Will LeSean McCoy Get 300-Plus Carries?


Buffalo Bills running back Fred Jackson went on WGR-AM and told them that the Bills plan to give their new star running back LeSean McCoy 300 carries or more in this coming season. Now, while that fits right in with head coach Rex Ryan’s mantra of ground and pound, is this really a road that the Bills want to go down?

Simply put, there are better options than that. Yes, McCoy had 312 and 314 carries in his last two seasons, respectively, so he can handle a workload like that. But in this offense, there needs to be some variation. The NFL relies heavily on a two-back system now, trying to find that Robin to their Batman in a sense of a variation to the star.

Dec 28, 2014; Foxborough, MA, USA; Buffalo Bills running back Fred Jackson (22) runs the ball against New England Patriots strong safety Tavon Wilson (27) during the second half at Gillette Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark L. Baer-USA TODAY Sports

Enter Jackson. The heart and soul of this Bills team for what seems like forever now needs to be fed the ball to keep opposing defenses off balance. The Coe College graduate still had 141 carries last season and averaged 3.7 yards per carry. While the legs are wearing thin, he still has a year, maybe two, of good quality running back play left in him.

McCoy will obviously be the speedy back, trying to bounce things outside and go for the big play. But unlike now-New Orleans Saints running back CJ Spiller, McCoy had the strength to muscle it inside for a couple yards whereas Spiller always tried bouncing outside, resulting in lost yardage.

Even on third and short, or first and goal from the one, Jackson could still be the better option.

Last season, Darren Sproles was second on the Philadelphia Eagles in carries when he supplied 57 to that offense. So combined, the Eagles ran the ball 369 times between their top two backs.

Put together Jackson and then another tough-running option in Anthony Dixon, and I don’t see McCoy carrying the ball 300 times to victory.

300 touches is a different story because on screens and short passes of that nature he could certainly touch the ball 300 times next season.

But with the plethora of talent and an ever-improving offensive line, it will be very hard to have McCoy carry the ball 300 times if Rex wants to keep defenses off-balance with speed and power.

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