(Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy – Twitter // @AroundTheNFL)
Actions almost always speak louder than words, and that appears to be the case when discussing the Buffalo Bills’ backfield.
Earlier in June, star running back LeSean McCoy, who led the team with 161 carries in 2018, stated to the Buffalo News that he expects to be in “the same role as last year,” while being the team’s “main workhorse.”
That claim, however, doesn’t align with everything the team has done during the 2019 NFL off-season.
Since the end of a trying 2018 campaign for the club’s rushing attack, general manager Brandon Beane has added three new faces to the running back room: Frank Gore, Devin Singletary and T.J. Yeldon.
And despite having an offensive line which was in flux for most of the season, McCoy should shoulder some responsibility for his 3.2 yards per attempt (YPA) mark. That’s part of the reason why McCoy, Gore, and Singletary have split first-team reps so far, according to Nate Mendelson of BuffaloBills.com.
Gore, a 36-year-old wonder, has provided longevity at a position where it is futile. Last season, the veteran tailback posted a very impressive 4.6 YPA with the rival Miami Dolphins, showing that he still has something left to give. While it’s unrealistic to expect the 14-year pro to come in and take over the backfield in Buffalo, his body of work suggests he should carve out a meaningful role for himself.
Singletary, who comes to Western New York via Florida Atlantic University, brings with him a shifty and speedy style of running. The man they call ‘Motor’ isn’t going to be running over many defenders given his 5’7″ frame, but the third round pick has a knack for eluding tacklers.
The timeshare for valuable reps with the starters should carry over into training camp, where the coaching staff will get a better sense as to who deserves touches to start the season. But given the depth the team possesses at the position, it really is hard to project anyone running away with the job and becoming a workhorse back.
Although it would not be shocking in the slightest to see McCoy emerge as the Bills’ carries leader, seeing any of the club’s RBs featured as a workhorse back would be. This seems like a situation destined for a running back by committee approach where the ‘hot-hand’ will get the work.
So may the best tailback win.