LeSean McCoy's time with the Buffalo Bills has not been without controversy.
From his "females only" party to his poorly handled return to Philadelphia last season to his bar brawl on the morning of the Super Bowl, he's made headlines for the wrong reasons. Those missteps have been reported on, analyzed and criticized by both media and fans.
It wouldn't be right to pretend like those things didn't happen. It also wouldn't be right, however, to ignore when McCoy makes a positive contribution off the field, which he did this week when he announced he will host members of the Buffalo Police Department at an upcoming game.
"They're taking so much heat right now," McCoy said Wednesday addressing the protests being staged by San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick. "The things that are happening are definitely wrong, but I just feel just like there's bad people, there's bad cops and there's good cops. So that's something that me and my foundation will be doing. Also inner-city kids, we're gonna bring them to the game, too. You got to show appreciation, because nobody's perfect. I don't want cops getting a bad rap for something that bad cops are doing."
On Friday, McCoy presented gift baskets from his foundation to breast-cancer survivors who attended practice. He's letting people in, showing off a side that we haven's seen much of.
For a player who has taken plenty of heat since coming to Buffalo, McCoy deserves some credit, too, and not just for his performance on the field.
There's a good chance defensive tackle Marcell Dareus' 2016 debut will have to wait a little longer. The Bills listed Dareus as doubtful on Friday because of a hamstring injury, although coach Rex Ryan left open the possibility that the Pro Bowler could play when he said ""I'm not one of those coaches who says you have to practice to play. If you're a great player, I'll throw you out there."
Meanwhile in Miami
Things aren't going so hot for Mario Williams. The former Bills defensive end was ripped by his current defensive coordinator.
"He’s got to play better, has got to play harder, he’s got to play better,” Vance Joseph said, via Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald. “Obviously, he’s being allowed to rush the passer. The games we’ve been in, it’s been more run first, pass second team. For us to be a great rush team, we have to earn the right and stop the run, all of us. Mario, [Ndamukong] Suh, Jordan [Phillips], all those guys up front. If they want to rush more, stop the run more consistently. Mario has got to play better, has to play faster and more consistently.”
Williams has seven tackles and one sack in five games this season. The Bills visit Miami in Week Six.
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On the air
News Sports Reporter Tim Graham hosts "The Tim Graham Show" every Wednesday from 5 to 7 p.m. on 1270 The Fan. On this week's show, Graham and co-host Joe Licata spoke with Nate Boyer, a Bronze Star recipient and adviser to Kaepernick. The Buffalo News' John Vogl also joined the show to talk about the injury suffered by Sabres star Jack Eichel.
News Sports Columnists Jerry Sullivan and Bucky Gleason also co-host a show on 1270 The Fan, every Monday from 5 to 7 p.m. with Bob Koshinski. Both shows can be streamed live on The News' Facebook page.
• Tim Graham looks at the debate Kaepernick has started with his protest of the national anthem.
• Nick Veronica gets you ready for Sunday's game with Five Things to Know about the 49ers.
• Bucky Gleason shares how Bills offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn has used lessons learned from the late John Wooden.
• Mike Leone's weekly fantasy column offers advice on drafting "three-man stacks."
• This week's scouting report shows the Bills having the edge in several categories.
• Veronica takes a look at how Lorenzo Alexander came to be the league's sack leader through five weeks at age 33.
• Get to know Bills defensive lineman Leger Douzable, who is assisting in Hurricane Matthew relief efforts in Haiti.
• Jerry Sullivan writes that Kaepernick was "smart, engaging and willing to entertain any questions about kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial injustice in this country" during a conference call with the Buffalo media.
A key for the Bills in their three-game winning streak has been quick starts. Buffalo has jumped out to two-possession leads in the first half of each of those games.