The NFL’s trade deadline is rapidly approaching. There are a few players whose names have been mentioned in trade rumors, but none bigger than the Buffalo Bills’ star running back LeSean McCoy.
Two weeks ago, Eagles running back Jay Ajayi was injured and McCoy’s name was immediately linked to the transaction-happy Philly GM, Howie Roseman. But there were other organizations who possibly showed interest, as well, like the Tampa Bay Buccanneers and Baltimore Ravens.
ESPN's Adam Schefter predicted yesterday that LeSean McCoy will be one of the biggest names traded before Tuesday's NFL Trade Deadline. Do you think the #Bills should trade McCoy? Feel free to call us and let us know this morning at 803-0550 or 1-888-550-2550!— WGR 550 (@WGR550) October 25, 2018
Initial reports were that the Bills were looking for a 2nd and 3rd round pick, which is pretty steep for a 30-year-old back. As is often the case, where there’s smoke, there’s usually fire, so we shouldn’t be surprised if the Bills are at least listening to offers.
Running Back Struggles
To say that this season, a season where McCoy’s goal was to eclipse 12,000 yards, has been a disappointment would be an understatement. In six games this season, the six-time Pro Bowler currently has 244 yards on the ground and has failed to reach the end zone. He’s averaging 3.9 yards per attempt, which is less than he averaged last season under Rick Dennison.
His backup, Chris Ivory, who many thought was overpaid to come to Buffalo, has averaged 3.1 yards per attempt and gotten into the end zone. His stats don’t really move the Richter scale either, but at times he has provided a much-needed spark with his aggressive demeanor.
[perfectpullquote align=”full” bordertop=”false” cite=”HC McDermott” link=”” color=”” class=”” size=”22″] He offers a change of pace a little bit. I also think he gives us an identity in terms of the toughness and what he’s able to do not only inside the tackles, but outside the tackles is sometimes more than people expect.[/perfectpullquote]
Ivory’s bruising style breaks a tackle on 16.4% of his carries to McCoy’s 12.7%.
Preseason darling Marcus Murphy has carried the rock 21 times, averaging 5.1 yards per attempt and a forced a broken tackle percentage of 23.8%. He had a strong showing against the Colts, racking up 53 yards on four carries, including this 30-yard burst.
Offensive Line Woes
The issues with the Bills’ 17th-ranked rushing offense don’t start or end with the backs, in my opinion. A lot of the blame falls on the shoulders of the offensive line. Juan Castillo’s group struggles to create any movement for their backs. On gap runs, their technique stunts the amount of force needed to move guys against their will. They rarely create vertical displacement to advance the ball, which allows teams to play on the Bills’ side of the line of scrimmage. The same can be said about the zone runs, plays where more often than not, you will see one or two offensive linemen end up on their backsides because they lack the athleticism necessary to execute the scheme.
The retirement of center Eric Wood and release of guard Richie Incognito have put a damper on McCoy and this offense’s first season under Daboll. Now the question is, should GM Brandon Beane trade their captain, LeSean McCoy, in order to start hoarding picks for the 2019 NFL Draft? The move would be a tricky one now that McCoy is in concussion protocol, but as you will see in this film room session, there’s a reason teams are interested in his services.