Tyrod Taylor threw for two touchdowns and the Bills intercepted Trevor Siemian twice in the second half of Buffalo’s 26-16 victory over the Denver Broncos in Week 3.
ORCHARD PARK – With three days to reflect, Bills running back LeSean McCoy said Wednesday if he were given a mulligan for the way he acted during the playing of the national anthem, he wouldn’t change a thing.
“Nah. Nope. Same way. Do it the same way,” McCoy said, adding that he wasn’t sure what he was going to do during the playing of the anthem Sunday in Atlanta where the Bills will take on the Falcons.
“I haven’t thought about that,” McCoy said. “That was last week. You see around the whole NFL, people really took the president’s words and really expressed themselves. Some teams didn’t even come out for the national anthem. Guys were just extremely hurt. I guess we’ll go over that with the (team players’) council and see what the team, how we feel together and where we want to go in the future.”
McCoy came under criticism for the way he expressed his dissatisfaction regarding President Trump’s comments which created a league-wide storm of protest.
About 12 of McCoy’s teammates took a knee prior to the game with the Broncos at New Era Field, but McCoy took it a step further. Rather than kneel quietly with his own thoughts, McCoy put on a bit of a show, doing exercises throughout almost the entire rendition of the song.
Some fans booed McCoy, though it was probably directed at all the players protesting, but former Bills’ great Jim Kelly specifically called out McCoy for his actions, saying, in part, that he had “lost a lot of respect” for the star running back. That became a major story in western New York, especially after Bills defensive end Jerry Hughes condemned Kelly for taking McCoy to task.
“Some of the words the president used just rubbed me the wrong way,” said McCoy. “It really did. I was upset and I was frustrated. That was the way I wanted to express myself. I took a knee, I started stretching. I was angry. I was hurt.”
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McCoy had not spoken to the media since his post-game press conference. He cleared the air regarding Kelly and said that he had texted back and forth with the Pro Football Hall of Famer and that they were fine.
“He said some things to the media that he probably could’ve said to me, but (it’s) his opinion, it doesn’t really matter to me,” McCoy said. “I like Jim Kelly. He texted me and I just told him, ‘Hey, you’re human. People, they have their own opinions. What you said, you don’t have to apologize for it. I don’t think you’re wrong. That’s how you felt, I understand.’ ”
McCoy added that he also told Kelly, ‘My respect for you hasn’t changed. It’s still very high.’ He’s a hell of a player and I respect him and I love him and even the relationship we had so far.”
Hughes lept to McCoy’s defense Monday and said Kelly was wrong for calling him out and trying to divide the team.
Wednesday, Tyrod Taylor played the role of Switzerland.
“It boils down to, Shady has his right to his own opinion as well as Jim Kelly,” said Taylor. “As a team, and I know the players in this locker room, strive to promote good and we are going to continue to keep doing that. We can’t let those comments or what is going on outside our locker room, what is being said, affect our focus.”
Taylor said there haven’t been any discussions in the locker room regarding what will take place Sunday, if anything, though it is expected that some players will continue to kneel.
“One thing I am not sure, across the league, is how it will play out this week,” said Taylor, who did not kneel. “We have to continue to keep talking about it. One thing we are going to continue to do here, is to continue to support the players. Like I said last week after the game, we believe in love and equality so if guys want to continue to keep doing that we are going to support them.”