PITTSFORD -- LeSean McCoy might have been cleared of any criminal wrongdoing in a Philadelphia nightclub brawl last Feb. 7, but that doesn't mean there are no lingering effects from what happened.
The Buffalo Bills' running back said Friday, after he and his teammates finished their conditioning tests for the opening of training camp, that he came away from the ordeal with a different perspective on his role as a team leader.
A conversation with NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell contributed to his greater appreciation for how McCoy should be carrying himself off the field.
"I had a long talk with Mr. Goodell about the incident," McCoy, addressing Western New York media for the first time since the end of last season, said of the fight that resulted in two off-duty Philadelphia police officers being hospitalized. "Just sitting back and viewing the whole situation, as a leader, the guy that I want to be for this team, things like that just can't happen. I mean, there's no excuses for it.
"You don't hear of other guys like Peyton Manning or Tom Brady getting in incidents like that. I think, sometimes, you get so lackadaisical with just being successful as a football player and then you let all the minor, small things go. With a situation like that, if you've got security or you've got even off-duty officers working for me at the time and this thing never even gets out of hand. So there's always ways to kind of resolve and, hopefully, not even take it to that level where it's a big situation where now it's looked at doing something negative and wrong."
After a lengthy investigation, the Philadelphia District Attorney decided not to file charges against McCoy or anyone else involved. The Pennsylvania State Attorney General's office reviewed the matter and also saw no reason to disagree with the DA.
Finally, the NFL decided not to discipline McCoy, even though it could very well have done so despite the absence of criminal charges.
"For sure, I was curious to see what would happen," McCoy said. "It was bad situation, I think, just to be in at that particular time. Nothing I could do, though. I called my owners, my coaches to let them know exactly what happened. I'm an honest person. I've never been in trouble a day in my life.
"I was honest and I was right. I didn't do anything wrong, and it's obvious. Y'all read it, y'all seen what happened. Nothing came out of it. It just sucks that your name gets dragged into so much negative press for just being in that situation that you had nothing to do with. But I mean,that's life. I'm not sitting here complaining about it. It is what it is."
McCoy said he appreciated the positive feedback he received from Bills co-owner Terry Pegula after calling him to discuss what had taken place.
"I didn't know how to talk to Mrs. (Kim) Pegula about that, that was kind of tough," McCoy said. "But he was real positive. He asked me what happened exactly, I told him, and that was really it. He's been around, so he understands things do happen. And I was happy that he was understanding about it, but it was fine and I'm blessed to be in a situation like this where my owners are understanding.
"Sometimes, things can get out of hand and you can get blamed for something just for being there."