Bills coach Sean McDermott opened his Wednesday press conference by addressing a news report about his team, which was unusual for a man who generally tries to reveal as little as possible in front of the cameras.
But this was a report about running back LeSean McCoy, the team's best (and only) offensive weapon. WIVB-TV's Josh Reed reported Tuesday that the Eagles had inquired about a possible trade involving McCoy, which The News corroborated.
"I’m going to open up with, just to get out in front of (the) LeSean thing a little bit here the best I can," McDermott said after reaching the lectern. "I wasn’t obviously speaking yesterday. LeSean is one of our better players. I thought he had a good game the other day. Really, we’re just looking forward to playing the Houston Texans. We get calls all the time, incoming calls happen all the time. Brandon (Beane, the GM) and I talk a lot, and I won’t go into any more detail than that. Again, this is a big week for us. It’s another opportunity to get better, an opportunity for us to develop as a football team against a very good opponent, in particular down there in a tough place to play. With that, I’ll open it up to your questions."
McDermott kept it buttoned up when asked about McCoy, using some variation of “I’m not going into that” on more than one occasion. But asked point blank if McCoy was available in a trade, McDermott didn't say no.
"I’m not going into [that]," McDermott said. "This is why I came out and started where I started. If you just want to hear the same reply, I’ll give you the same reply. I respect where you’re coming from and the jobs you have to do, respect where I’m coming from. He’s a valuable member of our football team, and I’m going to leave it at that."
Transcripts: You can read through McDermott's and McCoy's entire media sessions. "That’s for my agent and the guys upstairs to work that out," McCoy said about the report. He would seemingly love a chance to return home to Philadelphia, where he kissed the logo at midfield before the Bills-Eagles game in 2015. A McCoy trade seemed unlikely two weeks ago, but two of the biggest necessities to facilitate the trade seem to be met: A playoff contender needs to be desperate, and it needs to not be scared off by McCoy's legal situation. The Eagles are banged up at running back, and if they were the ones reaching out to the Bills, the second box seems to be checked as well. If the compensation is right, this could happen. The Bills' offense would go from bad to worse without McCoy, but swapping him for rebuilding blocks could turn out to be worth it in the long run. The Eagles have all of their own draft picks, plus an extra second-rounder, plus they're projected for supplemental picks. Beane seems to love his conditional trades, so I'll guess he's optimistically shooting for the Eagles' third-round pick with the condition that it becomes the lower of their second-round picks if they make the playoffs. The Eagles likely won't want to go that high, even as a conditional pick, but we'll see if the teams are able to meet in the middle.
Bills get good news in secondary: Safeties Micah Hyde and Rafael Bush returned to practice Wednesday. Both players missed last week's game, but their replacement, Dean Marlowe, was cut Tuesday to sign Derek Anderson.
A Star is Born? Speaking of Anderson, Vic Carucci raised an interesting point: With so many holes to patch, how can a team like the Bills afford to use a roster spot on a quarterback who's not here to play? His answer: "Their need for someone like Derek Anderson ... was great enough for them to justify going with one fewer player at another spot."
Bills' base 4-3 fronts make triumphant return: After the Bills amazingly played "nickel" defense the entire game against the Packers (meaning they subbed a linebacker for an extra defensive back), the 4-3 base defense returned with vigor in the win over the Titans.
Bills rookie Harrison Phillips plays best game in a month: Phillips logged two quarterback pressures of Marcus Mariota in just 14 pass rush snaps.
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