LeSean McCoy said frustration with the Buffalo Bills’ 2-7 season and his own poor production prompted him to avoid talking with the media since the Oct. 29 loss against New England.
But the running back acknowledged after Friday’s practice — thanks in no small part to a warning from the NFL that not fulfilling his contractual obligation to speak with reporters at least once a week during the regular season could result in a fine — that he needed to handle the situation better.
“It’s been extremely difficult, just how the season’s been going, where we are as a group,” McCoy said. “But you can’t complain and pout about it. You’ve just got to find a way to win games and make it happen.
“Yeah, I just was upset with how just everything’s been going. I mean, we’re at 2-7, right? That’s frustrating. I want to win games, so I just kind of took that approach, kind of just upset. We’re NFL players and it’s our job, and you’ve got to be professional, no matter how to situation is or certain things. You’ve got to come in here and practice hard and play hard.”
He denied speculation his frustration included being unhappy that the Bills failed to trade him back to the Philadelphia Eagles — who dealt him to Buffalo in 2015 — before the NFL trading deadline the day after the New England game. General Manager Brandon Beane told The Buffalo News after the deadline that McCoy not only was a major part of the Bills’ plans for the rest of this season, but next year as well.
“Sometimes people get that mixed up with the frustrations of losing,” McCoy said. “But for me to be in the plans, I like the way that sounds. If not, they’d have traded me. I had a lot of value and a lot of teams wanted me. If I wasn’t in the plans, you would trade me, get some picks for somebody that’s not going to be in the plans anyway, you know?
“So it kind of makes sense if you look at it in that sense.”
Here are other topics McCoy addressed:
His overall thoughts on the season: “We can do better, it’s simple as that. There’s plays to be made that we’re not making. We’ve got to play smarter, we’ve got to play better, simple as that.”
The lack of stability at quarterback: “I’m just trying to keep the mindset of just control what you can control. We can’t control who plays, we can’t control who the quarterback is. The only thing we control is everybody just handling their assignments and responsibilities, play together and try to get one.”
The team’s strong commitment to him: “I like that. Since I came to Buffalo, from the community to the ownership, the guys upstairs in the office, the coaches, they've been fair and even great with me. They’ve been supportive in everything I ever went through. They ripped up (the deal he had signed with the Bills) and gave me a new contract (with a pay increase) when I got here, so they’ve been good to me. I’m a loyal person and I'm happy here.”
The fact he’s 30 and how much longer it might take for the Bills to improve: “Being an older player, not as old as like (35-year-old) Kyle (Williams) and (Lorenzo Alexander), the urgency is up. I want to get a chance to get a ring and those things are in my mind. So (his silence with the media) went from frustration about losing and all those things, because every player has a clock. I’m good friends with (35-year-old Miami Dolphins running back) Frank Gore and we talk all the time, especially lately, and we talk about those things.”
His goal to reach 12,000 career rushing yards (he has 10,359 and is on pace to finish the season with just under 500): “It may take a little longer than I expected now. We have a couple more games left to add on to that and we’re making some corrections, and all I can do is try to get better at my game and help my teammates out and then we’ll look forward to this year and then next year and put it back together. I mean, this thing happens fast. There’s times when we have bad seasons and the next season is a good one. Bad game and the next one, we have a good game, so it's a matter of putting it together, one by one.”
Him having yet to score a touchdown this season: “Yeah, I mean these are realistic questions, man, because it’s something that I’m used to doing. We’ve just got to find a way to do it. I don’t have the answers, why and when, but I just look forward to getting there.”