Willis McGahee

McGahee covets new deal - Agent says Bills RB deserves extension

Willis McGahee has been one of the best running backs in the NFL over the past three seasons. Now his agent believes he should be paid accordingly.

Drew Rosenhaus said getting McGahee a contract extension will be "a high priority" this offseason.

"Willis has been a very productive player for the Buffalo Bills," Rosenhaus said from his Miami office. "He has played through injuries. He's worked hard. He has been a good teammate. I think he deserves a new contract and we will vigorously pursue that this offseason."

Rosenhaus said he approached the Bills about an extension earlier this year, but added those talks were just preliminary. He hopes more intensive discussions will take place once the season is over.

McGahee still has one year left on the five-year deal he signed as a rookie in 2003. He was due to make $905,000 in base salary next season, but Rosenhaus indicated that McGahee has hit some escalators that increase his pay significantly in 2007.

McGahee and Evans Creating Problems for Opponents

We've seen successful offensive teams in the NFL before. Oftentimes their talent at the skill positions creates big matchup problems for opposing defenses. The most current example would be San Diego's LaDainian Tomlinson and Antonio Gates. Edgerrin James and Marvin Harrison when they played together in Indianapolis posed matchup headaches as well.

Buffalo's offense is beginning to show that same potential with Willis McGahee and Lee Evans, and you need only look at the big plays they've provided as evidence.

Last Sunday's game against Miami is a perfect example. After watching McGahee rumble for 125 yards against the Jets including a 57-yard touchdown run the week before, the Dolphins were committed to stopping Buffalo's top back. With the wind whipping as hard as it was at Ralph Wilson Stadium, Miami was even more comfortable loading up the box with defenders

McGahee hangs tough

Running back Willis McGahee threw up last week against the New York Jets. He almost got knocked out by the Miami Dolphins on Sunday.

A helmet-to-helmet collision with Miami middle linebacker Zach Thomas separated McGahee from the ball and, at least temporarily, his senses.

"That was the hardest hit I have taken since I have been in the NFL," McGahee said. "I was driving and [Thomas] got a good hit, right along the side of my head, and everything went still for a minute. He gave me a little ringing."

McGahee battles through illness

Just give him a ham sandwich and he'll be all right.

That was exactly the formula for Buffalo Bills running back Willis McGahee in Sunday's 31-13 upset of the New York Jets at the Meadowlands.

McGahee battled his way both through an upset stomach and a porous New York run defense, amassing 125 yards and a touchdown on 16 carries.
McGahee averaged 7.8 yards per carry, which was a single-game best.

'My stomach got upset,' said McGahee, who replenished his body with a ham sandwich on the sideline. 'I didn't eat anything before the game because I had to come out to the stadium earlier than I usually do.'

Performance by Buffalo’s McGahee Leaves Sick Feeling

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J., Dec. 10 — When Willis McGahee dashed into the end zone for a first-quarter touchdown against the Jets, he made a quick U-turn toward the Buffalo Bills’ sideline and kept on moving.

He scooted past his coaches, dodged his teammates and finally found a sliver of light by the Bills’ bench.

And then he threw up.

“I asked him, ‘Are you all right?’ ” said J. P. Losman, the Bills’ quarterback. “He was sick.”

McGahee eats Jets for lunch

Moments after he barreled through the Jets' defensive line and scored on a 57-yard first-quarter dash, a nauseous Willis McGahee threw up on the sideline and was in dire need of something to fill his stomach to boost his waning energy.

So, the Buffalo running back ordered a submarine sandwich and ate a late lunch on the sideline during the first half.

"It was a ham and cheese," McGahee said. "Something basic. I took the cheese off because the dairy product probably would have made it worse."

McGahee will test Jets - Running back hopes to show up ex-teammate

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Willis McGahee leaned into the microphone for effect, knowing each playful jab eventually would get back to Jonathan Vilma.

"Jon, you can't stop me, bro," the Buffalo Bills running back said. "Just case closed, that's it."

And with that, the friendly rivalry between the former college teammates was back on. The two will meet again today when the Jets (7-5) play host to the Bills (5-7) at the Meadowlands.

"Tell Willis that's cute," the New York linebacker said with a big grin. "That's real cute. Tell him when he gets Defensive Rookie of the Year and he gets to the Pro Bowl and he gets to the playoffs, then we can talk."

Willis McGahee Talks Some Trash to Vilma

Bills need McGahee to bring his game up a notch

(December 7, 2006) — ORCHARD PARK — You don't have to tell Marv Levy what it takes to win in the National Football League.
The man is a Hall of Famer who took the Bills to four consecutive Super Bowls in the early 1990s.

That's why there was no look of amazement on Levy's face Sunday as he watched the San Diego Chargers defeat the Buffalo team he is in charge of rebuilding piece by piece.

Right there, in living color on an otherwise cold and gray day at Ralph Wilson Stadium, was a team that is built to win. And of all the things that San Diego does well, one stood above all the others in the Chargers' 24-21 victory: San Diego's ability to run the ball.

McGahee aims to run more than mouth

Bills running back Willis McGahee did not practice yesterday and had a protective boot on his sore left ankle, but he expects to play on Sunday.

Why wouldn't he? McGahee has thrived against the Jets in his career, averaging 134.5 yards in the last four games, including a career-high 150 when the teams met in Week 3. McGahee said having his buddy and Jets linebacker Jonathan Vilma on the other side of the line brings out the best in him. And, apparently, a few verbal jabs as well.

To tell you the truth, I don't even talk to him before we play each other," McGahee said of his former University of Miami teammate while talking to Buffalo reporters yesterday. "Once we see each other on the field, he makes his little tackles, he goes to running his mouth. Then that's when it all starts. Saying things like 'It's going to be a long game.' I be like 'OK.' That's when I put my hard hat on and it's time to go to work."

McGahee Has New Injury; Trash Talks to Vilma

Still recovering from three broken ribs Willis McGahee was a non-participant in practice Wednesday. Only the reason he sat out practice had nothing to do with his ribs.
When McGahee emerged from the training room to speak with the media he hobbled to the microphone wearing an immobilizer boot on his left ankle. But Buffalo's top back downplayed the presence of the device.

"It's my prosthetic shoe," joked McGahee. "(The ankle) has been going on, but (the boot) is for precautionary reasons. That's all. It's nothing. No worries."

McGahee, who is listed as questionable on the team's injury report, is fairly confident he'll be on the field Sunday.

"That's the game plan," said McGahee of playing Sunday. "I wouldn't be right here talking if I wasn't playing Sunday."

McGahee finally relents: Tomlinson's the best

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Willis McGahee let out a heavy sigh when he realized where the conversation was headed.

With LaDainian Tomlinson and his eye-popping numbers coming to town, this was not the ideal time to revisit McGahee's brow-raising claim from a year ago that McGahee was the NFL's best running back.

The numbers heavily stacked against him, McGahee knew better than to further the debate. He instead issued a grudging concession in leading up to the Buffalo Bills (5-6) hosting Tomlinson's San Diego Chargers (9-2) on Sunday.

''He's up there. He's one of the best running backs,'' McGahee said. ''You just have to look at what he has done. I think he has over 21 touchdowns, and that's hard to do in the NFL. And I'm struggling to get five.''

McGahee’s Sense of Team Gets Him Back on the Field

Willis McGahee is a man of faith. He relied on it when his knee was torn apart in the National Championship game three years ago, and he admitted to turning to that same faith these past few weeks as his body tried to heal itself again after another serious injury.

"The good Lord, He had a lot to do with it," said McGahee of being able to play with pain of three broken ribs and get through Sunday's game. "I just prayed and rested. That's all."

McGahee, who has a pair of praying hands tattooed on the right side of his neck, has been somewhat of a miracle healer in his playing career. Many thought his career was over after his catastrophic knee injury. But not once in his rehabilitation did he have a single setback.

Rapid recovery has Willis feeling good

Running back Willis McGahee was a little sore, but he was feeling good a day after his return from broken ribs.

His sunny disposition reflected the mood of the Buffalo Bills, who are playing their best football of the season. Sunday's 27-24 victory over Jacksonville was Buffalo's second straight and third in four games since the bye.

"We tried to start out good, but things weren't going our way and we went into our little drought," said McGahee, who was at the team's practice facility Monday even though the players had the day off. "But we knew things would turn around for us eventually. We just couldn't keep staying in that drought. We're learning how to finish right now. Even though we were up, 24-17, and [Jacksonville] came back, we didn't lose our composure. We didn't panic. We knew what we had to do."

BILLS NOTEBOOK: McGahee goes over 3,000 yards for his career

ORCHARD PARK — Not only did Willis McGahee double his touchdown production Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars, the Buffalo Bills running back also eclipsed a milestone along the way.

McGahee’s 63 yards gave him 3,017 for his career, making him the seventh player in franchise history to gain at least 3,000. McGahee accomplished the feat in his 41st game, tying Cookie Gilchrist and Thurman Thomas for the third fastest to 3,000.

Spare Ribs

Does anyone need more proof about Willis McGahee’s toughness? Between his well-documented comeback from his knee injury to Sunday’s performance with three cracked ribs, he’s earning a reputation as Jack Youngblood-tough. Not only did he play with the cracked ribs, but he scored twice and averaged 5.3 yards per carry. I really didn’t think we’d hear from McGahee again this year. Cracked ribs are incredibly painful, and even if the Bills’ trainer shot him up higher than Avery Johnson voice, it’s still a fantastic effort. Obviously, Anthony Thomas becomes a permanent staple on your bench, but don’t drop him since a helmet to the chest could sideline McGahee again.


McGahee Update

Bills RB Willis McGahee: After sitting out two games with broken ribs, he returned to action and without question played in pain. But he made terrific runs on both of his touchdowns and had to suck it up and play longer than expected when Anthony Thomas twisted an ankle.


Bills 'guardedly optimistic' about RB McGahee

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (Nov. 23, 2006) -- Bills coach Dick Jauron was "guardedly optimistic" Willis McGahee will play against Jacksonville this weekend after the running back took part in his first practice in full pads.

It was McGahee's second successive day of practice after breaking three ribs in a 24-10 victory against Green Bay on Nov. 5. Jauron said McGahee was involved in some contact and described the player as moving well while wearing added padding to protect his ribs.

McGahee, who leads the Bills with 579 yards rushing, is still listed as questionable on the team's injury report. Jauron cautioned that a decision on whether he'll play will come down to game time Nov. 26 when the Bills (4-6) host the Jaguars (6-4).

McGahee returns to Bills practice, listed as questionable

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. -- Willis McGahee returned to practice Wednesday, but it's uncertain whether the Buffalo Bills running back is ready to play after missing two games with broken ribs.

Coach Dick Jauron listed McGahee as questionable for Buffalo's home game against Jacksonville on Sunday. While Jauron didn't rule McGahee out entirely, he expressed concern that he might not be physically ready after missing two weeks of workouts.

"It's going to affect him in terms of conditioning and he'll have to get used to the twisting and turning," Jauron said.

Bills RB McGahee out indefinitely

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (AP) -Running back Willis McGahee is out indefinitely with three broken ribs, leaving the Bills without their best offensive threat against the Indianapolis Colts this weekend.

Coach Dick Jauron on Wednesday ruled McGahee out, adding the player's injury is more severe than initially thought. Jauron said follow-up tests showed McGahee damaged three ribs in Buffalo's 24-10 win over Green Bay last weekend.

McGahee was originally diagnosed with one broken rib and later tests showed breaks in two others.

McGahee, Reed Out For Sunday

Orchard Park, NY (WGR 550) - It was a dose of good news/bad news at One Bills Drive today. The bad news is that both Willis McGahee and Josh Reed are out for Sunday's game against the Colts. McGahee has a broken rib plus two cracked ribs. Reed was just released from the hospital yesterday after suffering a bruised kidney in last Sunday's game.


McGahee likely to sit on Sunday - Broken rib may keep him on bench against the Colts

(November 7, 2006) — ORCHARD PARK — Although the Buffalo Bills won't say anything official, it is very likely that running back Willis McGahee will miss Sunday's game at Indianapolis with a broken rib.

Coach Dick Jauron announced Monday that McGahee broke his ninth rib early in the first quarter of Buffalo's 24-10 victory over Green Bay. "My understanding is we'll just see where it goes," Jauron said. "It's painful, obviously, and they'll do some more tests today. He's scheduled for a scan today to examine it further."

McGahee ready to carry on - Bills aim to get RB more involved in offense

Getting running back Willis McGahee rolling again figures to be the simplest way for the Buffalo Bills' offense to pull itself out of its two-week funk when it faces the New England Patriots on Sunday.

What's simple, however, may not be easy, to paraphrase Bills General Manager Marv Levy.

The Patriots rank eighth in the NFL against the run.

"We'd like to get him anywhere from 20 to 30 touches a game, run and pass, that's what our goal is," Bills coach Dick Jauron said of his workhorse weapon. "Willis is right up near the top of the league in carries per game. . . . We think a lot of him, and he's responded really well to us."

Buffalo's gamble on McGahee paying off in big way

DETROIT -- There's a good possibility that if Willis McGahee hadn't torn up his knee in college football's national championship game against Ohio State in 2003 that he'd be wearing a Detroit Lions uniform today.

The Lions had the second overall pick in the draft that year and likely would have selected McGahee, the University of Miami running back, over Michigan State wide receiver Charles Rogers because running backs touch the ball three times as much as receivers and can have a greater impact on the game.

As it turns out, the Lions probably should've drafted him second anyway. Instead, McGahee slid to the 21st overall spot where the Buffalo Bills took a gamble on him. McGahee sat out that 2003 season to rehabilitate his knee, but he's come back strong.

Bears’ focus: Stop McGahee

CHICAGO — Chicago Bears nose tackle Ian Scott pondered the question for a moment, then rendered his take.

The issue? Whether Buffalo Bills running back Willis McGahee presents the biggest test so far this season for the team’s defense.

“He’s the NFL’s leading rusher right now,” Scott concluded, “so that would be fair to say.”


Bills rely heavily on McGahee

You can’t always believe everything you see or hear coming from Miami, but Willis McGahee is the real deal.

McGahee, the much-heralded running back from the University of Miami, leads the NFL in rushing with 389 yards in four games.

He is making his mark with a team that boasts a history of tremendous running backs — including O.J. Simpson and Thurman Thomas, the last Bills running back to lead the league in rushing (1991).

McGahee Out To Be A Complete Back

Head coach Dick Jauron called Willis McGahee's performance last Sunday his best game under his watch.

That may come as a surprise to some Bills fans who might say, 'He only had 78 rushing yards and averaged just 2.8 yards per carry.'

Production on the ground is obviously one of his primary responsibilities, and he's been effective in that area as he leads the league in rushing through the first four weeks (389 yards). But it's not his only duty on the field.

"Willis really played an exceptional game," said Jauron. "He was outstanding in every area. He made some terrific runs, but he made a lot of blocks, aggressive blocks. He did a terrific job. That's the best I've seen him play since I've been here. And he's played really well every week, but that was the best all around."


McGahee steps up as a blocker

Willis McGahee has had many outstanding performances as a runner, but it was his role as a blocker that stood out during the Buffalo Bills' win over the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday.

In the first quarter, McGahee picked up pass-rushing defensive end Darrion Scott, giving quarterback J.P. Losman time to compete a 9-yard pass to receiver Lee Evans. McGahee's block on defensive tackle Spencer Johnson in the third quarter allowed Losman to scramble for 15 yards.

McGahee's most impressive block came against Pro Bowl defensive tackle Kevin Williams late in the first half. The 6-foot-5, 311-pound Williams collapsed the pocket with an inside bull rush and had his sights on Losman. But McGahee delivered a powerful blow that flattened Williams.

McGahee tries to carry on tradition of Gilchrist

Last week, Willis McGahee's name appeared in the same sentence with that of Cookie Gilchrist. Fair enough, since McGahee passed Gilchrist to become No. 3 on the Bills' list of most carries, behind only O.J. Simpson and Thurman Thomas.

I doubt if McGahee ever heard of Cookie, since Gilchrist played for the Bills back in 1962-64, a football generation or two before Willis was born.

McGahee is a big, powerful runner, 228 pounds and 6 feet tall. A "big back" in the early '60s was normally someone between 195 and 205 pounds. Cookie was 6-2 and 252 pounds, ran the standard pro testing distance, 40 yards, under 4.4 seconds and, years before weight training and other modern conditioning came into football, he had a body-fat reading that was minuscule.

Big rush can't offset mistakes - McGahee Update

(September 25, 2006) — ORCHARD PARK — Willis McGahee usually doesn't have much to offer in the way of explanations, good or bad, for his performances on Sundays.

McGahee lives in a simple world, really. Get the ball, run with it as fast and as far as he can, and let someone else dispense with the descriptions of the X's and O's.

Willis runs, that's his job, and Sunday against the New York Jets he ran better than he ever has during the two-plus seasons that he has been an active contributor for the Buffalo Bills.

Bills' McGahee load of a problem for Vilma, Jets

HEMPSTEAD, N.Y. -- In the past three meetings between the teams, Bills running back Willis McGahee has owned the Jets, and therefore has owned his former college teammate and good friend at Miami, linebacker Jonathan Vilma.

McGahee, who battled back from a career-threatening knee injury suffered against Ohio State in the 2003 Fiesta Bowl, has rushed for more than 100 yards in each of those games against the Jets, including a career-high 143-yard performance in the Bills' 27-17 victory in Buffalo last season.

McGahee has history on his side against the Jets

In his third NFL season, Buffalo Bills running back Willis McGahee hasn't exactly been the league's most consistent ball carrier. In fact, most of his performances over the last year-plus have left much to be desired for the Bills' fans, many of whom expected the former first-round pick out of Miami to be an elite pro back.

Despite McGahee's slightly above average but disappointing career, he's struck it rich all four times he's faced Buffalo's Week 3 opponent, the
New York Jets . For reasons unbeknownst to most, the 6-foot, 228-pound McGahee, for lack of a better term, has owned the Jets' defense, no matter who's on it.

Week 1 NFL U VIDEO Highlights

I added one more highlight to the video after several people suggested it! So enjoy the updated version which now features Kellen Winslow. Sorry couldn't get Santana Moss or Portis on this week's video but I promise from now on they will be more complete.

Check out NFL U Week 1 Highlights under the NFL U Video Highlights page or click here!

Every week I will add the weekend's highlights along with picture updates in the gallery. If you have any suggestions please don't hesitate to email me at procanes@gmail.com.

Back in Miami, it's time for McGahee to step up

"It's time to take the diapers off."

In 2004, former
Kansas City Chiefs head coach Dick Vermeil was fed up with his first-round pick from 2003, running back Larry Johnson, so he expressed his displeasure for the ball carrier by blasting him with the above comment. Naturally, it led to quite a firestorm of controversy. However, it also fired up Johnson. Last year, the former Penn State star played NFL defenses like his own personal puppets, rushing for over 1,700 yards in what was basically half a season.

With Johnson in mind, it brings us to the player taken four choices ahead of him in the '03 draft, another running back, the
Buffalo Bills ' Willis McGahee. Through two seasons in the league, McGahee hasn't been the kind of dominant back Buffalo thought it was getting.

McGahee Maintains He Wasn’t Stopped

9/12/2006 - ORCHARD PARK (AP) — It’s a day later, and Willis McGahee is still a yard short.

To hear the Bills running back put it Monday, it wasn’t his fault.

McGahee was on the defensive after failing to convert what proved to be a crucial fourth-and-one in Buffalo’s 19-17 season-opening loss at New England on Sunday.

Insisting he reached the ball across the Patriots 6 for what would’ve been a first down, McGahee accused a New England player of nudging the ball backward, leading to the NFL official’s decision to spot the ball a foot short.

‘‘Oh man, I think it was a bad spot. I clearly reached across,’’ McGahee said following a brief practice as the Bills prepare to play at Miami on Sunday. ‘‘I reached. I did an extended reach at that. But things happen, we’re at their home. It was just going to go their way.’’

McGahee feels like his old self

FOXBORO -- It has been more than three years since Willis McGahee ripped his left knee apart at the Fiesta Bowl and threw his future as a professional football player into doubt.

You'd never know that, of course, if all you had to go on as your evidence was what McGahee did for the Buffalo Bills the last two years -- 284 carries for 1,128 yards and 13 touchdowns in 2004, and 325 carries for 1,247 yards and five touchdowns last year.

But to hear the former University of Miami standout tell it, he wasn't feeling ``right'' until ``probably towards the end of last year.''

``I really wasn't 100 percent,'' McGahee told New England reporters via conference call, ``but I was able to get out there and make a couple of plays. Towards the end of the year, I started feeling it. This year I am very confident in myself.''

McGahee Eager to Prove Bills Doubters Wrong

Last year Willis McGahee rushed for 1,247 yards. Most NFL running backs would chalk it up as a productive season, but for McGahee it was a forgettable one. Not so much because of his rushing total, but because of what was going on around him. The frustration primarily stemmed from the way in which he was used, which for a feature back could have been described as part-time.

McGahee feels it kept him from being the best back he could be for the Bills. But now with a new head coach, a new offensive coordinator and a new offensive approach which makes him a focal point, he believes he'll be able to put his full skill set on display.

"It was taken away before," said McGahee of how he was used in 2005. "But that's in the past and you can't do anything about it. You live and learn from that. You just let the animal loose and let him do what he does."

Inspired by Steve Fairchild's offensive system which will feature McGahee more in the passing game and leave him on the field more frequently in third down situations, Buffalo's top back got himself in the best shape of his pro career.


McGahee News

Among the many intriguing player storylines throughout the league is that of Buffalo Bills running back Willis McGahee. He has seemingly done everything he needed to do to rebound from a disappointing 2005 season by dropping weight and being fairly well focused in training camp to learning the new scheme of new offensive coordinator Steve Fairchild. McGahee also has been saying the right things in terms of the enthusiasm he has expressed for playing a larger role in Buffalo's offense. And if the Bills are to have a prayer of even being respectable, they desperately need McGahee to carry the brunt of the load and have the biggest season of his NFL career. He has a chance to get off to a strong start against a Patriots defense that could be missing some key players due to injury for the Bills' Sept. 10 opener at Foxboro.


Willis says he's ready to ramble

Willis McGahee was intent on putting last season where it belonged, which was as far from One Bills Drive as possible. He figured there was no reason Sunday to revisit a miserable year in which the Buffalo Bills finished 5-11. Instead, he emphasized how this is a new era, complete with a new coach and a new offense.

Quarterback J.P. Losman has newfound confidence after struggling last season. The Bills have 20 new players on the roster from a year ago. They have three new starters along the offensive line.

But for all the changes the Bills made, there appears to be little changing this: They are going nowhere without a strong running game.
And it starts with McGahee.

"I can't be more excited," he said after practice Sunday. "The season is finally getting here, and I'm ready to go out there and rock and roll."

Bills Training Camp Award (Willis McGahee)

Best quote: "I don't smell." Comment by Willis McGahee when asked if he may have to soon part with his University of Miami shoulder pads for the sake of hygiene.

McGahee again has bounce in his step

Willis McGahee was the ricochet we all remember from his college days Friday, harder to catch than a guy who owes you money. He fluttered. He dashed. He disappeared into the end zone.
Buffalo fans have waited three years to see the bouncy running back break a long, exciting gain and he finally did in the Bills' 44-31 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals at Ralph Wilson Stadium.

Looser, leaner McGahee prepared to improve on last year

PITTSFORD, N.Y. (AP) - It was a half-hour after practice and Willis McGahee was holding court with hundreds of fans packed against a rail a few feet above the sideline and yelling to get the running back's attention.
Men, women, children - the crowd in some places two and three deep - held footballs, posters, programs and jerseys to be autographed by the Buffalo Bills player.

If McGahee falters, so will Bills

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Willis McGahee: The best running back in the NFL, as he declared himself last October? A stretch, to say the least.
Willis McGahee: The most important running back in the NFL? Now that he just might be.

"In our division, and where we play, we have to run the ball," new Buffalo coach Dick Jauron said after the Bills' preseason opener Saturday night here against the Panthers. "We're going to run it."