A day after Sammy Watkins expressed hope that Buffalo's new head coach would be a disciplinarian because he believes the team needs hard coaching, another leader on offense took a slightly different take on what's keeping the team from excelling.
LeSean McCoy put the responsibility of being a disciplined team squarely on the players.
"He's right I think discipline has been an issue," said McCoy of Watkins opinion. "I just think that players have to take accountability for their own actions. It's one thing to talk about discipline and guys who are not balling. But if they're not doing it you can't really take their credibility (seriously). As professionals and as players we have to step up and be accountable. That is the biggest issue."
McCoy, who is closing in on the second-best rushing season of his eight-year career, believes there was far too much inconsistency from one week to the next. As he sees it, that was a self-discipline issue on the part of the players, not the coaching. And McCoy got specific.
"We're paid a lot of money to come here and play a sport that we've been playing since we've been children," he said. "The small things. Being on time. Being dialed in as far as assignments. There are so many times where it happens on the field where there's a blown assignment and there's maybe a sack or a touchdown. And everybody is looking at each other. No. Dial in and know your job so we don't have that. Every once in a while you might have a blown mistake on the field. It happens, but not all the time.
"There are times when we have successful plays. If it's a long run or if it's a stop on 3rd-and-15 and there's a flag. All those different things. So just looking at the season there are so many different things that happened. Sometimes it's play and other times it's discipline. It starts with coming in here and being on time for meetings."
McCoy hinted that players were fined for such infractions, but he didn't feel it made an impact in being a deterrent.
"You fine players and it's not the same because everybody has money in here so it's not a big thing," he said.
McCoy isn't absolving a head coach from enacting discipline with his team in some form, but when you're a professional athlete the running back feels you should be self-disciplined too. He believes both the coach and the players have to work together to develop a responsible and dedicated atmosphere for winning.
"It's about the players aligning and being professionals and trusting the coach and following him," McCoy said. "So it's about meeting in the middle. From being respectful and listening to the coach to buying in. Once you have a leader that you respect he's easy to follow. That has never been a problem for me for sure no matter who the coach is, but everybody is different."
So what is McCoy hoping for in Buffalo's new head coach?
"You just need a professional," he said. "It's my eighth year. All I ask is the coach be respectful and I'm going to give him the same respect. I don't know if we need a strict coach. I don't know if we need a college coach. We just need somebody where you're going to respect the coach and whatever he wants you get done. We're all men here. We have one goal. But I don't know if having a strict coach is the answer. It's all about being a professional."