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2018 Buffalo Bills scouting report: running back LeSean McCoy

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Buffalo’s offense returns for a fourth season in red, white, and blue

When the Buffalo Bills traded Kiko Alonso to the Philadelphia Eagles in exchange for LeSean McCoy, many around the NFL were shocked. McCoy, a Pennsylvania native, was a three-time Pro Bowl player who was twice named first-team All-Pro in his time with the Eagles. As a member of the Bills, Shady has given little indication that he is on the decline.

In the latest installment of our “90 players in 90 days” series, we look at the single most important player in Buffalo’s offense over the last three seasons.

Name: LeSean McCoy

Number: 25

Position: RB

Height/Weight: 5’11” 210 lbs.

Age: 29

Experience: 9

College: Pittsburgh

Draft: Drafted in the second round (53rd overall) by the Philadelphia Eagles in the 2009 NFL Draft

Financial situation (per Spotrac): McCoy enters the fourth year of a five-year, $40 million contract that he signed upon coming to the Bills in 2015. He is slated to carry the third-highest cap hit on the team, coming in at $8.95 million for the year.

2017 Recap: In terms of efficiency, 2017 was the worst year of McCoy’s career, as he averaged a career-low 4 yards per carry. That number is skewed a bit by a slow start, however. Through the season’s first five games, McCoy carried 87 times for 279 yards, an average of 3.21 yards per carry. In the next 11 games, he carried it an even 200 times for 859 yards, which was back to a more Shadyesque 4.3 yards per carry. The slow start could very well have been due to a change in blocking scheme, as the Bills were adjusting to a zone-based scheme under offensive coordinator Rick Dennison that differed from the power-based attack deployed under Greg Roman and Anthony Lynn. McCoy rushed for 1,138 yards and totaled 448 yards as a receiver; his combined total of 1,586 yards made up 32.7% of Buffalo’s total yardage on the season.

Positional outlook: McCoy is the clear top-dog in the backfield. Veteran Chris Ivory was signed in March to serve as a change-of-pace, with Taiwan Jones, Travaris Cadet, Marcus Murphy, and Keith Ford battling for the third or fourth spots on the roster.

2018 Offseason: McCoy missed one OTA session due to illness, but he otherwise attended the start of the voluntary program.

2018 season outlook: Unless he is injured or something really crazy happens, McCoy is a lock to be in Buffalo’s starting lineup on opening day. McCoy is already ninth in Bills’ history in total rushing yards with 3,300; he trails the fifth-place rusher, Travis Henry, by 549 yards, and the fourth place rusher, Joe Cribbs, by 1,445. Barring injury, he will be right behind Cribbs by the end of this season.