McCoy Tries To Put Off-Field Incidents Behind Him

Jeremy Maclin has seen his friend LeSean McCoy go through ups and downs during his first four seasons in the league.

In 2011, McCoy totaled 1,624 yards from scrimmage and 20 touchdowns, earning All-Pro honors. But he dealt with injuries and a banged-up offensive line in 2012, averaging 4.2 yards per carry, his lowest number since his rookie season.

Meanwhile, after the 4-12 campaign ended, McCoy made headlines for unflattering reasons – first engaging in a public Twitter fight with the mother of his son and then being sued for allegedly assaulting a woman on a party bus.

McCoy is a few weeks shy of his 25th birthday, and the goals now are clear: Get back to being one of the league’s elite running backs and avoid negative press off the field.

“Me and McCoy are closer, probably the two closest guys on the team as far as becoming friends,” Maclin said. “So we’ve talked about certain things that happened, and I think he’s definitely put that in the past, and I think he’s ready to move on.

“I think he’s going to continue to mature more and more. I think he’s definitely headed down the right path. And I think after everything that’s happened over the Twitter incident and everything, I think he’s definitely learned his lesson.”

McCoy contributed to a good cause Saturday night, hosting a charity softball game at Clipper Magazine Stadium in Lancaster, with proceeds benefiting ALS research. Eagles teammates Maclin, Brent Celek and Jamar Chaney joined him, along with others from around the NFL like Ravens wide receiver Torrey Smith and agent Drew Rosenhaus.

“I think sometimes players, they get it mixed up,” McCoy said. “The people and the fans and the crowds, they keep the NFL and everything going. I’m just proud and excited that everybody came out and showed a lot of love and raised tons of money.”

If the past is any indication, Chip Kelly will have a sizable role carved out for McCoy in his offense. But the Eagles’ running back, who was close with Andy Reid, will have to prove to his new coach that he can be dependable.

“When you come in the NFL, in this league, so much of the limelight and being a professional football player, you dream of playing this game as a little boy, and then it comes to reality,” McCoy said. “So then, the partying happens and everything like that. And then when you get a little older, it’s like things that mattered when you were younger don’t matter anymore.”

After rewarding McCoy with a contract that included more than $20 million in guaranteed money last offseason, the Eagles are counting on the running back to make positive headlines for years to come.

WEIGHING IN ON THE QB SITUATION

Pretty much every Eagles offensive player can expect to be asked about the QB situation time and again in the coming months. But McCoy didn’t offer much of an opinion on Saturday night.

“That’s the coach’s call,” he said. “That’s why they pay Chip Kelly the big bucks, to pick the quarterback. Both look good, so whoever he picks, I’m fine with.”

He then paused and let out a big smile.

“As long as I get my carries, I don’t care who the quarterback is.”

Follow Sheil Kapadia on Twitter and e-mail him at skapadia@phillymag.com.
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