Rex Ryan on LeSean McCoy remarks: 'We're not always going to be lined up'

ByMike Rodak ESPN logo
Thursday, May 7, 2015

Buffalo Bills coach Rex Ryan said Wednesday that he's going to let his players say what's on their minds in light of running back LeSean McCoy telling ESPN The Magazine that "there's a reason [Chip Kelly] got rid of all the black players" in Philadelphia.

"I'm not going to put a muzzle on any of our players," Ryan said.

He added: "We're not always going to be lined up."

McCoy, in an upcoming issue of ESPN The Magazine, said of Kelly: "The relationship was never really great. I feel like I always respected him as a coach. I think that's the way he runs his team. He wants the full control. You see how fast he got rid of all the good players. Especially all the good black players. He got rid of them the fastest. That's the truth.

"There's a reason why ... It's hard to explain with him. But there's a reason why he got rid of all the black players -- the good ones -- like that."

McCoy was traded to Buffalo during the offseason after six seasons with the Eagles. Philadelphia then signed former Dallas running back DeMarco Murray as his replacement. Murray, like McCoy, is black.

Ryan, who was fired by the New York Jets and joined Buffalo during the offseason, told reporters: "Everybody's situation -- sometimes guys leave and they're on ... they feel great about it ... some guys leave and they're happy to leave. Some guys are disappointed to leave. Again, I can't even begin to tell you what happened there or whatever. I think you just talk to LeSean."

The Eagles had no comment last week when contacted by ESPN about McCoy's comments. Wednesday, the Bills did not make McCoy available for comment to reporters following the team's voluntary workout session.

In addition to trading McCoy, the Eagles released wide receiver DeSean Jackson last April and allowed quarterback Michael Vick and receiver Jeremy Maclin to sign elsewhere as free agents in the past two offseasons.

Jackson, appearing Wednesday on ESPN's SportsCenter, said he didn't "want to get too caught up in what's going on there in Philadelphia" before complimenting McCoy as a great friend and one of the best running backs in the NFL.

"And I look at myself as one of the best receivers in the league,"Jackson said. "So as far as being removed from there, I can't understand: Why would you get rid of your best players on the team? But I mean, it's their loss, and, moving forward, the teams we're with now is the teams that's winning and the teams that's gaining, you know, more of a respect for having the type of guys on our team."

Jackson played one season under Kelly before his release and eventual signing with theRedskins. He was drafted in the second round by the Eagles in 2008.

"You know, hopefully he'll do good on Buffalo and erase whatever happened as far as him being traded so he has a new future and a new career to look forward to now," Jackson said of McCoy.

The Eagles have added several black players since Kelly took over in 2013. The team traded for running back Darren Sproles last offseason, signed Murray in March and drafted receiver Nelson Agholor -- who was born in Nigeria -- in the first round of last week's draft. Six of the team's seven draft picks in last week's NFL draft were black.

McCoy has been a vocal critic of Kelly since the Eagles' March trade that sent the star running back to the Bills in exchange for linebacker Kiko Alonso.

"I don't think he likes or respects the stars. I'm being honest," McCoy told The Philadelphia Inquirer in April. "I think he likes the fact that it's 'Chip Kelly and the Eagles.'"

McCoy also called the Eagles' signings of Murray and Ryan Mathews a "panic move" after free-agent running back Frank Gore backed out of an agreement with Philadelphia in favor of a deal with the Indianapolis Colts.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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