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08-10-2018 06:42 AM
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The more skepticism LeSean McCoy hears about whether he can maintain his production after turning 30 , the better the Buffalo running back feels.

McCoy is using the questions as motivation in preparing to open his 10th NFL season on Sunday, when the Bills play at Baltimore.

"People take a lot of shots at running backs, 30 years old," McCoy said Wednesday. "So it's like something extra to drive me. If it's chasing different things, yardage, wins, you name it. Whatever it is, I'm always going to try to find something to get myself going."

Little has managed to slow him down yet.

And that includes the cloud of allegations directed at McCoy stemming from his former girlfriend, Delicia Cordon, being bloodied during a home invasion on July 10 at a residence the running back owns in suburban Atlanta. Police have not identified a suspect.

Cordon filed a lawsuit last month accusing McCoy of breaching his duty to protect her by denying her access to a security system he recently had installed. She also alleged McCoy often "brutally beat his dog," and would also "aggressively, physically discipline and beat his young son."

In his first comments since the lawsuit was filed, McCoy would only say, "I'll take care of that stuff," before adding he's focused solely on playing the Ravens.

He was in an upbeat mood during a near 10-minute news conference. That was a switch from the last time McCoy spoke to reporters on the opening day of training camp in July, when he grew frustrated over questions regarding the home invasion.

On Wednesday Jake DeBrusk Jersey , McCoy was honored in being named an offensive captain following a player vote.

McCoy expressed no concerns over whether he can continue being the focal point of a retooled offense breaking in a new quarterback, former backup Nathan Peterman, features a patchwork line and lacks proven threats beyond him and receiver Kelvin Benjamin.

He's used to the role of carrying the load.

"To be honest, that's always been my thing since my third year," said McCoy, who led the NFL in yards rushing in 2013 in his fifth season in Philadelphia. "I've always been the focal guy on offense."

McCoy is coming off a season in which he had 1,138 yards rushing 鈥?the fifth-highest total of his career 鈥?and 448 yards receiving and eight touchdowns and became the NFL's 30th player to top 10,000 yards rushing. With 10,092 yards rushing, he ranks 29th and is some 1,900 short reaching his objective of 12,000.

The number is significant to McCoy because 13 of the 16 players to reach 12,000 yards rushing have been inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Former Indianapolis running back Edgerrin James (12,246 yards rushing) is one of the players not enshrined, while the other two are still active: Miami's Frank Gore (14,026) and Washington's Adrian Peterson (12 Nyheim Hines Jersey ,276).

McCoy's age is not an issue for coach Sean McDermott.

"Whatever we need to do to win games, that's what we'll do," he said when asked about potentially limiting McCoy's playing time.

"I get where you're going with the age, and that's usually tied to running backs, age 30, and all that. But he's a special guy," McDermott added. "I think he's a healthy 30. To me, he looks like he's in better shape this year than he was a year ago."

Time will only tell.

A sore groin and hip limited McCoy to appearing in just one preseason game, a 19-17 win at Cleveland on Aug 18, in which he acknowledged feeling rusty in managing 11 yards on four carries.

"I didn't play well, but that's kind of my norm in preseason," said McCoy, who added he feels ready for the start of the season.

Another concern is though he topped 1,000 yards rushing for a sixth time last season, McCoy averaged a career-worst 4.0 yards per carry.

McCoy shrugged off a question by saying production numbers can vary. What matters most is the respect he continues to draw from opposing defensive coordinators in devising ways to stop him.

"Having a 4.0 a carry is one thing," McCoy said. "But every week it's no secret. The defense knows the game plan and what they've got to do to stop me."

NOTES: DT Kyle Williams (right knee) and DE Trent Murphy (groin) were not listed on Buffalo's injury report after both missed significant time during training camp. ... WR Ray-Ray McCloud (left knee) and LB Julian Stanford (nose) were Buffalo's only two players listed as not practicing.

COLUMBUS Muhammad Wilkerson Jersey , Ohio (AP) — So what’s going on with “Bob” and “Bread”?

That question dominated the off-season discussion around the Columbus Blue Jackets, overshadowing everything else surrounding a team coming off consecutive playoff appearances for the first time in franchise history.

A legitimate inquiry for sure, considering Bob and Bread — otherwise known as goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky and forward Artemi Panarin — are major pieces of a team that should be a solid playoff contender again this season.

The two Russians are playing out the final year of their contracts, and Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen’s primary goal this summer was to lock up both superstars with multiyear deals. Neither of the deals got done.

Panarin has said he isn’t sure he wants to commit to Columbus for the long haul. Bobrovsky and the Blue Jackets haven’t been able to get together on numbers.

“They’re our best players, no question about it,” veteran forward Cam Atkinson said. “We’re going to treat it as business as usual. I’m not going to look at them any differently, because at the end of the day it’s their decision. There’s only so many times in your career where you’re in the driver’s seat.”


If Panarin and Bobrovsky play to their capabilities, and some other Blue Jackets who battled injuries or otherwise struggled last year can bounce back, the team should be playoff contenders again. Columbus was eliminated in the opening round by the eventual Stanley Cup champions in the past two years.

“I think we’ve crossed the bridge as a team hoping to win,” said coach John Tortorella, who signed a two-year contract extension before camp opened.

“I think we crossed that bridge, I think we know we can win,” he said. “The players’ mindset, I think they know they can win. I think we showed that the past couple years. We’ve stumbled in the playoffs, and that’s what we have to take note of here.”

Panarin set a franchise record with 27 goals and 55 assists (82 points) in 81 games. The second-highest scorer among forwards was rookie center Pierre-Luc Dubois, who had 20 goals and 28 assists (48 points).

The Blue Jackets grabbed the first wildcard in the rugged Metropolitan Division despite subpar years from usually reliable forwards Atkinson (46 points) Andrew Luck Jersey , Alexander Wennberg (37 points), Boone Jenner (32 points) and Nick Foligno (33 points). Injuries definitely played a part.


Defenseman Zach Werenski is getting healthy again after playing much of last season with a bum shoulder. He started hitting last week and is hoping to be ready to go by the Oct. 4 opener in Detroit.

Werenski suffered a torn labrum in his left shoulder in the 12th game last season. The rest of the way he wore a cumbersome brace that wrapped around his chest and arm to keep his shoulder from separating. His movement was restricted, which affected his defensive skills, but he still managed to finish with 16 goals.

“It’s awful hard for a defenseman to play all those games that he played and put up the numbers he put up and do some of the things he did with that shoulder the way it was,” Tortorella said. “He’s one that we’re certainly going to watch very closely.”


The Blue Jackets added some help at center by signing center Riley Nash, the 29-year-old former Boston Bruin who put up career numbers last year. Nash had 15 goals and 26 assists for 41 points in 76 games, besting his previous high by 16 points.

The team also signed 22-year-old forward Anthony Duclair, who had 11 goals and 12 assists in 56 games with the Blackhawks and Arizona Coyotes last season,

The Blue Jackets bid farewell to longtime players Jack Johnson (Pittsburgh) and Matt Calvert (Colorado), as well as to Ian Cole (Colorado), a defenseman who played valuable minutes down the stretch after being acquired at the trade deadline last season.

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