Another organized team activity and still no Willis McGahee.
The Bills completed their second consecutive week of organized training activities at Ralph Wilson Stadium with several veteran no-shows, but McGahee kept his streak alive of being the only player not to have attended at least one off-season practice under the club's new coaching staff.
McGahee skipped two voluntary mini-camps in March and April. There is one more voluntary four-day organized training activity next week, followed by a three-day camp June 12-14 that is mandatory.
Coach Dick Jauron has expressed disappointment with McGahee's refusal to participate in his off-season drills but said he's not angry at the mercurial fourth-year running back who is a key cog in his rebuilding plans for Buffalo.
"You know what? If he's here, we'll coach him and if he's not we won't," Jauron said. "It's voluntary time. I'm not too worried about it to be honest. We wish he were here. We've called him, we've talked to him, but he's not here. He's chosen not to be here."
In fairness to McGahee, he's not the only veteran electing to enjoy his time off. London Fletcher, Nate Clements and Chris Villarrial are among others who also skipped the first two organized training activities. A total of 11 vets missed the first OTA week.
But nobody's stayed completely away like McGahee, whose appearance as a guest host for three days last week on the NFL Network while his teammates were working in Buffalo did potentially ruffle some feathers.
"Once they choose not to be here ... I have nothing to say about what they choose to do," said Jauron, careful not to make more out of the McGahee issue.
Certainly, were McGahee to skip the mandatory June camp, warning flares will be set off about an impending training camp holdout. McGahee is still playing under the terms of an incentive-laden deal he signed coming out of the University of Miami with a major knee injury. A first-round pick in 2003, McGahee has rushed for consecutive 1,100-yard seasons but his production tailed off badly last season (one 100-yard game in his last eight) and it's generally felt he and agent Drew Rosenhaus don't have a strong case for a re-negotiation.
Eight other running backs or fullbacks have been in attendance at Buffalo's OTAs and taking advantage of the extra repetitions with McGahee absent.
Veteran Joe Burns said coordinator Steve Fairchild's new offense is loaded with new terminology and McGahee is missing valuable time. But he feels McGahee will pick things up fast when he does decide to arrive.
"If it were the same offense as last year, I'd say he'd be fine, but anytime you can get together as a team it's a benefit," Burns said. "You've got to get things down to even have a chance to be successful. That's why we're using this time to learn the offense, get it down to a 'T.' But Willis is a very productive player. Once we get him and other guys in here, it will make our team that much better."
McGahee's a No-Show in Buffalo
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