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Tim Graham: McCoy hits 10,000 yards, knows who he ran over to do it

Who the hell is Kiko Alonso?

That's what LeSean McCoy asked agent Drew Rosenhaus in March 2015. The Philadelphia Eagles had traded McCoy to the Buffalo Bills for Alonso, an injured linebacker.

Nearly three seasons and many yards later, McCoy smirks at the mention of Alonso, the personification of a chip on the star running back's shoulder.

Some team dared to believe Kiko Alonso was equal in value to him?

The comparison wasn't valid then, hasn't been valid over time and wasn't valid Sunday.

McCoy abused Alonso a couple of times in a personal milestone game and a 24-16 victory over the Miami Dolphins, the team Alonso plays for now.

McCoy became the 30th player to rush for 10,000 yards, but did it in fewer carries than all but Jim Brown, Adrian Peterson, Barry Sanders and O.J. Simpson.

McCoy also scored two touchdowns to pass New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski for the most this decade with 77.

"I'm glad he's here in Buffalo," Hall of Fame running back Thurman Thomas said in the New Era Field tunnel, just outside the Bills' locker room. Underneath his winter coat, Thomas wore a blue "We Chasing 10K" hoodie for the occasion.

McCoy ran 20 times for 50 yards and a touchdown. His 2.5-yard average is the fourth-worst of his career when carrying at least 20 times, and the second time it has happened this season. He added four catches for 46 yards and a touchdown.

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Alonso led the Dolphins with 10 tackles, four of them of McCoy. But three were chasing McCoy down after gains of 12 yards, 14 yards and 13 yards.

The 14-yarder in the first quarter put McCoy over 10,000 career rushing yards. He scored his receiving touchdown three plays later.

The 13-yarder was a catch-and-run that juked Alonso out of his socks and set up Tyrod Taylor for a touchdown run that gave the Bills a 21-6 halftime lead.

McCoy snagged the ball on a crossing pattern and cut upfield. You almost could hear Alonso's brakes squeal as the Bills' 2013 second-round draft choice tried to recover.

"Yeah, I knew who it was," McCoy said while getting dressed at his locker stall.

In April, Alonso posted an Instagram photo of him tackling McCoy with the caption, "El Blankito ojos claros #ozuna #futbolamericano #miamidolphins #yatusabes." The rough translation from Spanish is, "The white boy with clear eyes."

McCoy posted two replies: "boy ya dad wish u was as good as me...n ya new contract garbage lol my 2011 money ..." followed by "take me off ya page u BUM."

So McCoy knows who Alonso is now and knows what Buffalo is about, too.

McCoy admittedly was devastated when the Eagles traded him. He was born and raised in Harrisburg, Pa.

"At first I was angry," said McCoy, still the Eagles' all-time leading rusher. "I didn't want to go."

Even after moving to Western New York, he wouldn't leave his home until a few weeks into the season.

"Go to practice and go home," McCoy said. "Then I started going out, meeting people, going to restaurants, getting the love from the fans. I started to fall in love with it.

"You know, now, I look at this like home."

Sunday was Buffalo's home finale. Much attention revolved around whether it would be defensive tackle Kyle Williams' last game at New Era Field.

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Given the NFL's harsh and sometimes unpredictable business realities, I asked McCoy if he ever considered that Sunday could be his last game here in a Bills uniform.

"All I can do is just hopefully win games, produce and be one of the better players on the field each time I line up," replied McCoy, who had slid into the 10K hoodie identical to the one Thomas had on. "I'll let the guys up in the office make that call.

"I would love to end my career here in Buffalo. I put big numbers up in Philly, and I want to do the same here and get a ring, to bring this team to playoffs and potentially a championship."

He's the first in NFL history with 10,000 rushing yards, a 4.5-yard average, 400 receptions and 75 total touchdowns.

McCoy all year has been appealing to his offensive lineman about the feat, hinting at expensive watches for his blockers.

"10K on the wrist, baby," Bills left guard Richie Incognito said. "That's what he keeps promising us. So I need something, a big-faced [Rolex] or something."

Already worth a Pro Football Hall of Fame discussion, McCoy will need 2,000 more yards to cement his chances. Of the 16 players who've gained 12,000 yards, 14 have been inducted and the other two, Peterson and Frank Gore, are still playing.

"I think it is too soon," said Thomas, who finished with 12,074 yards. "But I think if you look at the numbers, 12,000 is the mark.

"It's one of those deals where, yeah, it's good for the regular season, but I think you have to have playoff numbers to exceed that."

McCoy could reach the postseason this year. Sunday's victory coupled with the Tennessee Titans' loss to the San Francisco 49ers improved the Bills' chances of ending the longest playoff blight in North American big-league sports.

"We're not talking about being in the playoff race and we're not leading the league [in rushing] the past two years if we don't have him with the Buffalo Bills," Thomas said.

Whether it's the Hall of Fame or the work left to be done for Buffalo this season and beyond, McCoy doesn't consider Sunday's milestone the defining moment of his legacy.

"Ten thousand," he said almost inaudibly, "was just in the way."

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