RB LeSean McCoy Introductory Press Conference

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Opening Statements

Russ Brandon: On behalf of Terry and Kim Pegula and everyone associated with the Buffalo Bills organization, it’s obviously a great day. The trade is finalized. I would like to welcome the newest member of the Buffalo Bills family: running back, Buffalo Bill running back, LeSean McCoy.

LeSean McCoy: It feels good. It feels good to be here. It feels good to be appreciated. Since I heard about the trade, the Bills organization has been great. It’s been excellent. They’ve accepted me and my family with open arms, embracing us. It’s been excellent, so far. The people here are so nice. I can’t wait to get to work. I can’t wait to see my teammates and work hard with them to get that goal and that’s to get a championship.

Q: LeSean, where were you when you heard the news and what was your initial reaction when you heard the news?

A: Well I was training in Miami and I got the news. I took a nap, and woke up and there was a million text messages on my phone. Everybody was saying I was getting traded. So, I called my agent to see exactly what was going on, and he said it was true. We talked about it and my first reaction definitely was, I was disappointed just because my team didn’t really…I didn’t know what was going on. I had been in Philadelphia my whole life. For the six years, it was great. But, once I sat down and relaxed, I had some thought to myself. I talked to my family and I felt it was the best move. I felt like a team actually wanted me. It was possible to make this trade go through. They want a player and a running back that’s going to give them everything they have, 110 percent. So, at the end of the day, I’m happy to be here.

Q: So in the week leading up to this, you had no indication?

A: Yeah, it sounds crazy, I didn’t know. I talked to my coaches before I left for the exit meetings. I knew I had a big cap hit, so I knew there would be some conversations about, you know, trying to fix the contract to help out with the cap, restructuring. But, other than that, I actually didn’t know anything until that week.

Q: LeSean, there were reports initially, just to clarify what you said, I understand the disappointment of leaving Philadelphia, did you have any reservations about coming to play for Buffalo?

A: I don’t know. I think any player that has been with a franchise for so long and built a kind of relationship with the management, with the owner. We would talk on a daily-type schedule. So, I think any player would be angry. But then, like I said before, once I kind of just collected my thoughts, talked to my family, and a lot of things did happen. It’s a blessing. I think about just, coming to Philadelphia at 20 years old, and having an excellent career in Philadelphia, and then the trade happens. And I look at it in the grand scheme of things, and it’s a team that wants me, a team that’s committed to running the ball. Look at Rex Ryan, and all the things he’s done, he continues to get to the playoffs and win games with the team he had. Then, you bring in a defense like this. And with Greg (Roman) as offensive coordinator, who has the ability to get the ball in the running back’s hands in open space to make plays. That’s all you want. I fear if I stayed in Philadelphia, I would have had a situation with the contract another time. When would we do this? Another cap hit problem. We’re here. With the Bills, they worked everything out so the only thing I have to do is come here, play football, and do something that I’ve been doing since I was a little boy. And, I think it’s a blessing.

Q: You said it feels good to be appreciated here in Buffalo, did you feel like you were appreciated in Philadelphia?

A: For my career, yes I definitely think so. Just having everything happen, not really being aware of what was going on with the trade. And to be honest, I really have to say, they definitely showed me tons of love and support through my whole career. It was part of business. I had a conversation with the owner and one thing about it was the coach decided to move in a different direction and you have to respect it. It’s business. So, I’m happy here. It’s my new home. Like I said before, I’m giving 110 percent. I want to win and I’ll continue to want to have success and hopefully get that main goal.

Q: LeSean, Rex made it clear in his first press conference back in January that this team was going to be, it wasn’t going to be a pushover, and was going to ground and pound. You’ve seen some of the additions that they’ve already made and it looks like (Fullback) Jerome Felton might be in the bunch.

A: Yeah that’s a good one too.

Q: Can you talk about the commitment to running, how this sets up for you?

A: Yeah, you think about all the winning teams. You start with a great defense, because that’s what you really need. And that’s obvious that we have that here. Then you get the running attacks. (Running back) Fred (Jackson)’s been a guy that been productive for a long, long time. Even with me coming here, he’ll still play his role. He’ll still make some plays when we need it. Also, with the linemen, and hopefully Felton, they worked that out. I mean, you just look at his stats in his career; I want to say every running back he’s played with has been one of the top, leading rushers, at least in the top six. Fullbacks, you always kind of know a little bit about their stats. So, the good thing about Rex (Ryan), no matter what team, he always finds a way to get that running attack going. He’s that old fashion of controlling the game by running the ball and playing great defense.

Q: You mention Fred Jackson, going back to the Bryce Brown trade, you made reference to him as an old man, how do you square that away?

A: Actually, you’re joking. I have fun. You have to know me. Big personality. And Freddy, as you can see, he didn’t take it personally, he was just joking. I respect his game. Frank Gore is another guy I refer to as being old, just jokingly. I love his game. So, at this point it’s just having some type of fun with the running backs. With Bryce, I just kind of encourage him a little bit with the tweet. We all texted and talked about it together.

Q: Have you spoke to Bryce yet?

A: Not yet, I’ve been so busy doing different things here and with family. I’ll see him, and we’ll talk and reunite again and have some good times.

Q: What about Rex and Coach Roman? Have you talked to them about what your role is going to be and what the offense is going to revolve around?

A: You know what, I haven’t had a chance to really to go over all the different details of the role. I was just so happy and excited to be here. I have seen them in passing and spoke. Just talking about the small football. We talked about different players, talked about (Mark) Sanchez, small things. We didn’t really get into it, just in passing. So I can’t wait to give him an earful: this is what plays I want to run, this is what I want to do. We’ll have some fun.

Q: How about the workload for you? What’s realistic in your mind? Because you’ve taken on a pretty heavy one in your career.

A: I’m not sure here. I’m not sure the role they have for me. They wanted me and they got me so I’m sure in the back of their mind they have a great role and scheme ready for me. My play speaks for itself. I can do it all from blocking, running, catching, and they know that. So, I’m sure they have some plan for me. But, whatever it is, I’ll do. I feel like the team we have here is close. I looked at a lot of stats, Even games I watched last year, they were close.

Q: Having had a chance with your family to tour the city since you got here on Sunday and went out for dinner.

A: I’ve been on a diet man, but there’s some good food out here.

Q: What have been your impressions, maybe having not been all that familiar with Buffalo, what are your impressions so far?

A: When you first hear Buffalo, the first thing you think is: “I might need a coat. Okay, maybe two coats.” But, actually being around, just seeing the city, it’s nice. Like I said before, the people here were so nice and embraced me and my family. Good food, good restaurants, and I had a ball.  I’m sure I’ll go around and even have some more fun. Every city has their own fun things to do. I’m brand new here, so I’m sure to me, everything will be fun.

Q: Have you been made aware that the Bills play the Eagles in Philadelphia next year?
A: That’s not really that important.  I don’t want to make it that type of game where it’s all about me coming home.  Talking to Andy Reid…he’s one of my favorite coaches.  His approach when he came back to Philadelphia.  He spoke a little bit.  Not much to the press.  The players he saw on the sideline, he spoke to. He kept it about the business.  About the team.  I don’t want to get distracted.  I don’t want to worry about the Eagles. I’m a Bill now and everything from now until in the season is all about the Bills.  When we play Philadelphia, they’ll get their shot but for right now, I just have to focus on the small details: training hard, getting in best shape, making sure that the franchise…I’m doing everything for the franchise and that’s what’s most important.

Q: Are you aware of the franchise’s playoff drought and I know Rex had some predictions in his opening press conference just about getting ready because the Bills are coming.  I mean how close…you said the team is close…how close do you think this team is to ending the playoff drought and getting to the post-season?

A: I think so.  I mean, you look at last year, they were so close to getting to the playoffs.  With the right coach and Rex.  One thing about Rex is that he stands by his words, for sure.  He’s going to do whatever it takes to get the right personnel in there to get the job done and I’m one of the pieces so I’m looking forward to the same thing he is and I can’t wait.  I think we’re close for sure and like I said before, it really starts with that defense.  You look at Seattle: it’s a team… I think Russell Wilson is a great quarterback and he’s up and coming but it starts with the defense and that’s the first thing you think about when you see that schedule and it’s the same thing here.  That type of mentality.  Look at the guys up front.  I don’t want to play against them so team up with them.

Q: There’s been a lot of talk with regard to what happened in Philly with the departures with you on that list and it’s lead this question with Chip Kelly trying to make this whole cultural change.  How do you react to that and what’s your thought?

A: I have no reaction to it.  I mean that’s his team and he has all the power there so if that’s what he wants to do then that’s what he’s going to do.  I mean I…I really don’t have a reaction to it.  I’m a Buffalo Bill so, lets worry about this culture.

Q: Rex has made it pretty clear, Greg’s made it pretty clear, they want to ground and pound.  That’s a big part of the reason why you’re here but obviously the quarterback situation is the big question here.  What are your thoughts on that?

A: Well, I’m not sure.  I’m sure they’ll get it worked out.  EJ is a good player and he’s young.  I’m one of the main guys who…I believe in every player needs his time especially when you’re young, it’s hard to really judge a player until he’s old enough and he’s mature and I know, being a first rounder and due to injury, you have to play unexpected so you never know.  The good thing is…the great thing is, my job is to run the ball and catch.  They have to make them calls upstairs.  That’s why they pay Rex the big bucks.  He makes the calls.

Q: How would you assess your season last year?  Statistically, maybe a little bit of a step back from the year before.  How would you grade it?
A: I thought overall, I did well.  I don’t want to give you a letter.  I played well for the things that…the opportunities that I was granted.  A lot has changed since the first year that I got there.  Well not “I got there,” when Chip got there, my role has changed a little bit which people really won’t know…the players, and the people in the office and all.  The opportunities I was granted, I did well.  I had a lot of injuries.  A lot of different things.  It’s no excuse but it’s part of the game and everybody wants to talk about the type of year that I had and I mean, I finished third.  I finished third with 4.34 yards per carry.  I know what type of player I am.  We’ll see this year.  We’ll grade myself this year.

Q: There was a lot made of the cliff made for running backs past the age of 28 kind of go downhill.  What do you make of that and how are you different?

A: So I got a year or two left…Everybody’s different.  You look at Fred.  Fred is still…he’s well over 28, 27 and he’s playing well.  Frank Gore’s another one.  Everybody’s different.  Everybody’s body’s different.  The way I play the game, I never take really direct blows.  Knock on wood, I never really miss games and so I feel comfortable in my ability.  God has blessed me tremendously in keeping me healthy.  Keeping me motivated.  I always have to prove something and always willing to do it so I feel confident in my game and we’ll see.

Q: Two straight seasons of over 300 carries.  How did you feel at the end of last season and how do you feel today?
A: Like I said before, I don’t really take too many blows so I never have the games where I’m too banged up to go in or I can’t do it.  I’m going to train hard and work hard to get it done.  I feel good.  I feel fresh.  I feel fresh and I can’t wait to get out there and prove myself.  I think every time you get to a new place, new faces, new eyes, you always want to have that effect on them like, “Wow!”…ok he is as good as advertised.  You always want that feeling.  You always want to prove yourself and that’s the way I like to approach different things.

Q:  Can you appreciate the challenge here knowing that your total of last year nearly matched the entire Bills’ production as far as rushing goes?

A: I’m just going to play ball.  I don’t want to worry about that.  For my man right here, some guys feel like I had a down year.  I just want to get better each day and my team to get better each day so I got a lot of room for improvement in my game for sure and that’s the only thing that matters.  All that type of stuff: the stats and this…that don’t even matter.

Q: What level of excitement do you have for Greg Roman’s offense?  How much do you know about it watching it in San Francisco?

A: I’ll tell you this: heard a lot about him already and coming to this situation, one of the first players that I called…well the second player that I called was Frank Gore and asked him about Greg and he gave me like ten, twelve things; all positive.  He’s always finding ways to get the ball in the running back’s hands…through the air, on the ground.  He made me feel so comfortable with him and I got so happy and I can’t wait to work with him.  I love a coach that’s always trying to find a way to get his player the ball in open space that fits him.  I’m sure we’ll have that talk with what works well for me and he’s going to try to do the same thing and get me the ball so that shows you how excited how I was once I talked to Frank and different players about him.

Q: Who was the first player you called?

A: I’ve got to hear about the head coach first.  The offensive coordinator is going to get me the ball but the head coach, and Mike said a lot of great things about Rex.

Q: What did you tell Frank Gore about Chip Kelly?
A: Oh all bad things.  That’s why he didn’t go.  I didn’t.  No, actually I was honest with him.  I told him that he’d get the ball a lot.  I told him that he’d always try to find ways to get you the ball and one thing that I’ll always say about Chip Kelly is he’s very creative.  He’s very creative.  He’s that type of person that sees…ok football is supposed to be designed this way.  I want to do things outside the box this way and that’s the way our offense is.  He’s the first person to really bring that offense to this league and he had some success in it and so I told Frank a lot of positive things and that whole decision was his idea.

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