What Bills say about McGahee

The Bills shocked everybody and drafted injured Miami running back Willis McGahee with their 23rd pick today. McGahee tore knee ligaments in the national championship game in January, but he's impressed scouts and doctors with the speed of his recovery, and the Bills decided to take a chance.

Tom Donahoe: "True to our philosophy we took the best player on our board. In our opinion, he is one of the best players in the draft … The last couple of days we talked extensively about McGahee. That's how strongly we felt about his talents … There are still good football players on the board. After the first round, the draft is not over. We have six more picks. We had an opportunity to get a good football player who is an elite player in the draft … We're not going into this with an preconceived notion (that he's definitely going to play or not play this year). We don't put a timetable on anybody's injuries. (Our doctors have looked at him on two different occasions. The surgery was a success. It was a solid reconstruction. Willis is way ahead in his rehab. Won't do anything to jeopardize his future. His future is our future. Our job is to put good football players on the field … The best thing for any football team is competition. What you have on paper doesn't mean anything. (There is a) competitive aspect that is going to bring out the best on the field for your team … The draft is seven rounds long. It's not one round. We will pick seven players today and tomorrow and we will sign college free agents. What we're trying to do with every pick is improve the roster."

Gregg Williams: "There is no message sent to Travis Henry. Gregg Williams is a fan of Travis Henry. He's done very well. He's moved on. We've improved our football team by another strong character athlete, and a person we think is one of the top two or three picks in this draft. We've got a very good football player when he's ready to play to help us win football games … We got a good football player and that's the thing we were looking at … The defensive line situation is deep in this draft. We also think we've done some good things in the off-season. And the draft is not over. There are lots of picks left and there are lots of other moves that can be made before this whole thing is over … We're light years ahead of where we were a few years ago."

Tom Modrak: "One of the things for running backs in this league is that you have to be able to break tackles, and do it in different ways. He has that ability. He has great vision, great movement and has strength. His quickness to power ratio is very good. He catches the ball. The intangibles are excellent. You can judge that by the way he's gone through his rehab. He's never moaned about what happened to him. He's moving forward … I saw the tape of his workout … Doctor saw him twice, MRI, all the things you can do in a short situation … He has come a long way. We have seen tape of his workout. The reality is that our medical people, who do a great job, have thoroughly looked at the situation … Sometimes when you get a speed guy, a guy that can make long runs, he's not a good break-tackle runner or doesn't have great avoid. He may be more of a straight-liner. Willis has the whole package, and that's the nice thing. He can finish runs, but he also can get himself out of trouble when there's nothing there. He's a chance for a big play when he touches the ball … I thought eight or nine defensive linemen would run off pretty fast in the first round. And they did. I still think there are some good candidates there. Willis was a rare chance to get a player of this quality at 23 (and that) is what really dictates what we did."

Here's what Williams told ESPN: "The Buffalo Bills are excited about that decision. His rehab is going very well. We think we got a great young football player. We never ever discount anything about injuries: how he'll heal, how fast he'll heal. We're excited about Travis Henry and Olandis Gary. We've gotten better defensively. We've gotten faster defensively. We've addressed a lot of those things in the off-season. It's been an exciting off-season today."

McGahee to ESPN: "I expect to play this season. It's up to the team and team doctors. (I hope to play) because that's what I want to do. I don't like to sit on bench and watch other people plays. That's my job. That's what I do. That's what I'm gonna do."


Buffalo Football Report Top Stories