Easy Summer for Buffalo Bills’ LeSean McCoy, Please

Photo of RB LeSean McCoy from si.com.

I don’t want to hear how LeSean McCoy is doing.  It’s nothing against him.  In fact, I hope we become BFFs.  A personal update is fine if he wants to share what’s going on outside of football.  Let him tell the world if he can’t wait to see autumn leaves or how cruel it is there’s so much time between Better Call Saul seasons.  But training camp is a time for him to prepare for work by not getting tackled or bending his knees.

We already know he’s awesome.  If he has a hobby, he should be allowed to stay in Saint John Fisher’s dorms and pursue it. The Buffalo Bills’ focal point can leave summer practices with boxes full of model ships or crocheted blankets.

At the start of a camp with so many questions, it’s nice to have an answer. McCoy already knows how to do his job, which makes rehearsal redundant at best and an unnecessary exposure to injurious wear at worst.

McCoy deserves a low drill workload just for being the most genuinely talented star of the playoff exile.  He can make defenders miss him on the rare occasions they catch up.

If you liked how thrilling he’s been, note that was before everything was tailored to his abilities.  This season’s outside zone blocking plan is designed to maximize his autonomy in locating empty space.  Maneuvering lineman can sucker defenders even before McCoy gets the chance to embarrass them.  Tell him to choose the open space, and he’s learned his portion of the playbook.

Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy trots into the end zone for his third touchdown of the game against the San Francisco 49ers during the fourth quarter at New Era Field in Orchard Park, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2016. (Mark Mulville/The Buffalo News)

One of the worst parts of bad Bills teams is how many good players didn’t get to advance.  Talented roster members have worked so hard for so little.

Football is the ultimate team sport, which means a strong individual effort is often squandered.  Terrence McGee and Fred Jackson weren’t suitably rewarded with playoff trips despite inspiring with valiant play yet.  Fans want to see someone excel for more than the display of proficiency.  For once, that effort shouldn’t be for naught.

The Bills better make use of their most prominent player during these precious moments when he’s still thriving.  Shady is a young 29, which is something only said about running backs.  Even the best at the position barely stay fresher longer than avocados.  Every spectacular highlight of McCoy is taken from a pool of 1,898 carries, which sounds like both a tremendous total and not nearly enough.

At least he’s been evasive on most of them.  The incumbent hasn’t been hit the way, say, Marshawn Lynch has on a typical five-yard gain.  His tendency to avoid multiple collisions on single runs means he’s put on mostly highway miles.  Still, no ride lasts indefinitely.

Football players are not paid per day, which is why he can take off July and August.  McCoy will be fresh to make his money when it counts.  There’s no reason to feel sore now.  Sean McDermott should give him the summer off in preparation of a grueling semester.

FOXBORO, MA – OCTOBER 02: LeSean McCoy #25 of the Buffalo Bills gains yards against the New England Patriots in the second half at Gillette Stadium on October 2, 2016 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. He was involved with an altercation with Robert Blanton #26 of the Buffalo Bills before the start of their game. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

The biggest star the new coach inherited has already been kept busy.  McCoy tallied 234 runs last season, good for 12th in the league.  But that might be just a warmup.  Expect even more handoffs this year.  Do so for sanity’s sake.  He is really good, you know.

I want him to run more just because it’s football at its best.  That singular ability is worthwhile on its own.  This game is supposed to be fun just in case anyone has forgotten the sensation.

The two most recent in an endless series of disappointing seasons have been slightly less painful thanks to his presence, which we’ll count as progress.  Thank Shady for a little fun during a trial, which is one of those blasted life lessons we’re supposed to gleam from sports.

Those 4.9 yards per rush over the previous two seasons have been the latest and most effective coping method for weary Bills fans.  It’s simply joyous to watch him compete.  You try picking his best plays.

Photo of RB LeSean McCoy from sportingnews.com.

Equipment managers are not issuing lineman’s face masks to wide receivers, at least not yet.  But they may be pricing them.  Being one-dimensional is fine as long as you excel at it.  Opponents know what the Bills will be doing.  Buffalo is just daring them to stop it.  The deception comes during the runs when defenders are made to look foolish, not in the play call.

Every BillsMafia member is understandably restless for the slightest glimpse of our favorites.  But McCoy is the one player we can wait until September 10 to see.  The other rushers actually have something to prove, namely who gets to be the top backup.  It’s an honor on this club.

We watch sports hoping to see someone move fluidly in the midst of chaos.  It’s an ability that wins games if deployed properly.  A fanbase ideally enjoys them concurrently.  Sure, it hasn’t happened in decades.  But 2017 is a chance for Buffalo’s most formidable weapon to contribute toward team success.  It may seem impossible.  But so did forgetting Kiko Alonso.

Editor’s babble: Many thanks to Anthony Bialy for his always entertaining contributions to our blog. You can follow Anthony on Twitter @AnthonyBialy.

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Anthony Bialy

About Anthony Bialy

Anthony Bialy lives in New York City and acts like he's still in Buffalo. He thinks "Buffalo 66" is biographical and considers it a crime against mankind that Steve Tasker is not in the Hall of Fame. He knows every bodega in Manhattan which sells Labatt Blue. Follow him on Twitter at @AnthonyBialy.

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