Eagles Wake-Up Call: On McCoy And Rep Management

Philadelphia Eagles RB LeSean McCoy. The irony was not lost on LeSean McCoy.

For the past four seasons under Andy Reid, the popular argument was that McCoy did not get the ball enough. Now one game into the Chip Kelly era, and the concern is that his workload will be too large.

“Which one is it?” he asked.

You tell us. Were the 31 carries and 32 overall touches too much? Not enough? Just right?

“I didn’t mind it Monday night,” he said. “I think we can do a better job rotating because it’s a long season. I don’t think I need to have the ball 31, 32 times in a game for us to be a successful offense. We have too many different weapons. I think the running backs we have here can definitely play. Bryce Brown showed you last year he’s definitely a talented back. So I think we have to do a better job of monitoring the reps.”

On Monday, Brown had nine carries while Chris Polk had none.

McCoy said that while there are some packages that don’t include him, the majority of the time the coaches give him the option of whether he stays in the game or not. So some of the snap management falls on his shoulders.

“You try to give 100 percent on every play, and there’s times when you get gassed or you get nicked up a time or two and that 100 percent drops a little bit, and I think that’s the time you come out and get the other guy in that’s fresh and get his 100 percent,” he said.

“They just talk about, if you’re tired, come off, because the coach understands that it’s a fast tempo. We train hard and are in good enough shape to run the offense but we’re only human so we’re going to be tired.”

McCoy’s high-water mark for carries came in 2011 when he ran it 273 times (in 15 games). If he keeps up Monday’s pace for a full 16 games, he will have run the ball 496 times. In other words, that average is coming down. Has to.

Safe to say, though, McCoy is going to get his opportunities. There will be no talk of play-calling holding him back this year. Does has he set any new personal goals?

“I don’t really get into yardage and the different type of records,” he said, “that stuff will come. We’ve got to worry about winning. My focus is winning. The last couple years we haven’t been winning. When I got to the Eagles we were a winning team and teams kind of feared to play us. I want to get back to that level before I can start talking about yards and all that other stuff.”

WHAT YOU MISSED

 Zach Ertz hopes that his drop “spell” is now behind him.

Sheil uses the All-22 tape to break down the Eagles’ touchdowns against Washington. Good stuff, as always.

Is Kelly’s offense sustainable? We give our take in the latest Twitter Mailbag.

DeSean Jackson says the Eagles have to keep their foot on the gas.

WHAT THEY’RE SAYING

New opponent, new defensive approach, writes Phil Sheridan.

“It’s a completely different challenge this week,” [Connor] Barwin said. “It’s that West Coast offense. Their run game is inside the tackles. Last week, their run game was outside the tackles. The quarterback sits in the pocket and gets the ball out on time, which is the opposite. Last week, the quarterback ran. They ran bootlegs and play-action. San Diego is completely different.”

So the Eagles’ defense will look completely different. Or it will look the same and then behave differently. Much of what coordinator Bill Davis has his players do is reliant on their reading the offense and reacting to it.

“The scheme is built to where any member of the defense can be blitzing at any given time,” Davis said. “We have blitzes for every position — corners, safeties, nickels, dimes, Mike ‘backers. Anybody can be a blitzer, either through an active call or a check.”

Fletcher Cox says that a published report alleging that he received improper benefits from a booster while in college will not become a distraction. From Reuben Frank.

Because Cox is not currently in college, the NCAA does not hold subpoena power over him. Of the five players identified by Yahoo!, only Tennessee defensive end Maurice Couch, who is currently on the team, would be bound to speak with NCAA officials.

Cox’s Twitter timeline is full of messages from people asking him about the allegations.

“I don’t worry about those things,” Cox said. “I barely check all of that, and I’ll just go forward when I hear from my agent.”

COMING UP

Preparation for the Chargers continues. We have plenty to get to.

  • UKEagle99

    I think 350 carries on the season (22/game on average) is what most of the ‘featured’ backs on other teams work out at, Peterson, Foster, Morris to name three. It’s only game one, multiplying all the stats by 16 is bound to make some things look a bit skewed! I’m sure they will get the balance right.

    • anon

      Yeah you can tell Shady was gassed on the “lateral” play and didn’t run his rout full speed, if he does, TD. Given how much we run i’d love to see 60/30/10 split btw Shady, Bryce and Polk but maybe that’s overly ambitious.

      • Dutch

        it’s crucial brown gets more carries early in the season he has limited experience and needs the work to adapt to professional football. I’m also anxious to see Polk in this system because he most resembles shady style.

        • DunedinEagle

          Reminds me more of Heath Sherman (Tank) the way he busts it north and south. I like that kid.

        • All In Eagles

          Polk resembles Shady’s style the most? Compared to who? Before this off-season Polk was a north south bruiser with good hands, after cutting some weight he’s more agile but I wouldn’t categorize his style as resembling Shady’s. This all depends on who you are comparing him with though.

    • KobraKai7474

      350 carries is about what each of the guys you named carried LAST SEASON not throughout their careers. There is a well known correlation between high carries in a season and a drop in a player’s performance the following season. There is a very real likelihood that each of the three guys you name…. each of whom is much bigger than Shady… will have a significant drop in their performance this season after last year’s large workload. There is no need to do that to Shady when we have viable options on the bench to give him breaks.

      • UKEagle99

        Well I think most people would agree that Shady compares well to Barry Sanders (I’m not saying Shady is fully in that league yet). Barry averaged just over 20 carries per game over his career, I don’t think 22 is excessive but I guess we will see.

  • Kevin

    Damn you Chip Kelly…. I tried to watch that thing with huddles between the Jets and Pats last night. It was beyond painful to watch. I kept thinking, what is all this walking between plays, why so slow, holy crap just hike the ball.

    Chip, in one week you have both made football the most exciting and most boring thing at the same time. Thanks Chip. Is it Sunday yet.

    • George

      That’s exactly how I felt watching the slow jets-pats game. Then I remember, the Jets and Pats are not in good enough condition to go full-throttle, no-huddle offense. The only I’ll watch now are the Eagles and Oregon Ducks.

      • DunedinEagle

        I will be pulling for my favorite college team, Tennessee this weekend against those Ducks. I’m curious if the SEC talent and size will slow it down a tad. Too bad we dont have a QB yet but the new coaching change looks great.

        • Cordell

          I assume you are no longer wondering…

          • DunedinEagle

            That would be correct. Butch Davis has a lot of work to do…At least they hung in there for like 10 minutes. Sadly that was the part I missed lol!

      • All In Eagles

        Actually the Pats are a very fast team, fastest last year I believe and week 1 had the most plays called. I think Brady was too busy berating his WR’s all night to be bothered to lineup and throw them the ball again.

    • cliff henny

      have to think, if/when eagles put on a similar show Sunday vs Chargers, the ratings for TNF will be out of this world. as long as the eagles hang near .500, there is no way they’ll play 13 straight 1pm regional coverage games.

      • G_WallyHunter

        yup, we’ll see the real intentions of the NFL’s scheduling when they change a few of those 1 oclock games to prime time lol… Why is KC/PHI on Thurs night? When Andy is returning to the Linc? Duhhhhh.. Profit

        • cliff henny

          plus SNF. is it the last 8 games that are flexed with NBC? live in SC, it’s 90% college football…i cant tell you how many people are talking about checking the eagles out. pro ball is king in the northeast, but there’s a ton of college only in South and midwest just dying for an excuse to watch.

          • G_WallyHunter

            Ah, well then it will have it’s benefits. Happy to hear that for you, helps people in college-centred markets gain access to the east games… Up north here all we ever get are Bills on CBS lol, gotta get Sunday Ticket or stream live

          • cliff henny

            ouch, thought i had it bad being in carolina panther regional coverage. probably why i’ve growing to be bigger college fan. i just stream live, that way i can watch eagles on beach, which is what i plan on doing sunday

          • G_WallyHunter

            Ya firstrow.eu is great for that, if I didn’t have sunday ticket I’d be doing the same. Some of the streaming is crap, sometimes you can get a good link, with crappy ones you can hardly see the ball when it’s thrown lol, you just see a receiver react to it and you know it’s going to him.. hey it’s good enough.

          • cliff henny

            yeah, that site got shut down last i checked. watched last preseason game on the nutjob.eu and it was crystal clear

          • G_WallyHunter

            Great thanks, I’ll use that one next time. A first row URL did get shut down, but they’re just like TPB, they have another one up and going before the last is shut down..

          • cliff henny

            found it off wiziwig.tv…it’s like a search engine for streams. nutjob carries everything

          • Chris

            free is free! if i had direct TV id be happy to buy the package but im stuck with comcast, so free crappy streaming it is (i get baltimore sports)

          • G_WallyHunter

            Hey can’t argue with that. I had to stream quite a few games last year, it was fine, enjoyed it

      • anon

        Did anyoen get Madden 25 so they could get the free Sunday Ticket from DirectTV? I did, since I live in NY. Sadly, the program was down last weekend. IF it’s not up this weekend i’m going to be pissed.

    • Warhound

      If you DVR the game and start watching ~ an hour in; and FF all commercials, huddles and the 1/2 time show you should catch-up at ~ 5 min into the 2nd half. Sooo…… if the view start is pushed back another 30 min maybe you can synch up live for the last 10min.

  • Will

    184 yards times 16 is 2944. Something to think about. Relax and enjoy winning again!

    • All In Eagles

      Bryce needs his 12 carries a game.

  • Dominik

    Great to hear those comments from Shady. Hopefully he acts that way (we know from Vick that talking about something doesn’t mean you act that way in game situations), but acknowledging it is a good sign.

    • GEagle

      Great to people finally see why I was fighting with people for 6 months who would tell me that Bily Davis was a Joke and that we had no talent on defense lol

      Where is Jeoffry at?

      TEll me again why I shouldn’t be excited about Billy Davis..

      Tell me again how Cary Williams sucks and he wasn’t going to improve from last years regular season.l

      tell me again how Kendrick’s and Cox weren’t destined for greatness

      Tell me again how Barwin sucks because he only had 4 saks last year and how philly won’t fall in love with him..

      Tell me again how Soap and Meco weren’t just going thru the motions in the preseason..

      tell me again how we should be worried about Cole and Graham dropping into coverage lol

      tell me again how we won’t have a nasty front 7

      Tell me again how we don’t have talent on defense

      Surprise surprise, young players placed in healthier environments actually improve….who would have ever thunk it? Hahaha

      Where is Joeffry at? Lol

      FYI: It doesn’t matter if you praise Tim and Sheil 99% of the time, criticize them once, and you get BANNED!! Wonder how long this post takes to be deleted lol…doesn’t matter if you don’t curse in your posts, doesn’t matter if you don’t argue with anyone…lol you can still be banned Round here….but imnot allowed to vice my displeasure as a fan with the overblown Cary Williams Drama? How did all that doom and gloom common locker room fabrication manifest itself on the field on Monday? Sorry, but if You can take my praise 99% of the time, you should be able to take my rare criticism like a Man…wish I knew who the soft one was lol…..and next time you want to fabricate Drama after a win and call up players agent after 1 game of being deactivated against a run oriented offense, change your mind and do another all 22….this city has enough Florios, we loved you guys because you are responsible…3, 4 deactivations is a story…1 deactivation during the first game of the season is just bogus, fabrication of Drama…and if you bring drama to the doorstep of my beloved team during the season, then you aren’t representing this fan…

      Sorry, just keeping it real. I thought the people should know lol

      • EaglePete

        hey, there you are, was wondering when you would gloat about Carys play and D. You earned it just thought Id see it sooner. Did you get banned or something? I never read anything worth banning in your posts even if people down vote stuff. Its one thing to disagree and argue another to berate, curse and type the unnecessary stuff.

      • EaglePete

        gotta disagree on the “bringing drama” to the team from the stand point of writing stories. If theres even something small there then write it up. They are force feeding us so many more articles than I even expect so I could care less if a handful are in some peoples minds “stoking some kind of imaginary fire”. Not buying the responsibility part, lets not take things so seriously for a game and covering it. As far as criticizing it, who cares, have at it, it shouldnt get you banned. Have faith that people can filter things on their own and dont play to the lowest common denominator. Kind of feel same way on both sides of that coin.

  • BlindChow

    Leaving the decision to come out in the player’s hands is a mistake. They want to be tough and not let their teammates down, but, as we saw with RGIII last year, sometimes the coach has to make an executive decision.

    I think part of the problem with the Eagles is if the offense substitutes, the defense gets to substitute which takes away one of the O’s advantages.

    • knighn

      The offense substitutes. The defense substitutes. Good: that gives the Eagles someone else to humiliate and destroy.

      • Dutch

        It’s evident there is no midseason remedy for the pace the Eagles are running. Kelly may have revolutionized the training regiment in the NFL. If teams are not working towards building endurance prior to the first game they will be doomed trying to defend at such a pace. Gone better be the days of players in the NFC East coming into camp out of shape. New England runs uptempo but last night in looking at their team It looked suspect to me that even New England could with stand the blazing pace the Eagles run. I doubt Wilford could keep pace with Kelce

        • cliff henny

          all i was thinking about watching GB play SF last week. talking about gb’s huge Dline, jolly, picket i think and another one. was picturing them trying to play against a clemson/oregon pace…now knowing eagles pace, they might make a play or 2 early, but those humongous guys will be worthless for better part of the game.

    • Dutch

      What seems to be appropriated would be to sent in reserves at the beginning of an offensive series. Barber came in for Peters at the beginning of a series to give Peters a break and it worked well an just as smooth. We are still running at the same pace only with fresh forces sprinkled in at various positions. I do believe as the season moves forward Chip will get a better idea on distribution in hopes of not wearing players down.

  • Dutch

    The more we run the longer the opponent’s defense stays on the field. As we go through the opponent’s defense those runs from Shady, Brown and Polk become more effective locking the opposition into a vicious cycle of faking injuries to keep pace.

    Using such a strategy is a benefit that limits Vick passing attempts to less than 30 per outing. Watching the Jets last night I felt sorry for Geno Smith, Marty abandoned the running game to early and in a driving rain storm had Geno throwing the ball in a 10-13 game over two quarters. Up until that point the kid was looking good in a tough game.

    I’m glad those days are gone in Philly

    • BleedGreenJames

      Yeah, I definitely don’t miss Moronwig

    • EaglePete

      yup, I was amazed also and yet his WRs had so many drops. He also had some bad throws behind guys but my issue with Geno is he needs to use his legs more. McNabb did it really well early in his career until you get up to speed reading a defense. It can keep the D on its heels and open up passing even more. I just dont get why he doesnt run more. I know he did and got him a win in gm 1, just think he should use it to his advantage. He had that first down in FG territory wide open, instead threw a pick. Hes young but looks more servicable than Sanchez at least.

  • Explorer51

    And with an emphasis on the running game, the play action pass has to be more effective…something that AR and MM never could figure out! How often did we open a game or a series with a play action pass where the defense just ignored the run fake?

  • DunedinEagle

    Let’s worry about rep management next week after my fantasy tourney ends please.

    • G_WallyHunter

      Hey now, what if lack of rep management leads to Desean and McCoy getting prematurely injured? I have them both, I share the same sentiments as you, but maybe rep management is the wise long-term (14 games) strategy.. I think it will also benefit the fantasy points of those players..

      • DunedinEagle

        I stopped worrying about injuries years ago. About the same time I stopped being a fan as in “fanatical”. When they start doing things more to my liking, mostly at the QB position I will probably give a crap but until then my money comes first sorry to say.

        • G_WallyHunter

          So you’d rather McCoy get 30+ carries and possibly get injured by week 8, rather than 20 carries and lasting into playoffs? Might not worry about injuries but they have much impact on your fantasy, thus your money

          • DunedinEagle

            Oh sorry I only play Fanduel these days.One week at a time new teams each game. I got sick of worrying about guys getting hurt and stalking the waiver wire. Now I just use them up like consumables lol!

          • G_WallyHunter

            Ah ok, that sounds fun and yes much less time and effort put into it!

          • DunedinEagle

            It is. One if the best parts is your paid when the game ends. This week I’m only playing the 1 and 4 o’clock games so no need to stay up late.

          • DunedinEagle

            Posting via iPhone sucks here guys can you fix it Sheil? Tim?

          • G_WallyHunter

            Try using Dolphin Browser, I use it on my android and it seems to work great.

          • Token

            Aint just Iphone, its every phone. The problem is Disqus, which is the plugin used for the comments section, is not very optimized for mobile devices.

            Atleast it somewhat works for you, mine usually just never loads the comments section on Android stock browser.

          • G_WallyHunter

            Try Dolphin Browser, seems to work well when I use it on this site..

  • cliff henny

    hopefully style of offense helps too. i dont recall shady ever getting popped by d-line/LB combo. he basically was running free in 2nd and 3rd level with guys grasping for him. 31 is too many, but didnt see multiple hits or while watching game thinking ‘man, kelly has got to give ball to someone else, shady is getting pounded’.

  • DuckFan

    Ride him until the wheels fall off! Push him to the limit. In all reality, there is a huge drop off in talent between him and BB. Like Kenjon Barner and LaMichael James before him, Kelly will squeeze everything he can out of Shady.
    He will be an All-Pro this year, possibly lead the league in rush yards. Kelly wants to succeed in his first season, just like he wanted to succeed in his first game more than anything and we saw what it took – Shady getting 30+ carries. In the next few seasons, or possibly near the end of this season, when Kelly is more comfortable, fosters the roster depth, and gets his players used to his system, we’ll see Shady’s load decreased. But not until then.

    • KobraKai7474

      There is a well known correlation between RBs who get a high number of carries in a season (over around 380), and a large drop off in their performance the following season. Even for a “big” back (and Shady is definitely not big), touching the ball 20+ times per game, every game leads to a massive amount of wear and tear on the body…. and it just isn’t sustainable.

  • All In Eagles

    Completely off topic, but:

    Free agent S Kerry Rhodes has generated zero interest since being released by the Cardinals in March.

    This comes from Profootballtalk’s Mike Florio, who was told by a source that “there’s no buzz” surrounding Rhodes. Rhodes, 31, had a heckuva year with Arizona last season, starting 15 games and racking up 67 tackles, 11 pass breakups, and four interceptions while grading out as Pro Football Focus’ No. 4 safety. It’s borderline criminal that he’s not on an NFL roster.

    • EaglePete

      could very well be hes just happier being out of the game and the spotlight. So he demands a very high salary as his only incentive to keep playing and so teams are not interested. Just speculating, he’d still be a nice pickup for us I just wouldnt count on it. Now that the D had a decent showing its even less likely.

      Im really hoping to see Rivers pouting on the sidelines and throwing tantrums after throwing picks from the pressure. Easy to get in this guys head, I worry about covering Royal in the slot more than anything. There other WRs dont scare me and Gates is old.

      • All In Eagles

        I’m going to play devil’s advocate here. What happens when our D is exposed for a D in transition who is lacking depth on the back end (Denver?)? Before week 1 we were all suggesting that our O just needed to outscore our opponents O as our D is the weak link of this team (expected when transitioning and lacking the model personnel). Now we played one game and our D was huge for us and we’re all wearing rose colored glasses. I’m not saying Rivers will be the one to expose this but Manning definitely could in week 4. So, the question is, after some of our guys get toasted for huge plays and possibly game losing plays, when will we look for help outside the organization?

        • EaglePete

          I dont think thats too much of a reach to think that will happen at some point. I still think they need more depth at safety so would love if they got a guy like Rhodes. I put the “decent showing” part in more as a nod to say Roseman now has that in his back pocket to not make a move. Who knows what they are thinking behind the scenes though.

          • anon

            Yeah I agree. I don’t think they are going to go after Kerry Rhodes unfortunately. The reality is that (a) the D look “ok”, had 2 picks, (b) we aren’t playing denver every week — our divisional opponents aren’t nearly as good and (c) there’s no pressure to really succeed this year. We might have gotten Kerry if this was like 2010 and the expectations were different. But he’s going to argue that Nate is servicable, Chung is good at what he does, Wolff is coming along, the CBs are good why pay a couple of million on Rhodes?

            I do think if we got him, I’d say we could push to do something in the playoffs. I literally think that’s the only weakness on the defense, given the performance of our DL, linebackers and corners last week.

    • KobraKai7474

      Much like Brandon Lloyd (who it was recently revealed told a bunch of interested teams that he was not in the frame of mind to play football right now), it may well be that Rhodes has semi-retired, and just hasn’t announced it just in case he gets the itch in a few weeks or months from now.

  • KobraKai7474

    One of my complaints about Andy Reid was that, on game day, he seemed to get so wrapped up in the next play or situation that he would lose all touch with what he had done previously. In other words, he would, for example, lose track of the fact that 80% of his play calls had been passes and a couple of runs or even the occasional draw would likely do wonders to open up the field. My theory was that they should just have an intern in the booth whose only job was to count plays and tell an assistant when things were starting to look unbalanced. Perhaps Kelly needs the same thing: Have an intern maintain a running count of touches by each offensive player so the coach can be warned, for example, when Shady’s touches get up near 20.

  • KobraKai7474

    Lest we forget, the read-option, like all option offenses typically includes an initial option for an inside handoff to the RB. Depending on the read, the QB can either actually hand the ball off or pull it back and look to the next “read”. One of the basic tenets of playing defense against an option is to ALWAYS hit the guys being faked to. If the QB rides a RB before pulling it back, you still hit the RB hard. If the QB fakes a run before pulling up and throwing, you still bury him. The idea is to hopefully get everybody tired out and battered even on plays when they don’t end up with the ball. Point being, this results in Shady getting hit hard several additional times each game even when he doesn’t get the ball. He is going to need a walker to get on the field by October at this rate.

  • Dr Rick

    Great article!

    Nice to get Shady’s take on how many reps he wants, etc. I think we have 3 quality backs in McCoy, Brown and Polk. A luxury. Not all equal but all 3 are “all in” with the game plan.

    I think the Charger’s D line is not enough to stop our running game, which should open up the play action, bubbles and TE/WR combos.

    I’m standing by the prediction that we will see old school Single Wing and Wing T formations before the season is over. Hey, We had double trips last week.
    Too much fun!

    Go Birds!

  • DunedinEagle

    Yes, it’s annoying as hell. I only need it when someone here says something stupid to me and I briefly want to rip them a new A hole. Then I calm down and just say F it.