KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The Kansas City Chiefs are under no preconceptions that the LeSean McCoy they officially signed Monday is the same running back that was a two-time All-Pro with the Philadelphia Eagles.
They don't need him to be, either.
The Chiefs have a clear-cut starter in Damien Williams and two young, capable backups in second-year pro Darrel Williams and rookie Darwin Thompson. So whatever McCoy can provide this season after his release by Buffalo is gravy, whether that is on-field production or locker-room leadership.
"I've known him a long time, obviously," Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. "There are not a lot of 31-year-old running backs running around, but he still has great feet and the vision."
Reid was responsible for drafting McCoy when he was with the Eagles, and the six-time Pro Bowl pick wound up playing his first four seasons for him. McCoy played two more seasons in Philadelphia after Reid was fired and landed in Kansas City, then spent the past four seasons in Buffalo.
McCoy was released over the weekend when the Bills decided to look toward the future with younger options in their backfield. Several teams immediately expressed interest, but the relationship Reid and Chiefs general manager Brett Veach had with McCoy — and his agent, Drew Rosenhaus — made for a relatively quick negotiation, and McCoy was in the Chiefs' practice facility to sign his contract Monday.
Now, the trick will be to get up to speed in time to offer some help Sunday in Jacksonville.
"We'll see what he can pick up in a short period of time, how comfortable he is with it," Reid said. "He's a pretty sharp kid. He's been practicing and playing, so conditioning is not an issue."
McCoy should have some familiarity with terminology from his days with Reid in Philadelphia, but the coach acknowledged his offense has changed dramatically in the past seven years. The Chiefs run more run-pass options, play at a quicker pace and cater to the strengths of MVP quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
"There will be some familiar things," Reid said, "but we'll just see how it goes. I won't put him out there in a bad situation without knowing the plays. We have other guys who can play, too."
That is where McCoy might just be the most valuable.
The Chiefs signed Carlos Hyde in the offseason with the hope he could provide a veteran presence in the backfield. But he was unproductive in the preseason and was traded to Houston last weekend, leaving a big experience void among the four running backs the Chiefs kept on the roster.
Damien Williams has the most experience, but that is still just 74 games over parts of five seasons and a total of 733 yards rushing. Darrel Williams has appeared in six games. Thompson and second-year pro Tremon Smith have never appeared in a game at running back — Smith is a converted cornerback.
In other words, McCoy alone has played in 67 more games than the rest of the Chiefs' running back group. Eight times McCoy has run for more yards in a single season than the other four running backs have in their entire careers combined. He's reached the end zone 69 times on the ground, 10 times the number of touchdowns that the rest of the Chiefs' backfield has scored.
"I think that's a great fit for him," Bills general manager Brandon Beane said. "He is going in to a team that they've got a lot of high expectations and I'm sure he will be a great addition to what they're doing. We truly wish him the best, unless we play him."
Reid said he was cognizant of the stress it could bring to a tight locker room to add a running back just before the season that wasn't around for training camp. But he was heartened by the way the rest the Chiefs have embraced McCoy, and he made sure to discuss the signing with Damien Williams specifically.
"It's a great situation to be in, and really for both of them and the football team," Reid said. "They don't know each other, but they'll get to know each other, and I know they'll work well together."
Notes: The Chiefs' roster stood at 52 players, so adding McCoy did not require any additional moves. ... McCoy will wear his familiar No. 25 and Thompson will switch to No. 34. ... Backup TE Deon Yelder (ankle) is healthy for Week 1 after missing most of the preseason, Reid said.