Bills RB LeSean McCoy on being a captain: I look forward to having a ‘C’ on my chest

09/06/2018
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Entering his 10th season in the NFL, Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy has achieved more than most at the position. Despite producing at a high level for nearly a decade, he’s never had the coveted ‘C’ stitched on his jersey. That all changed this Tuesday, when the Bills named McCoy one of the team’s six captains.

“This is my first time actually being a true captain,” said McCoy during Wednesday’s press conference. “I look forward to having a ‘C’ on my chest Sunday. I owe it to my teammates. I was who they voted for; they voted for me, so it’s my duty to go out there every week and every day, on the field [and] off the field, going about things the right way to the best of my ability for my teammates.”

Aside from McCoy, the Bills’ 2018 captains include Lorenzo Alexander, Patrick DiMarco, Stephen Hauschka, Taiwan Jones, and Kyle Williams. Those six men have much more on their plates than the remaining 47 players on the team’s roster. McCoy mentioned what those responsibilities entail.

“Just being accountable, being the person I’ve said I am,” he said. “If I’ve said I’m a hardworking guy who works hard and does whatever I have to do for my teammates, I will do it every day. Don’t just talk about it, be about it.”

Considering their past, Bills head coach Sean McDermott is confident with McCoy as a captain. The two spent a couple of years (2009-2010) together with the Philadelphia Eagles. They were McCoy’s first two years in the league, as he was a second-round selection (53rd overall) by Philly in the 2009 NFL Draft. For McDermott, it was his final two years with the Eagles as their defensive coordinator.

Buffalo’s HC went into detail about how McCoy’s grown into becoming a team captain since entering the league nearly a decade ago.

“Really, it’s the day-to-day approach to his craft,” said McDermott. “[He] comes in early in the morning, wants to learn, wants to have a firm grasp of our offense and the defense he’s going to face, particularly this week with the Ravens, a very good defense. Just the way he then performs on the field with the effort.”

“You see him take hand-offs just like I do and he’s taking a hand-off that doesn’t appear to be different from a normal hand-off, but he’s taking it and going 20, 25 yards every time he gets the ball in his hands; that really speaks to his habits on the field, which I think [are] outstanding.”

As McDermott alluded to, McCoy’s a magician with the ball in his hands. It’s bizarre that he was never named a captain purely based on his productivity.

 

In 133 career games (119 starts), the RB has chalked up 2,185 carries for 10,092 yards and 66 touchdowns. He’s only one of 31 RBs in league history to reach the 10,000-yard mark.

McCoy’s also a weapon in the passing game. For his career, he’s racked up 441 receptions going for 3,378 yards and 15 TDs. Those combined stats make him the lone player in league history with 10,000-plus rushing yards, 400-plus receptions, 4.5-plus yards per carry, and 80-plus TDs.

 

After all of that productivity, the ‘C’ has been a long time coming for McCoy, especially considering he’s a six-time Pro Bowler, two-time All-Pro, and was the league’s rushing leader in 2013.

The scary part is (for opposing teams), McCoy appears to be in top-notch shape, even better than last year, when he ranked fourth in the league with 1,138 rushing yards.

“He’s got a good grasp of the offense, he’s playing fast, he looks like he’s in even better shape than he was a year ago,” said McDermott. “I think he’s been off to a real fine start.”

McCoy, who turned 30 in July, shared the secret to maintaining his speed and strength.

“Just working hard, finding ways to push myself. I think this year [I’ve been] just putting extra work in,” he said. “People take a lot of shots at running backs, 30-years old, it’s always a question. I feel like every year, I get it lately, so it’s something extra [that is] driving me.”

“If it’s chasing things, yardage, wins, you name it, whatever it is, I always try and find something to get myself going. That’s probably just [something] I credit that to that [work ethic]. Just putting the work in and pushing myself.”

This Sunday, McCoy will take the field in Baltimore, marking his 10th year in the league, though this time, No. 25 will trot out of the tunnel with a ‘C’ sewn into his jersey for the first time ever.

McCoy’s undoubtedly near the tail end of his football career, but he has earned league-wide respect. It’s no secret why he was named a captain for the Bills this season.

“I never see myself as an older player, but now I feel it, not body wise, but the reaction from players around the NFL, my teammates and the way they view me,” McCoy said. “Before, if I was 24, 25, 23, and I may say something, I may do something, they don’t probably look at it the same way if I do it now. I’m conscious of that. Every move I try to make nowadays, I really want to make it the best because I see how they view me.”

“You don’t really notice that until a youngster speaks to you, talks to you, asks you different questions. You’d be surprised what type of all-star, young players in the NFL, the type of text messages or questions that I get. I’m like, ‘damn, I must be 30 or I might be in my 10th year.’ All those things, they really shock you and I think being the captain, I can kind of relate [to them].”

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