Willis McGahee

McGahee, Ravens eager to rejuvenate rushing attack

When the Ravens open their preseason tomorrow night against the Philadelphia Eagles, the first player introduced at M&T Bank Stadium will be new running back Willis McGahee. The Ravens are hoping tonight will mark the first steps toward revitalizing a once-proud running attack. But McGahee is more focused on his footing with his fan base.

"I need to feel the love," McGahee said about coming out of the tunnel first. "I want it noisy and loud. If I feel the love, I can go out there and do what I got to do."

Ravens Make a Run for It

WESTMINSTER, Md., Aug. 10 -- The atmosphere inside the Baltimore Ravens' running backs room is a little different now that Jamal Lewis, the franchise's career rushing leader, is playing for the rival Cleveland Browns. Lewis brought a little levity to the room; he was "always funny and quick with the jokes," fellow running back Mike Anderson said.

Willis McGahee, Lewis's replacement, adds something else: "He brings that Miami ungh! That Miami swagger," Anderson said.

That swagger is welcome on the Baltimore offense, particularly in the running game, which struggled last season. The Ravens have long been known for their bruising running attack, but last season it produced just 102.3 yards per game (25th in the NFL).

McGahee has jittery beginning with Ravens

WESTMINSTER, Md. -- Willis McGahee had barely gotten used to his new shoulder pads when it came time for him to start carrying the football.

Eager to impress, McGahee took off around left end. He was met by sixth-round draft pick Prescott Burgess, who showed a bit too much enthusiasm in the no-contact drill by steamrolling the running back and separating him from the ball.

The hit confirmed what McGahee suspected all along: The Baltimore Ravens never let up, even during the first day of training camp practice.

"These guys know how to win. I found that out the first day I ran the ball; my first carry was a fumble," McGahee said Tuesday, the second day of camp. "It doesn't get any better than that. I'm going to have to get my hardhat on and get ready to play."

Q&A with Willis McGahee

Willis McGahee's ability to revive the Ravens running game will be one of the bigger stories of this summer's training camp. After spending the first four years of his career with the Buffalo Bills, McGahee opened his first day of training camp by fumbling after a tackle by rookie linebacker Prescott Burgess. Were there any surprises from the first two days of camp? No surprises. Just trying to get the little jitters out of me, that's all. [It's a] new team. I have to get used to new blocking schemes and all that. So the only thing is the little bit of jitters I've got.

Were you annoyed by Burgess' hit during Monday's practice? No, it didn't annoy me. It taught me a lesson, that's all. Just have to be better prepared. He's just doing his job, so you can't fault him for that. How does training camp in Buffalo compare with training camp here? It's a smarter training camp. [Coach Brian Billick] focuses on making sure we learn. Everyone can go out there and hit, but he wants to make sure we learn and get all the little things down.

McGahee gets rough welcome at Ravens camp

WESTMINSTER, Md. - The first hour of the first day of training camp had barely passed when a rookie linebacker named Prescott Burgess lowered his head into Willis McGahee's chest.

McGahee, the prized running back going at half speed, fell to the ground and fumbled away the football.

There was a gasp, and not the kind you want to hear in the first hour of the first day of any NFL training camp.

Especially at the Baltimore Ravens' camp, where expectations are higher than normal in great part because of the arrival of McGahee to run the football -- the one that Burgess, a sixth-round draft pick out of Michigan, had just dislodged on the first real hit of training camp.

Face in a new place: Willis McGahee

Adversity is Willis McGahee's friend.

Strike that -- companion is a better word. Adversity is Willis McGahee's companion. Yep, that works better. Remember the 2003 Fiesta Bowl? McGahee, the best running back in college football, was about to lead his Miami Hurricanes to another national championship and was a lock to be a top five pick in the upcoming NFL draft.

But upstart Ohio State derailed the Hurricanes' back-to-back hopes, and an ugly fourth quarter knee injury turned McGahee's NFL dreams into a nightmare. So, yeah, McGahee knows a bit about having to overcome adversity.

With McGahee, Ravens Add a Little Swagger on Offense

Willis McGahee was sitting outside the Baltimore Ravens’ locker room in Owings Mills, Md., on Thursday when cornerback Chris McAlister walked by, rubbing his fingertips together — the universal sign used to ask for money.

McAlister was offering to sell McGahee his jersey number, 21, which McGahee wore during his turbulent tenure with the Buffalo Bills.

“No, you can have it,” said McGahee, who joined the Ravens in a trade in March. “I’m good.”

McGahee said he was content to wear No. 23 in Baltimore.

“I don’t want 21,” he said. “I’m looking for a fresh start, and 23 was the number I was picked,” referring to his stature as the 23rd selection in the 2003 N.F.L. draft.

McGahee: ’Perfect situation’ with Ravens

OWINGS MILLS, Md. - Willis McGahee was sitting outside the Baltimore Ravens’ locker room Thursday when cornerback Chris McAlister walked by, rubbing his fingers together the universal sign used to ask for money.

McAlister was offering to sell McGahee jersey No. 21, which the running back wore during his turbulent tenure with the Buffalo Bills.

"No, you can have it," McGahee replied. "I’m good."

Obtained in a trade with the Bills in March, McGahee is content to wear No. 23 in Baltimore.

"I don’t want 21. I’m looking for a fresh start, and 23 was the number I was picked," he said, referring to being the 23rd overall selection in the 2003 NFL draft.

McGahee acquisition strengthens Ravens

Four months after running away with the AFC North title, the Baltimore Ravens haven’t lost much ground to their division rivals. They helped the offense by trading for former Buffalo Bills running back Willis McGahee and kept most of the NFL’s top-ranked defense intact.

The Cincinnati Bengals’ explosive offense needs more support from its 30th-ranked defense. Mike Tomlin replaces long-time Pittsburgh Steelers coach Bill Cowher, who didn’t leave the cupboard bare for his successor. No AFC North team did more to improve than the Cleveland Browns, but it may not be enough to keep them from finishing last again.

Here’s a rundown of the offseason moves by each AFC North club, along with key questions each team faces entering training camp:

Ravens' McGahee eager to make difference

OWINGS MILLS - In ornate, cursive letters tattooed onto his thick neck, Willis McGahee wears a note of optimism.
A few inches below the Baltimore Ravens running back's left ear, a tattoo reads: "Guess Who's Back."

Now that McGahee got acclimated to the Ravens during his first minicamp with the team since being acquired in a trade from the Buffalo Bills in March, he's intent on capitalizing on a fresh start.

"I'm motivated, I've got to step my game up," said McGahee, whom Buffalo traded for two third-round draft picks and a seventh-round selection. "My teammates are expecting a lot of me. I'm going to go out there and dish it out. Hopefully, we can all work together and make that run we want."

Ravens' McGahee one happy camper

After Willis McGahee's first practices with the Ravens last week, team officials couldn't say they gained any insight whether their new running back is primed for a career year or if he is going to add any punch to the passing attack.

But the Ravens did learn something about McGahee -- he is a man of his word.

Often criticized for missing voluntary workouts with the Buffalo Bills, McGahee lived up to his promise that he would attend the Ravens' minicamps and expects it to pay dividends.

"I'm motivated, I've got to step my game up," said McGahee, who will rejoin his teammates for the second Ravens minicamp tomorrow. "My teammates are expecting a lot of me. I'm going to go out there and dish it out. Hopefully, we can all work together and make that run we want.

Willis McGahee

With all of the hoopla -- and rightfully so -- surrounding Ravens quarterback Steve McNair's first  comments regarding the unusual DUI charges facing him in Tennessee, running back Willis McGahee seemed like almost an afterthought during the team's first minicamp today.

But McGahee's first workout open to the media went without a hitch. In fact, McGahee, whom the Ravens acquired from the Buffalo Bills in March for two draft picks in last month's draft and a third-round choice next year, looked good, catching a few passes in the flat on seven-on-seven drills and running smoothly.

McNair and McGahee were the highlights of today's session. Equally noteworthy were the absences of linebackers Ray Lewis and Terrell Suggs, cornerbacks Chris McAlister and Samari Rolle, offensive tackle Jonathan Ogden, free safety Ed Reed, defensive end Trevor Pryce, defensive tackle Kelly Gregg, center Mike Flynn and running back Mike Anderson -- which didn't seem to bother coach Brian Billick.

"I'm very comfortable with the guys that we have here. I'm excited about that," he said. "And those that aren't here, I'm very comfortable knowing what they're going to be able to do when they get here."

Several players who underwent surgery during the offseason returned to the field. Return specialist B.J. Sams (ankle), fullback Justin Green (knee), defensive tackle Justin Bannan (toe) and running back Musa Smith (neck) all took part in drills. Linebacker Dan Cody, who opted to avoid surgery on his left knee, also practiced.


McGahee to zoom with Ravens

THE SCHEDULE is out. Seven coaches have been hired and fired. Most of the free-agent movement has taken place. And now rookies are settling into their new homes.

It's time to distinguish between the winners and losers this offseason in terms of fantasy value.

Today, I concentrate on guys whose values have increased significantly since the last time we saw them in uniform. Here's my top 16, starting with the most likely to improve:

Willis McGahee, Ravens. Much will be made of Tom Brady's new toys, but the fact is the New England quarterback already put up some pretty impressive numbers, so his potential for improvement is somewhat limited. Not so with McGahee, a very talented back who goes from a weak team to a strong one, which could vault him into the first round.

McGahee has ‘love’ for WNY

Willis McGahee wants to set the record straight.

The former Buffalo Bills running back, who was traded to the Baltimore Ravens, feels he needs to respond to an article about him in last Sunday’s Baltimore Sun. He has been bashed in Western New York by fans and the media for comments he made in the story.

One quote in the story suggests that he was taking a shot at Buffalo’s women, but he said that was not the case.

“I can’t talk bad about the women in Buffalo because I dated some of them,” McGahee said by telephone from Baltimore, where he is househunting. “One thing about me is I would never call any girl the B-word or anything like that. That’s not me. I have a mom and she didn’t raise me that way.”

McGahee Arrives In Baltimore

When the Ravens traded for Willis McGahee earlier this month, he was adamant about committing to Baltimore's offseason conditioning program.

"This is a fresh start. I'm going to be up here working out," he said in a March 9 press conference. "If the coach tells me to come up next week, I'd be up here next week. That's how it is."

For any of the doubters out there, McGahee was speaking the truth.

On the second day of the Ravens' voluntary offseason workout program, McGahee got his first full session in Baltimore under his belt Tuesday.

Esmonde: Bye, Willis, it’s so good to see you go

No wonder the Bills got rid of this guy. Willis McGahee, party animal, could not find a place to party in Buffalo.

Maybe it is no surprise. The Bills running back last year had trouble finding holes to run through on the field. His navigational skills off the field apparently were no better.

McGahee was recently traded to the Baltimore Ravens. In an article in Sunday’s Baltimore Sun, he said that he “couldn’t wait to get out of” our fair burg and that the trade was “such a relief.”

His parting shots were all low blows. McGahee — who went to the University of Miami, a notorious party school — questioned the quality of our womenfolk and indicted our supposed lack of night life. He said coming to Buffalo four years ago “was like hitting a brick wall.”


Dear Willis McGahee, Your words to The Baltimore Sun certainly stung some people in this town, leaving them calling for you to apologize. Not me. I have to say thank you.

Thanks for putting to rest any regrets Buffalo fans may have had about seeing you gone. There was some fan disgruntlement after they shipped you to Baltimore for a couple of third-round draft picks and a roll of tape.

But you took care of that in an article Sunday in the Baltimore Sun:

“Coming from Miami, I was used to partying, going out, just having something to do every night. Restaurants, whatever. Going to Buffalo, it was like hitting a brick wall,” you told The Sun. “Like, ‘Damn!’ Can’t go out, can’t do nothing. There’s an Applebee’s, a TGI Friday’s, and they just got a Dave & Busters. They got that, and I’m like, ‘What the?’ And, you know, the women …”

New team, new start for Ravens' McGahee

Motivation problems?

Though McGahee wasn't surrounded by the best talent in Buffalo, motivation seems to have been a problem at times. He'll readily admit that he didn't step into a leadership role, even though Bills coaches asked him to be more vocal.

"I'm shy, to tell you the truth," McGahee says. "I'm not really the type of person to be all yelling, 'We need to do this, we need to do that.' I went to the University of Miami. We know how to play. You don't need to yell at me to tell me to do something. Just tell me, and I'll go ahead and do it.

"I wasn't, I guess, a team leader. But if you aren't happy, you're just going to do your own job and don't worry about nothing else. They asked. But that isn't like me to be trying to get other grown men fired up. They know what they've got to do."

Thomas expected McGahee trade

(March 23, 2007) — BUFFALO — Thurman Thomas sported his brand new No. 34 Sabres jersey, presented to him by team president Larry Quinn, during Buffalo's victory over the Washington Capitals on Wednesday.

The former Buffalo Bills' superstar and newest member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame was back in town to visit his ailing father-in-law, and to check out his favorite hockey team at HSBC Arena.

He sat in team owner Tom Golisano's luxury suite, spent some time in the broadcast booth with Rick Jeanneret and Jim Lorentz, and led a Let's Go Buffalo cheer during a break in the action.

But football is never very far from Thomas' mind, especially when it comes to matters concerning the Bills, and he shared some thoughts on his old team's decision to trade away running back Willis McGahee.

McGahee gets number 23

OWINGS MILLS — Baltimore Ravens running back Willis McGahee, recently acquired in a trade with the Buffalo Bills, will wear the No. 23 this fall.

The Ravens traded a third-round draft pick, No. 92 overall, and a seventh-round pick in this year’s draft along with next year’s third-round selection in exchange for the former University of Miami star. The Ravens signed McGahee to a contract with a maximum value of $40.12 million.


Schauf: A rebirth for McGahee in Baltimore?

Ever since the first round of the 2003 NFL Draft, I've been telling every Bills fan who would listen that his team made a horrible choice selecting Willis McGahee with the 23rd pick. One general manager and two coaches later, the franchise finally conceded that I was right by dealing its leading rusher to the Ravens. Back then, the Bills had just finished making big improvements in their second year under head coach Gregg Williams, going from 3-13 to 8-8 in 2002. They had enjoyed huge seasons from Drew Bledsoe, Eric Moulds and Peerless Price, as well as 1,400 yards from second-year back Travis Henry. Buffalo seemed to be a player or two from making the playoffs and, at the very least, set at running back for a little while. Yet, there the team went on draft day, taking the injured stud from Miami who would be sitting out at least a year (and if the Bills really wanted a back, Penn State's Larry Johnson was healthy, fresh off a 2,000-yard season and still sitting on the board).
Long story short, McGahee sat out while rehabbing his injury, Henry got understandably fed up with the franchise and left, and the Bills have sputtered their way to a seven-year playoff drought. Now the newest regime, after having its own trouble with McGahee, decided it would rather send him away than keep working on a contract extension. To top it all off, the team got just two third-round picks (one this year, one next) and a seventh-rounder. Some (e.g. Peter King) might say that's too much, but it leaves the Bills with just third- and seventh-round players to try to help the team this year. Even Wes Welker brought the Dolphins a second-round pick. Bills mistakes aside, though, McGahee has been the most significant player fantasywise to change teams this off-season, and the move could help his production.

Mcgahee: More Versatility For Ravens' Offense?

For years, Ravens running backs have taken handoffs and disappeared into piles of humanity. Sometimes they came out, sometimes they didn't. The point is, you knew where they were going and it was up to the defense to stop it.

The Ravens feel that predictable scenario is going to change with the acquisition of former Buffalo Bills tailback Willis McGahee, who was introduced late last week at the team's Owings Mills practice facility.

"I'm happy to be here," the soft-spoken, 6-foot, 228-pound five-year veteran said. "I can run, block, either one, whatever they want me to do."

Ravens Trot Out Their New Runner

Willis McGahee made his first public appearance as a Baltimore Raven yesterday, smiling from his new $40.1 million contract and the possibility of playing for a playoff team for the first time.

Dressed in a green button-down shirt and jeans, the Ravens' new starting running back addressed a variety of topics at his introductory news conference in Owings Mills, Md., including his four-year tenure with the Buffalo Bills, reuniting with former University of Miami teammate Ed Reed and his future with Baltimore.

"My situation wasn't that great in Buffalo," said McGahee, who was flanked by General Manager Ozzie Newsome and Coach Brian Billick. "I thank God for getting the 990 [rushing yards last season] to tell you the truth. If you look at it, I missed two games and was facing nine guys in the box a lot. If you get to a better team with receivers, a quarterback, a line helping out, it's going to be hard to stop everybody."

Inside Dish: McGahee strengthens Ravens

The acquisition of Bills RB Willis McGahee immediately elevates the Ravens' offense and makes Baltimore an even stronger Super Bowl contender. But it's a move the Ravens never would have made if the less talented Jamal Lewis had agreed to their one-year, $2 million contract offer at the start of the free-agent period. McGahee gives the Ravens explosiveness--something Lewis couldn't produce last season, particularly against the Colts in the playoffs. Now it's up to coach Brian Billick to lean on McGahee and reduce QB Steve McNair's workload. . . .


Hurricane Willis touches down in Baltimore

The Buffalo Bills traded disgruntled running back Willis McGahee to the Baltimore Ravens on Thursday morning for a third and seventh-round pick in the 2007 draft and a third-round pick in 2008, a deal which should benefit both teams.

The Buffalo Bills are more than a few players away from contending after losing their two best defensive players to free agency in Nate Clements and London Fletcher. Their offensive line was one of the worst in the league last season, allowing 47 sacks while paving the way for the 27th best ground game in the league, and the free agent signings of two inconsistent linemen (Derrick Dockery and Langston Walker) is not the long term answer. This move allows them to address some of those needs through the draft while getting rid of a locker room headache that bogged down the team over the past two seasons.

McGahee confident he'll pay dividends

Coming off his worst season, new Ravens running back Willis McGahee is ready to show why the team traded three draft picks for him.

"You always have something to prove when you go to a new team just to show your organization that you belong here," said McGahee, who was flanked by coach Brian Billick and general manager Ozzie Newsome at his introductory news conference today.

McGahee, 25, ran for 3,365 yards in three seasons with the Buffalo Bills. But he failed to crack 1,000 yards for the first time last season, when he managed 990 yards rushing.

McGahee said the dip in production has nothing to do with his reconstructed knee. In the 2003 Fiesta Bowl, he suffered a gruesome knee injury, tearing three ligaments.

Welcome, Willis

The Ravens answered any questions about their open running back spot Thursday, acquiring Willis McGahee via trade with the Buffalo Bills. Baltimore sent three draft picks - two this year and one in 2008 - to the Bills for the highly-regarded fifth-year running back.

Pending a physical early Friday morning, McGahee's hard-nosed, physical style could be a perfect fit in the Ravens' offense, which thrives on grinding the ball on the ground and utilizing receivers out of the backfield.

"This is a runner who can make people miss and has the explosion and speed to take it the distance," said general manager and executive vice president Ozzie Newsome. "He also has the power and size to run inside. He's a viable receiver out of the backfield and is a good pass blocker, not something every back can do.

McGahee traded, gets new deal

Running back Willis McGahee has a new team and a new contract.

McGahee, who was acquired Thursday by the Baltimore Ravens in a trade with the Buffalo Bills for three draft picks, signed a new six-year contract extension worth more than $32 million.

Agent Drew Rosenhaus confirmed the deal, which included $15 million in guarantees. That guarantee comes in the form of a $7.5 million signing bonus McGahee will be paid now and guaranteed option bonuses of $6 million in 2008 and $1.5 million in 2009. Beyond that, McGahee receives base salaries of $595,000 in 2007 (final year of original deal), $605,000 in 2008, $620,000 in 2009, $3.6 million in 2010, $6 million in 2011, $6.5 million in 2012 and $7.2 million in 2013.

The deal follows Buffalo's decision to trade the disgruntled McGahee to the Ravens for a third- and seventh-round pick in this year's NFL draft and a third-rounder in 2008. McGahee had one year remaining on his contract with the Ravens, but had expressed unhappiness with playing in Buffalo.

Bills trade Willis McGahee to Ravens

ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. — Willis McGahee likes to refer to himself as the NFL's best running back. Let's see how he does replacing Jamal Lewis in Baltimore.

The Ravens acquired McGahee in a trade with the Buffalo Bills on Thursday, a day after Lewis signed with Cleveland. In exchange, the Bills received third- and seventh-round picks this year and a third-rounder next year.

"This is a runner who can make people miss and has the explosion and speed to take it the distance," Ravens general manager Ozzie Newsome said. "He also has the power and size to run inside. He's a viable receiver out of the backfield and is a good pass blocker, not something every back can do."

McGahee To Ravens?

Clayton also reports that talks between the Bills and Ravens regarding Willis McGahee are heating up, saying that if Buffalo were to deal with Baltimore, it would likely happen soon.


Bills' trade options for McGahee dwindling

(March 6, 2007) — If the Buffalo Bills truly are looking to unload running back Willis McGahee, their list of potential trade partners is shrinking rapidly. On Monday the Denver Broncos, who were known to have contacted the Bills in regards to McGahee's availability, opted instead for another back with Buffalo ties, ex-Bill Travis Henry.

The Broncos jumped on Henry almost as soon as he was released by Tennessee and inked him to a five-year deal that included a reported $12 million in guaranteed money, by far the biggest payday of his checkered NFL career that now includes three 1,200-yard rushing seasons.

And Houston, the team that could have had Reggie Bush in the 2006 draft and then lost starter Domanick Davis for the entire 2006 season because of a knee injury, signed 30-year-old Ahman Green to a four-year, $23 million contract.

Broncos one of few looking at McGahee

There are teams interested in acquiring running back Willis McGahee, but free-agent shopping in the NFL could severely hinder the Buffalo Bills' ability to deal their starter.

The Denver Broncos have contacted the Bills with an interest in McGahee, NFL sources told The Buffalo News. The Broncos are in need of a starting running back after trading leading rusher Tatum Bell to Detroit on Friday.

One league source said the Broncos have "a serious interest" in McGahee.

However, the Broncos also have other options in free agency. They entertained free agent running back Ahman Green of Green Bay on Saturday morning. Then they set their sights on former Bill Travis Henry, who was released by Tennessee on Saturday afternoon because he was due to get an $8.3 million bonus Monday.

Starting Lines: McGahee Not `Untouchable'

Coach Dick Jauron said Monday the Bills would listen to trade offers for running back Willis McGahee. "It's in our best interest to listen to everybody, and no people are untouchable," Jauron said at the scouting combine in Indianapolis. Last week, new general manager Jerry Reese said the Giants would be interested in McGahee to replace the retired Tiki Barber.


Bills put McGahee on trading block; Giants interested

02/24/2007 13:50 PM - The Buffalo Bills are using part of their time here at the NFL scouting combine this weekend to apprise teams that starting tailback Willis McGahee is available via trade, and it appears they have attracted the interest of at least one potential suitor.

INDIANAPOLIS -- The Buffalo Bills are using part of their time here at the NFL scouting combine this weekend to apprise teams that starting tailback Willis McGahee is available via trade, and it appears they have attracted the interest of at least one potential suitor.

Jerry Reese, the first-year general manager of the New York Giants, acknowledged on Saturday morning that his team has some interest in McGahee, a four-year veteran who has twice posted 1,000-yard seasons.

"There is some talk about Willis out there," Reese said. "We'll investigate Willis. We'll investigate everybody out there with trade talks. We'll leave no stones unturned."

Willis McGahee Update

Jauron put any rumors about Willis McGahee's position with the team to rest.

"Willis is our starting runningback," Jauron said. "He's a performer. He works hard. He works through injuries, an awfully tough guy. Willis is our runningback as we go into the offseason."


Willis McGahee Update

CBS analyst Steve Tasker told PFW that the Bills still believe in RB Willis McGahee but that his limitations keep him from being considered an elite back. "I think there are some things Willis doesn't do as well as other top backs. He's a power runner. He runs downhill and he doesn't hop, jump and skip, but that also means he doesn't hop, jump and skip in pass routes, and they have to tailor pass routes for him. So that's a limitation, although he catches the ball well and runs well after catching it. But he's more of a screen-pass guy and a swing-type guy. He's not going to split out, catch it in the slot and make a guy miss."


A Bush in hand sure beats McGahee

It's one of those opinionated Sundays . . .

Allow me to cast another vote urging the Bills to drop Willis McGahee on his head.

As for his so-called written "apology" for a Penthouse interview in which he urged the Bills be moved to Toronto in order to brighten his social life, I suspect that his opening line - "It has come to my attention" - was never thought, much less spoken, by McGahee in his entire life.

Aside from his over-inflated ego, refusal to leave Miami to work out with his teammates in their offseason conditioning program and his inability to distinguish third down from fourth down, there is a more important reason to replace McGahee. The Bills need someone to convert on third-and-1 in order to keep drives alive. He doesn't do it often enough.

It's a pretty good year for running backs in the draft. If Buffalo wanted to invest a first-round choice in one of them, the top two, Marshawn Lynch of California and Adrian Peterson of Oklahoma, likely would be gone before the Bills' turn at No. 12. There is an off-chance Antonio Pittman of Ohio State or Kenny Irons of Auburn would last until Round Two, but the most tempting possibility in Buffalo's top spot might be Michael Bush of Louisville.
Bush, a preseason Heisman Trophy candidate, broke his leg in the opening game. His recovery would have to be medically certified, but if he's healthy he's a 6-foot-3, 250-pounder with outstanding speed. He was recruited as a quarterback.


Willis responds about article

Interviewed for January's issue of Penthouse Magazine, Buffalo Bills running back Willis McGahee was quoted as saying it would be a "good situation" if the NFL had a team in Toronto and rather than put a team in Toronto, the NFL should move the Bills there. "Case closed," he said.
McGahee's agent released this response from his client on the article:

"It has been brought to my attention that through an article I did with Penthouse magazine, fans and readers may have misinterpreted my response when asked about the possibility of the NFL one day coming to Toronto.

"I want to make it clear today as I have been committed to the Bills for the last four years that my heart is with the Bills and the city of Buffalo. If the league decided to expand my intent was that Toronto is a beautiful place to do so. I never would suggest the Buffalo Bills move to Toronto. My words were taken out of context and I suggested they get a team with a loyal fan base and organization such as the Buffalo Bills. My family and I have made our home here and enjoy the hospitality of the city. I am a proud member of the Buffalo Bills, we have the most loyal, supportive and dedicated fans in the world, and I cannot think of a better organization to be a part of."


Willis has worn out his welcome

Marv Levy has gotten a lot of credit for changing the culture of the Bills since taking over as general manager a year ago. Much of it is justified. Levy has instilled a renewed sense of camaraderie, and he has been firm in his commitment to players of high character and intellect.

But Levy can't have it both ways. The talk about character begins to ring hollow when his top running back, Willis McGahee, is embarrassing the franchise and the community at every turn.

McGahee has worn out his welcome in this town. It's pretty evident that he doesn't want to be here. From what I can gather, his recent request for a contract extension is a thinly veiled attempt to poison the waters with management and force a trade out of Buffalo.

Bills have options with disappointing McGahee

When the Buffalo Bills took a gamble and selected running back Willis McGahee with their first-round pick in the 2003 draft, they were expecting to a land a player who would be elite for years to come. At the time, the ex-University of Miami star was arguably the draft's most talented player, but a severe knee injury kept teams away from selecting him.

McGahee spent his inaugural season with the Bills rehabbing his injury, then joined the fray in 2004. As the leader of a magical second-half run that saw Buffalo accumulate a 6-1 record and a near-playoff berth, McGahee was a yardage and touchdown machine, racking up 1,128 and 13, respectively.

Since his promising first season, however, things have quickly gone downhill for the 25-year-old. Although he accrued a solid 1,247 rushing yards in 2005, his 3.8 yards per carry average and meager five touchdowns didn't exactly elevate him to the top of the league. It got worse this past season for McGahee, who's often criticized for running indecisively. In 14 total games for the 7-9 Bills, the 6-foot, 228-pounder finished with a below-average 990 ground yards and six touchdowns.

JAY SKURSKI: McGahee’s mouth may run him out of town

Chances are, Buffalo Bills general manager Marv Levy isn’t a regular reader of Penthouse Magazine.
He might want to pick up a copy of the latest issue, though.

In it appears an exclusive interview with Bills running back Willis McGahee, who had plenty of interesting things to say about the future of his team in Western New York.

Asked about his thoughts on Toronto ever getting an NFL team, McGahee took it a step further, suggesting to the ... ahem, adult publication, that the Bills should just move their operations up the Queen Elizabeth Way.

I doubt McGahee is an expert on the relocation of NFL franchises, so Levy and Bills fans don’t need to lose any sleep over that. But the 81-year-old GM has to wonder what his star running back is doing granting an interview to Penthouse in the first place.

Rough Week For Willis McGahee

(WGR 550)- A double dose of bad publicity for Bills runningback Willis McGahee in The Miami Herald and Penthouse magazine, as a paternity suit and a candid interview regarding Bills fans and the team's future in Buffalo became public.

First, the Penthouse interview. When asked about the possibility of an NFL team in Toronto, McGahee said, "That would be a good situation. Toronto is a beautiful place. But if they're going to put a team there, they should just bring the Buffalo Bills to Toronto. Case closed."

McGahee also said he owes the Bills organization for taking a chance on him.

"I got a lotta love for Buffalo," he said. "I thank God for the whole situation. I'm trying to make them proud. I'm trying to do some things here."

McGahee's production doesn't justify new deal

BALTIMORE - This won't come as any great surprise, but Willis McGahee was not in a celebratory mood in the early stages of New Year's Eve. The Bills' featured back wasn't raising a glass. He was raising an objection.

McGahee rushed 11 times for just 23 yards in Sunday's season-ending, 19-7 loss to the Ravens. He fell 10 yards short of a 1,000-yard season. Asked if he felt the Bills hadn't run the ball enough, the 990-yard man nodded toward an adjacent locker, where offensive coordinator Steve Fairchild was standing.

"There you go right there," McGahee said. "Talk to him."

Fairchild didn't hesitate when he was asked if the Bills had abandoned the run. "Yeah, I probably did. They're tough to run against. Had we been able to get a little more out of it, it might have helped us a little more."

McGahee fails to have grand time

BALTIMORE - Needing just 33 yards to reach 1,000 for the season, reaching that milestone for a third straight year seemed like a sure thing for running back Willis McGahee.

But the Baltimore Ravens' defense had other ideas.

McGahee had no room to run all day and finished with a season-low 23 yards on 11 carries in the Bills' season-ending 19-7 loss. The total left him 10 yards shy of the 1,000-yard plateau. Thurman Thomas and O.J. Simpson remain the only backs in Bills history to do it at least three times.

"It was tough," McGahee said. "[The Ravens] have a good defense. They're all good on that side of the ball, so I knew it was going to be hard to run on them."