trated with sea­son, but no rea­son to ‘pout’

Run­ning back wants to get bet­ter and help his team­mates win games

The Buffalo News - - SPORTS - By Vic Carucci NEWS SPORTS RE­PORTER

LeSean McCoy said frus­tra­tion with the Buf­falo Bills’ 2-7 sea­son and his own poor pro­duc­tion prompted him to avoid talk­ing with the me­dia since the Oct. 29 loss against New Eng­land.

But the run­ning back ac­knowl­edged af­ter Fri­day’s prac­tice — thanks in no small part to a warn­ing from the NFL that not ful­fill­ing his con­trac­tual obli­ga­tion to speak with re­porters at least once a week dur­ing the reg­u­lar sea­son could re­sult in a fine — that he needed to han­dle the sit­u­a­tion bet­ter.

“It’s been ex­tremely dif­fi­cult, just how the sea­son’s been go­ing, where we are as a group,” McCoy said. “But you can’t com­plain and pout about it. You’ve just got to find a way to win games and make it hap­pen.

“Yeah, I just was up­set with how just ev­ery­thing’s been go­ing. I mean, we’re at 2-7, right? That’s frus­trat­ing. I want to win games, so I just kind of took that ap­proach, kind of just up­set. We’re NFL play­ers and it’s our job, and you’ve got to be pro­fes­sional, no mat­ter how to sit­u­a­tion is or cer­tain things. You’ve got to come in here and prac­tice hard and play hard.”

He de­nied spec­u­la­tion his frus­tra­tion in­cluded be­ing un­happy that the Bills failed to trade him back to the Philadel­phia Ea­gles — who dealt him to Buf­falo in 2015 — be­fore the NFL trad­ing dead­line the day af­ter the New Eng­land game. Gen­eral Man­ager Bran­don Beane told The Buf­falo News af­ter the dead­line that McCoy not only was a ma­jor part of the Bills’ plans for the rest of this sea­son, but next year as well.

“Some­times peo­ple get that mixed up with the frus­tra­tions of los­ing,” McCoy said. “But for me to be in the plans, I like the way that sounds. If not, they’d have traded me. I had a lot of value and a lot of teams wanted me. If I wasn’t in the plans, you would trade me, get some picks for some­body that’s not go­ing to be in the plans any­way, you know?

“So it kind of makes sense if

Bills

you look at it in that sense.” Here are other top­ics McCoy ad­dressed: His over­all thoughts on the sea­son: “We can do bet­ter, it’s sim­ple as that. There’s plays to be made that we’re not mak­ing. We’ve got to play smarter, we’ve got to play bet­ter, sim­ple as that.”

The lack of sta­bil­ity at quar­ter­back: “I’m just try­ing to keep the mind­set of just con­trol what you can con­trol. We can’t con­trol who plays, we can’t con­trol who the quar­ter­back is. The only thing we con­trol is every­body just han­dling their as­sign­ments and re­spon­si­bil­i­ties, play to­gether and try to get one.”

The team’s strong com­mit­ment to him: “I like that. Since I came to Buf­falo, from the com­mu­nity to the own­er­ship, the guys up­stairs in the of­fice, the coaches, they’ve been fair and even great with me. They’ve been sup­port­ive in ev­ery­thing I ever went through. They ripped up (the deal he had signed with the Bills) and gave me a new con­tract (with a pay in­crease) when I got here, so they’ve been good to me. I’m a loyal per­son and I’m happy here.”

The fact he’s 30 and how much longer it might take for the Bills to im­prove: “Be­ing an older player, not as old as like (35-year-old) Kyle (Wil­liams) and (Lorenzo Alexan­der), the ur­gency is up. I want to get a chance to get a ring and those things are in my mind. So (his si­lence with the me­dia) went from frus­tra­tion about los­ing and all those things, be­cause ev­ery player has a clock. I’m good friends with (35-year-old Mi­ami Dol­phins run­ning back) Frank Gore and we talk all the time, es­pe­cially lately, and we talk about those things.”

His goal to reach 12,000 ca­reer rush­ing yards (he has 10,359 and is on pace to fin­ish the sea­son with just un­der 500): “It may take a lit­tle longer than I ex­pected now. We have a cou­ple more games left to add on to that and we’re mak­ing some cor­rec­tions, and all I can do is try to get bet­ter at my game and help my team­mates out and then we’ll look for­ward to this year and then next year and put it back to­gether. I mean, this thing hap­pens fast. There’s times when we have bad sea­sons and the next sea­son is a good one. Bad game and the next one, we have a good game, so it’s a mat­ter of putting it to­gether, one by one.”

Him hav­ing yet to score a touch­down this sea­son: “Yeah, I mean th­ese are re­al­is­tic ques­tions, man, be­cause it’s some­thing that I’m used to do­ing. We’ve just got to find a way to do it. I don’t have the an­swers, why and when, but I just look for­ward to get­ting there.”

James P. McCoy/Buf­falo News

LeSean McCoy is up­set the Bills haven’t won more games this sea­son. He said the team has to “find a way to win.”

Mark Mul­ville/Buf­falo News

Bills run­ning back LeSean McCoy said his ur­gency is up as an older player. “I want to get a chance to get a ring,” he said.

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