Buffalo Bills: LaDainian Tomlinson predicts big year for LeSean McCoy


Ex Chargers running back says LeSean McCoy will be rejuvenated with the Buffalo Bills

Buffalo Bills football finally returns tonight – albeit, only the preseason version. Regardless, the game against the Carolina Panthers represents the first opportunity to see the players in action.

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As you can imagine, there are a lot of questions entering the game at Ralph Wilson Stadium. Some will be answered, while others will need longer to work out.

Along those lines, football analysts and fans alike already believe they have the answer in respect of LeSean McCoy. To a person, most of them are predicting the running back will have a successful season with the Bills.

However, if you want to get a better idea of what to expect, sometimes it’s better to get the opinion of someone who has been in McCoy’s position. In that respect, who better to turn to than LaDainian Tomlinson?

In his current capacity as a NFL Network analyst, the five-time Pro Bowler attended Bills training camp. In particular, he want to speak to McCoy.

Jul 31, 2015; Pittsford, NY, USA; Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy (25) puts his helmet on during training camp at St. John Fisher College. Mandatory Credit: Mark Konezny-USA TODAY Sports

Tomlinson can relate to the Bills new starting running back, having been down a similar path previously. The retired two-time NFL rushing leader switched teams during his own career, ironically to also play for head coach Rex Ryan.

As such, the 2006 NFL MVP’s words were always likely to carry a lot of weight. And Bills fans will be encouraged by what he had to say.

As reported by John Murphy of buffalobills.com, Tomlinson said: “It rejuvenates you honestly, when you’re able to go to a different place.

“You go to a place where you’re wanted and you go to a place where they know how to play the style you’re used to – that was my case.”

Now, in the interest of objectivity, it’s worth pointing out that Tomlinson did have some initial success in New York, rushing for nearly 1,000 yards in 2010. However, he dropped off dramatically the following year, in what turned out to be his final season before retiring.

In fairness though, whereas the fifth leading rusher of all time was 31 when he joined the Jets, McCoy is just 27. Tomlinson went on to explain why he believes the two-time first-team All-Pro will do well with the Bills.

Tomlinson said: “He’s been in this type of offense before in college. He understands how to get downhill, how to run between the tackles, how to fight for four yards and then the big runs come after that.”

Undoubtedly, one of the biggest draws for both men, was the chance to play for the charismatic Ryan. The two of them talked about the difference the head coach brings to a team, with McCoy expressing his excitement about the things he is implementing for the offense.

Overall, Tomlinson believes Ryan will give the 2013 NFL rushing leading plenty of opportunities to contribute: “You have to imagine (he’ll) get anywhere between 250  and 270 carries, and then you add on another 50 receptions out of the backfield…I think that’s perfect for LeSean McCoy.”

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