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Buffalo Bills begin voluntary offseason workouts without running back LeSean McCoy

Posted at 2:34 PM, Apr 03, 2017
and last updated 2017-04-03 22:37:16-04

Football is back...well sort of. On Monday the Buffalo Bills returned to Orchard Park for the first day of voluntary offseason conditioning, kicking off their spring program.

Every player aside from running back LeSean McCoy was in attendance. Despite his absence, head coach Sean McDermott is optimistic about McCoy and the rest of his team.

"It's voluntary, so I am encouraged by my conversations with LeSean, this whole offseason, actually since I got the job," McDermott said. "It is voluntary, though, it is what it is. I'm encouraged by the guys who are here and that's really my focus at this time."

McDermott did not address the specifics of McCoy's absence but the Bills running back posted on his Instagram account that it was his five-year-old son's birthday.

National Football League policies prohibit McDermott from working with players on the field, however, he's allowed to meet with players, some of whom he met for the first time.

"This was my first time in front of the players," McDermott added. "I can't convey everything in one meeting so you really have to skinny it down. A wise coach once said to me years ago, 'when you say a lot, you risk saying nothing.'"

Among those participating, Micah Hyde, the Bills newly signed defensive back. He understands that the playoff drought in Buffalo lingers, but says it's not something he and his teammates are focusing on.

"This is a totally new football team," Hyde said. "We're not looking into the last and the history of the Buffalo Bills, we're looking to make history."

Hyde along with veterans like defensive lineman Kyle Williams and linebacker Lorenzo Alexander were some of the players leading workouts during the 15-minute media viewing period. After last season there was some uncertainty surrounding Williams' future, but he said returning was almost a no-brainer after talking with McDermott.

"I wanted to be told we weren't going to disassemble the roster and start from ground zero," Williams said. "If we were going to try and win and that's what we wanted to do, I mean there's nowhere else I'd want to be than here and he [McDermott] was very clear about that. He said 'hey, we're going to go and win and we need you to help us win ' and that kind of sealed the deal."

Like Williams, Tyrod Taylor's future with the Bills was also up in the air after the conclusion of last season. He's back and ready to get things going, but there are plenty of new faces he needs to get to know.

"We're here so we might as well go ahead and get to know each other," Taylor told reporters. "We're going to be around each other for a while now so you want to start that process now while everybody is back."

The Bills will continue voluntary offseason conditioning until veteran minicamp opens in two weeks.

Aside from the workouts, the Bills also announced four new members of the team staff including:

-Marlon Kerner - Director of Player Engagement
-Will Greenberg - Assistant Strength/Conditioning Coach
-Denny Killington -Assistant Athletic Trainer
-Len Vanden Bos - Chaplain

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