LeSean McCoy was in the middle of an answer Wednesday about how the Buffalo Bills’ offense will run through him when he offered up a strong take on offensive coordinator Brian Daboll.
After saying he expected big years out of Kelvin Benjamin, Charles Clay, Marcus Murphy and Chris Ivory, McCoy added “I’m for sure, I think, the main focus for the defense, but we have a lot of small pieces to put together to make plays.”
“I think you sprinkle in a genius at offensive coordinator who comes from a winning program, last year with Alabama and then the Patriots,” McCoy said.
Stop right there, Shady. Did you say genius?
“Some of the things that he brings here is that kind of culture, that attitude and then the smarts, making guys accountable,” McCoy said. “I think so, honestly. When he first got here just talking to him and seeing how he thinks -- I’ve been around some smart coaches offensively and the way they scheme things up, the way they want to find mismatches and take advantage of it -- it’s not so simple. It’s an offense that you have to think a little bit. … I think the special coordinators are the coaches that can put you in plays to be successful as far as not running the play in to a bad look.”
Daboll was asked Thursday how it felt to have a possible Hall of Fame running back call him a genius. He gave the most modest answer possible.
“I have a lot of appreciation for our players and how much they work and what they do on a daily basis in terms of what they do in practice and their daily preparation habits,” he said. “We’re all a part of this thing together, myself, the coaches. It starts with Sean, Brandon and our ownership. I’m just a piece of the puzzle trying to do the best that I can do along with the help of a lot of other people around here.”
The Bills might not need Daboll to be a genius, but it would help if he proved to be an upgrade over last year’s offensive coordinator, Rick Dennison. The first chance to see if that will happen comes Sunday at Baltimore.
“We have a system, but again, it doesn’t really matter what it’s been in the past,” Daboll said. “It’s who you have now to run those things. If we’re not really good at running them through the OTAs or training camp, it might not be a smart idea to run those plays. Every team has its own strengths and weaknesses with their players and the things that our guys do well, that’s what we’re going to try and focus on.”
Daboll said quarterback Nathan Peterman will have the freedom to audible when needed.
“We’ll give him the plays and if he sees something he needs to get to, that’s the job of a quarterback,” he said. “We don’t have crystal balls, and sometimes there will be a play, probably, that won’t be the best versus that particular look. Nathan can do what he needs to do to put the offense in a good position.”
The decision on who will start at cornerback opposite Tre’Davious White is coming down to the wire.
“Sunday is approaching pretty quickly, so we’re going to have to make a decision here pretty soon,” defensive coordinator Leslie Frazier said Thursday, “but we’ve got another practice, so we’ll go through another day of evaluation and make a decision probably Friday or Saturday on who’s available and who’s starting.”
The candidates for the job are veterans Vontae Davis and Phillip Gaines, both of whom were acquired in free agency this offseason.
“I think Phillip has done a really good job through camp and Vontae has done some really good things at times, but you want to give both of those guys, veteran players, an equal opportunity to show what they can do during a game plan week,” Frazier said. “That’s what we tried to do throughout this week, and we’ll see how it shakes out tomorrow.”
Linebacker Lorenzo Alexander was added to the Bills’ injury report Thursday, but that’s only because he was given a veteran rest day. Linebacker Julian Stanford (nose) practiced on a limited basis after missing Wednesday, while rookie receiver Ray-Ray McCloud (knee) did not participate for a second straight day.