Buffalo, NY- It is day 2 of training camp for the Buffalo Bills and questions are arising about their running back LeSean McCoy and the type of injuries that held him back last season. McCoy has had hamstring issues and with father time approaching him, some individuals worry that he will not be productive this year. Bills’ head coach Sean McDermott spoke to ProPlayerInsiders about McCoy and what he sees in him. “We’ve got to be smart and manage his reps through practice and we know what he brings to the table. I was fortunate enough to be around LeSean McCoy early in his career. I have first-hand experience of what he brings to the table and going against him when we were apart for the number of years we were. That is something that we have on our radar in terms of his rep count, so we’ve got to be conscious of that moving forward and we will be.”
When McCoy played in Philadelphia, McDermott watched him grow into the person that he is today. “Well you watch a young player at that time come into the league and have success and then I’ve watched him from afar for the last six or so years, the way he’s developed on the field and to get to know him again personally now in Buffalo and watch how both of our careers have come back together, full circle here. We were talking about it yesterday. I’ve enjoyed watching him. You watch the maturity and growth of a young man into a grown man and that’s fun to see. The way he handles things as a pro. He’s had a nice career so far and I enjoy being around him on a daily basis.”
While the starting role for the running back position is locked, there is a battle for second and third string with Jonathan Williams and Mike Tolbert. Both players are very good on third down conversions and have helped the time, but McDermott did not want to go into specifics when talking about their roles in the near future. “It’s early. You talk about roles, I think it’s too early to talk about roles right now. We’re in the third day of training camp and first day of pads, which I’m excited about. Right now, we are trying to put our best foot forward – each and every one of us. Roles will be defined as we get closer and closer to the season. Guys kind of naturally settle into some roles, in particular when we get to the 53. That’ll work itself out.”
Last season the Bills struggle to run the ball. McCoy was injured and attempted to play through the injury, but they could not stretch the field like they wanted to. If you have a healthy running back and Tyrod Taylor strategically making the right reads, the Bills are a hard team to beat. They have a running QB that can extend plays when the line breaks down and you have a shifty running back who is always one play away from making a big play. With the two back up they have to contribute more to the offense, than what they did last year for their respective teams.
Last season Tolbert struggled to find his vision with the Panthers. He had 32 touches for 114 yards. He struggled with hitting the right holes and had a probably bouncing it to the outside. At times he shown that he could be a downhill runner and that is what the Bills need from him. They need a thunder and lightning type of running attack behind McCoy.
Jonathan Williams has struggled as well. He had only 27 touches for 94 yards. If he wants to steal primary back-up, he has to go out there and work hard. He has the potential to break out of tackles and allude tacklers, but he miss a lot of assignments and just does not seem to fit in what the Bills are trying to do. He has the potential to show flashes off his speed, but it is the miscommunication that has held him down.
Both of these players need to make some adjustments in their technique if they want to keep their jobs. It will be interesting to see how both of these players will fare in the upcoming weeks.
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