Chiefs coach Andy Reid on his friendship with John Gruden and playing against Raiders quarterback Derek Carr
Facing his locker, LeSean McCoy took a few minutes to get dressed in a three-piece suit. It was 20 minutes after Kansas City’s 40-26 win Sunday in Jacksonville, and McCoy had just rushed for a game-best 81 yards in his first outing in a Chiefs uniform.
Upon turning around, he spotted a couple of reporters waiting to speak with him.
“LeSean,” one of them began.
“Man,” he interrupted. “This offense is amazing, isn’t it? I’m just glad to be part of it.”
An integral part of it, as it turns out.
McCoy finished with 81 yards on 10 carries. Starter Damien Williams had 13 carries for 26 yards and a touchdown.
Williams caught six passes. McCoy caught one.
Williams (45 snaps) was on the field more than double the number of plays as McCoy (20), but both were factors in the offense. The split — which also included rookie Darwin Thompson catching one three-yard pass on two snaps — played out according to plan.
“You have two veteran players there that love to play, and they give you different flavors,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. “I figured that’s how it would work out in that area.”
McCoy departed in the fourth quarter after cramping. The Buffalo weather, he explained, was a bit different than the upper-90s that Jacksonville offered on Sunday. So he finished the game where he started it.
On the sideline.
What a view, he commented. The Chiefs scored 10 points before he even touched the football, though he was lined up as a slot receiver on Sammy Watkins’ 68-yard score to open the game.
“It was nice just watching how fast they were going up and down the field,” McCoy said. “How much space they had, how many opportunities they had, the gains they were getting each play. At one point in the game, we were averaging like 15 yards (per) touch. That’s not normal. To see it firsthand is pretty cool.”
McCoy had only one week to learn Reid’s playbook, and yet he still factored heavily into the rotation. As he becomes more familiar with it, the rotation between he and Williams could even out. McCoy said he had been getting up early in the morning to study his potential assignments, then heading to practice and then returning home to study once more.
Buffalo unexpectedly cut McCoy after the preseason. But the Chiefs said his 31-year-old legs still showed explosiveness on the tape.
It showed on the field Sunday in a second-half run, which McCoy took 31 yards into the defensive backfield. Yes, there was a gaping hole at the line of scrimmage on left tackle Eric Fisher’s side. But the burst came in the secondary as McCoy hit another gear.
“I want to earn myself on this team,” McCoy said. “I don’t want it just because of my name or what I’ve done in the past or my relationship with Andy Reid or my numbers. I want to earn it.
“These guys are established. It’s been a great offense before I got here, and if I wasn’t even here, it would still be a great offense. I just want to be part of it, earn every play I get and every possession.”