ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) — Buffalo Bills running LeSean McCoy is done talking about Chip Kelly, and sees no reason to explain what he meant in suggesting his former coach might have shown a racial bias when parting ways with several Philadelphia Eagles star players.
“I don’t have to explain myself to no one,” McCoy said after a voluntary practice on Wednesday. “I said what I said. It’s how I felt at the time. I’m done with that.”
McCoy spoke for the first time since creating a stir early last month, when he was quoted in ESPN The Magazine as questioning Kelly’s motivations in retooling the Eagles roster.
“You see how he got rid of all the good players, especially all the good black players. He Got rid of them the fastest,” McCoy, who is black, told the magazine. “It’s hard to explain with him. But there’s a reason he got rid of all the black players — the good ones — like that.”
McCoy did not explain his reasoning to the magazine.
Aside from trading McCoy to Buffalo in March after six seasons in Philadelphia where he was the NFL’s 2013 rushing leader, the Eagles also released star receiver DeSean Jackson, who is black, in 2013. The team kept receiver Riley Cooper, who is white, even though Cooper had to leave training camp for a few days in 2013 after a video surfaced on the Internet of him using the N-word.
“Everybody can make their own thoughts and assumptions about it, but I’m done talking about it,” McCoy said Wednesday.
McCoy threatened to end the interview after being asked a fourth consecutive question about Kelly.
“Yo, are you all listening to me?” McCoy said. “Can I say it any other way? I’m not talking about Chip Kelly or no Eagles.”
McCoy, however, did broach Kelly’s name on his own later, when favorably comparing the Eagles and Bills offense under new coordinator Greg Roman. He referred to Kelly and Roman as “geniuses” for how they’re able to get the ball to running backs in open spaces.
“As a coach, you can’t say nothing negative about him, X’s and O’s,” McCoy said about Kelly.
That doesn’t mean he intended to take back what he had said.
“I don’t regret nothing I say, never,” McCoy said.
Last week, Kelly said it was wrong for McCoy to suggest he favors white players over black players.
“I’ve got great respect for LeSean. However, in that situation, I think he’s wrong,” Kelly said. “We put a lot of time in looking at the characters and factors that go into selection and retention of players, and color’s never been one of them.”
The Eagles replaced McCoy by signing DeMarco Murray and Ryan Mathews in free agency.
McCoy previously acknowledged he was initially upset when informed of being traded to Buffalo in exchange for linebacker Kiko Alonso, who played for Kelly at Oregon.
This marks the first time McCoy is playing for a team outside of Pennsylvania. He’s from Harrisburg, played college at Pittsburgh and was the Eagles’ second-round pick in the 2009 draft.
McCoy quickly warmed to the move to Buffalo. He negotiated a new five-year, $40 million contract, with $26.5 million of that guaranteed. Roman and new coach Rex Ryan are installing an offense that heavily emphasizes the running attack.
Though McCoy’s comments made numerous headlines last month, he didn’t believe he created a distraction with his new team.
“I think it’s something small,” McCoy said. “What I said before has nothing to do with the Bills at all.”