Bills head coach Sean McDermott typically does not single out his players during press conferences. He talks in terms of “team” and not individuals. That is why this answer on Wednesday about the Bills wide receiver depth stood out.
“I think Ray-Ray McCloud has had a real nice training camp to this point,” said McDermott. “Just with effort and doing the things we expect our wide receivers to do.”
The Bills took McCloud in the 6th round in 2018, but he admits his rookie season was tough. McCloud played in ten games and finished with only five catches for 36 yards.
“I was used to playing, God humbled me and that’s how I took it,” said McCloud. “So I came into work during the offseason, and got one goal, that’s to be great.”
After his difficult first season, McCloud took it upon himself to become a better professional and returned to his hometown of Tampa, FL. He began training with Bills coaching intern Leonard Johnson, who saw McCloud’s untapped potential.
“I questioned his professionalism and a couple other things,” said Johnson, a former NFL defensive back. “I just went to him and I said ‘Hey, man, in order for you to take your game to the next level, this is what you gotta do.’ Every other day it was one thing to him, and then another thing.”
It’s not just the head coach who sees a change in McCloud as he enters his second NFL season.
“Ray-Ray is probably the most improved player within our receiver room,” said wide receiver Zay Jones.
“He’s got a knack for just kind of getting into a zone where he feels open,” said quarterback Josh Allen.
“He has the athletic ability, the speed, the craftiness,” said Johnson.
McCloud calls it an honor to be recognized within the team, and is using that to continue working hard.
“I don’t take it as I’ve done something, we haven’t played a game yet,” said McCloud. “Every day I come out and work and make em talk about me more. That’s my goal, make everybody talk about me.”
Keep stacking up good days and they will