The names have changed around LeSean McCoy, but his spot among the NFL's leading rushers hasn't - The Buffalo News
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The names have changed around LeSean McCoy, but his spot among the NFL's leading rushers hasn't

A total of five running backs gained at least 100 yards in the NFL during Week One.

Three of them are rookies (Kansas City's Kareem Hunt, Minnesota's Dalvin Cook and Jacksonville's Leonard Fournette). One of them is reigning rushing champion Ezekiel Elliott of the Dallas Cowboys, a second-year veteran.

The other is LeSean McCoy. The Buffalo Bills' 29-year-old veteran is in his ninth season, but he displayed once again Sunday that he shows no signs of slowing down.

"It's so funny now when you watch the stats of the running backs and I'm up there with all the rookies and young guys," McCoy said Wednesday. "It's just different. I like it, I really do. It's interesting to see how the era and times have changed."

The year McCoy entered the NFL in 2009, Chris Johnson topped 2,000 yards for the Tennessee Titans. The following year, Arian Foster led the league, followed by Maurice Jones-Drew in 2011 and Adrian Peterson the year after that. Those are the players McCoy measured himself against.

"Each week I'm like, all right, what did AP get?" McCoy said. "Now it's like, is Zeke playing? Is he getting six games, is he not? So it's pretty cool. ... I remember as a younger guy, I looked up to a lot of the older guys. Once I gained their respect, I talked to them. You know, I respected their game. Now it's like flipped. Now I'm the older guy and young guys look up to me, they tell me they respect my game and things like that.

"The motivation is staying relevant and staying at the top of the charts. That's what we're all trying to do, be the best individually and help our team out. It's all about competing.

"A lot of the newer guys get a lot of the hype," McCoy said. "The last two years it was the kid from the Rams, Todd Gurley. "Zeke, he's like the new presence. You know he's getting it done."

McCoy also did that in Week One, gaining 110 yards on 22 carries. That rushing total is currently third in the NFL, behind Hunt (148 yards) and Cook (127). McCoy and the Bills' offense will have a bigger challenge in Week Two when they go up against the Carolina Panthers, who are led defensively by All-Pro linebacker Luke Kuechly.

"I've played him before. They've had some success against me, and I've had some success against them," McCoy said. "My last time in Philly, they really keyed in on me, and I think it was Sanchez, had a pretty good game."

McCoy's memory was right on – the Panthers held him to 19 yards on 12 carries during a 2014 game, but the Eagles cruised to a 45-21 win as quarterback Mark Sanchez threw for 332 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

"So if they want to take me out or take the running game out, I'm sure Tyrod will have a big day," McCoy said. "As long as we get the win. I'm always up for a challenge, no matter who it is. I look forward to these matchups, I really do."

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