Bills: McCoy, McDermott, Pagano praise Colts RB Frank Gore, Shady will honor him in unique way (video)
By: Nick Wojton
ORCHARD PARK – When Buffalo Bills running back LeSean McCoy spoke for the first time at training camp at St. John Fisher College in late July this season, he said two interesting nuggets.
First, McCoy, 29, said he plans to play in the NFL until he’s 33.
Second, he mentioned Indianapolis Colts (3-9) 34-year-old running back Frank Gore as someone he has the most respect for at his position in the NFL.
“(Gore’s) a guy that’s had so much success and he kind of gets overlooked and he’s in the top-10 of rushing,” McCoy said in July.
Since then, one thing has changed in terms of Gore and one thing has not.
What’s changed? He had 13,065 rushing yards at that point. Now he has 13,697. He’s not longer top-10, Gore’s now top-five as his current total puts him at fifth all-time.
What hasn’t? McCoy still respects the heck out of him.
“I’m a big fan of Frank,” McCoy said. “I’ve been watching him for a long time before the NFL and also during the NFL. Heck of a player, durable, runs hard. Even sometimes he’d train in Miami and I’d train with him.”
Between Gore’s skills and as a friend, McCoy plans to pay his respects on Sunday at New Era Field.
“I don’t really trade my jerseys a lot, but he’s a guy, we’ve already talked, I’m going to give him my jersey; we’re going to switch. He’s one of the guys I really, respect,” McCoy said. “I’m proud of his career. He just moved into fifth place in the all-time list, and that’s major.
“I respect him. There’s a couple guys that I’ll trade jerseys with. They’re hanging up in my basement. He’ll be one of them, for sure. Sometimes, I think in this league fans and the people in this league, they always want the new thing, what’s hot.
A guy like Frank, he doesn’t have the yards like he used to, but the work he’s put in, it’s hard work to put the type of yards up each year. For you to be fifth all-time, he deserves respect, and I respect him,” McCoy continued.
While McCoy respect him from afar, Indy head coach Chuck Pagano does watching him daily.
“Right when you think he’s going to slow down, he busts off another 15 or 20-yard run,” Pagano said. “We’re all just humbled and honored to have a front row seat watching him work. It’s great for the guys in the room.”
Gore, despite his age, has the build and playing style of a bruiser. McCoy continues to carry his elusiveness in his later years. Two different types of backs but both have the same respect from Pagano.
“Look at the tape, they don’t look like that. Shady looks like he’s 22 running out there. He’s amazing, we have a great, great respect for Shady and what he’s done in his career,” Pagano said.
McDermott knows what he has in his own backfield, but Gore as well. His Bills team has struggled against the run. Buffalo allows 120.4 yards-per-game, ranking 25th in the NFL in that category.
For McDermott defense, it might be easier said than done to stop Gore. When citeing his team’s struggles on defense, McDermott has mentioned a need for better tackling and gap integrity.
McDermott mentioned those as things Gore tests in a defense.
“He’s tough to stop. I went up against him a couple of times when he was with San Francisco. If you’re not in your gaps and you don’t play physical, he’ll exploit it. We’ve got a big week ahead of us in terms of our fundamentals,” McDermott said.
For more from McCoy, see the attached video below for his Wednesday press conference.