Wake-Up Call: McCoy Among the Elite

Dec 22, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy (25) celebrates scoring a touchdown during the third quarter against the Chicago Bears at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Dec 22, 2013; Philadelphia, PA, USA; Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy (25) celebrates scoring a touchdown during the third quarter against the Chicago Bears at Lincoln Financial Field. Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

LeSean McCoy may not have taken the crown away from Adrian Peterson, but he got a lot of love from his peers and finished fifth in the NFL Network’s rankings of the top 100 players in the NFL.

“His vision. His moves. He’s a nightmare,” said Cardinals defensive back Tyrann Mathieu. “The first guy is going to miss, the second guy is going to miss and possibly the third guy is going to miss so all 11 guys have to run to the football. Sometimes all 11 guys are going to miss.”

“Modern day Barry Sanders,” added Bucs defensive tackle Gerald McCoy on the NFL Network broadcast. “I haven’t seen a guy like that probably since him…You’ve seen your Marshall Faulk‘s and all those guys,  these Hall-of-Famers, that’s who he is on his way to being.”

The NFL Network revealed their top 10 on Wednesday night, as voted by the players. It went:

10. Jimmy Graham
9. A.J. Green
8. Jamaal Charles
7. Richard Sherman
6. Drew Brees
5. LeSean McCoy
4. Adrian Peterson
3. Tom Brady
2. Calvin Johnson
1. Peyton Manning

McCoy has argued that he is the best back in the league over Peterson. For this exercise, AP edged him out. It really doesn’t matter. The fact that he is even in the conversation with one of the greatest of all time reminds you that the Eagles are currently blessed with a rare talent in his prime. And a running back’s prime can come and go in a flash.

McCoy, who will turn 26 on Saturday, led the league with 1,607 rushing yards in 2013 , a team record. He needs just 1,066 yards to pass Wilbert Montgomery as the franchise’s all-time leading rusher. He already holds the top mark for most rushing yards in a single game (217 in the snow against Detroit) and most rushing TDs in a single season (17 in 2011). Only Steve Van Buren and Montgomery have more career rushing touchdowns in Eagles history.

“The things he does on the field is just ridiculous,” said Jeremy Maclin. “He can turn a five-yard loss into a 60-yard touchdown. He can catch the ball out of the backfield. He showed this year that he could stick his head down there and get the rough yards. And he’s emerging as a leader. I think that’s the type of guy that you want on your team.”

Three other Eagles appeared in the top 100. Jason Peters came in at 67, Nick Foles at 70 and Evan Mathis at 88.


We put together a photo gallery of many of the Eagles’ rookies, courtesy of Jeff Fusco.

Jordan Matthews is training with the NFL’s best receivers until he reports back for training camp.


Eliot Shorr-Parks of NJ.com does an All-22 film review of the Eagles’ win over the Giants in Week 5 last year:

This game against the Giants really highlighted the lack of respect around the league for the Eagles’ safeties.

On back-to-back plays in the first quarter, the Giants sent their receivers deep, and both times they were able to get behind the Eagles’ safeties.

On this first one, the Eagles had decent coverage, but a bad throw by Manning helped.

On the second, the Eagles weren’t so lucky, as Hakeem Nicks hauled in the catch.

When you think about the speed the Eagles will face next season — DeSean Jackson with the Washington Redskins, Odell Beckham Jr. with the New York Giants — they better hope they got it right by adding Malcolm Jenkins and keeping Nate Allen.

After Germany’s dominance over Brazil in the World Cup, Brandon Gowton of BGN takes a look at several of the most lopsided games in Philadelphia history:

The Monday Night Massacre. You know, it’s funny looking at that score. Despite it being a 31 point difference, it honestly doesn’t feel like the game was that close. Michael Vick’s tenure in Philadelphia was far from perfect but my goodness, when he was at his best… he was playing at a different level. Starship 7 scored six touchdowns in that game. One of those came on the very first play on an absolute beauty of a deep pass to former Eagles WR DeSean Jackson. A first quarter score of 28-0 was just ridiculous to look at.


We’ll put together a Twitter Mailbag. Fifteen days until training camp.

Josh Paunil contributed to this post.

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    • myeaglescantwin


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  • Bullwinkle

    McCoy might be a little more valuable than Peterson at this stage of their careers, because of his pass catching ability. I think Aaron Rogers is the best player. I guess the fact that he was injured affected his ranking.

    • aub32

      Peterson is still #1, but Shady is in the conversation. Long term McCoy has more years left than AD. However in 2014 if given the choice I’d take AD. Although Shady might be more fun to watch.

      • eaglefansocal

        No way! Shady is easily the best all around back, blocking, pass catching, and running right now. Career wise definitely A.D., but going forward Shady.

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        • aub32

          I disagree. AD is one season removed from coming 9 yards shy of the all time season rushing record. He did that on a team with a worse O line, WRs, and QB than Shady had last year. He was also coming off of an ACL tear. Shady beat him out in 2013. That’s true, but Shady also had a much better O line and DJax making sure teams could only stack the box every so often. Imagine what AD would have done on the Eagles last year. Also, AD can catch. He just isn’t asked to do it as much as backs like Shady Charles, and Forte.

          • who cares aub? why are you getting on homers backs on a philly site just to hold AD’s jock? just say “congrats shady” and keep it moving.

          • aub32

            Sorry I thought this was a football blog where people could discuss football points. If you don’t like what I have to say then feel free to skip past it. I brought up a point relative to both the article and the post I responded to. Feel free to make a point or you can go troll somewhere else.

          • Peterson is still #1, but Shady is in the conversation.

            the thing is, your opinion is no more right or wrong than anyone else’s. No one is dismissing AD. What point are you making other than trying to supersede/invalidate Eagles fans opinions on an Eagles blog? Sad that you get so worked up in the semantics

          • aub32

            Outside of quoting actual stats, everything we all post on this blog is opinion. I did not dismiss anyone’s opinion. I started my post, I disagree. That’s clearly my opinion. Someone else could think Lynch is the best RB in the league. I still disagree, and I have provided my reasoning. Now if you or anyone else want to make an argument for Shady, then feel free. That’s what this forum is for. We can all, as Eagles fans, have a place to discuss our opinions. Again, if my wording doesn’t suit your liking then feel free not to read what I post. And for the record I don’t get all that worked up. This is football. This is my distraction from the things that really get me “worked up”. So how about you chill and stop trying to play post police.

          • Wilbert31

            Do I need to turn the hose on you boys? Fyi – we’re all on the same team.

          • NickS1

            This will be the year we get to see if he can catch or not since Norv likes to get his backs n TEs in the passing game more. As for who’s better, I don’t think it’s cut and dry one way or the other as their styles couldn’t be much more different. AP is 6’2″ 220lbs of pure muscle who’s stiff arm is more powerful than the lowered shoulder of Brandon Jacobs at full speed. That said, no one’s seen a back move like Shady since Barry Sanders (the GOAT in my opinion). I also think that Amar made a good point above, when you got a little bit of offense around AP, his production dropped 30%. So, I’ll take the more complete back going forward, which is Shady. Not saying one is better than the other because AP is going to go down with the better career barring Shady putting up a Tomlinson-like string of seasons until he hits 30. But, right now, I’d rather have Shady, and I’m glad we do.

  • myeaglescantwin

    LeSean McCoy is the shiftiest back i have seen since Barry Sanders.

    This dude makes professional athletes fall down 3 yds in front of him. I saw him make a cut that shook the ENTIRE panthers defense last preseason.
    I think he could get more yds if he wasn’t laughing at people that were trying to tackle him as he runs past them.

    Chip has the most versatile weapon in the NFL. The key stat from 2013 was LeSean leading the league in 4th quarter yds.
    We need to lean on this running game. Get sproles and polk involved early to wear down that D. Then LeSean comes and breaks the game wide open.


    • UncleCarm

      According to one of McCoy’s earlier quotes, its not about wearing them down. He said something to the affect that he sees what they did to defend him the first time, and the second time (on a given play) and with that knowledge he learns how to beat them with that play. That would indicate he needs to be in there early as well as late.

      That Detroit game in the deep snow still amazes me. I’ll bet most of us couldn’t even run full out for 217 yards in that crap. The Eagles conditioning really showed up in that game.

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      • myeaglescantwin

        i’m sure that has a lot to do with it.

        in the Detroit game, it picked up later in the game because we switched to a straight ahead running style. Quick hits. LeSean high stepped his way to the NFL record books in the 4th.

        i’d still error on the defenses getting exhausted chasing this offense around as the biggest factor in his 4th quarter success; rather than his cerebral assassinations on the football field.

        McCoy should get the rock early and often. I wouldn’t suggest he takes every snap though.

      • NickS1

        I’d like to think that when healthy I could run 31 7yd sprints :)

        • UncleCarm

          I’m sure you could, but they weren’t just 7 yard sprints. It was 7 yards up field from the line of scrimmage, plus the yards behind the line, plus all the juking around and being chased by some big dudes, getting tackled, getting up in that crap… just saying, it had to be brutal.

          • NickS1

            I thought it was pretty obvious I was being facetious. It was definitely brutal and in no way was I minimizing the brutality.

          • oooooh, that’s a good new nickname for you– The Minimizer

          • NickS1

            I feel like I’d be too close to Token’s negativity. I don’t want it.

    • himbison

      I would say Shady is the shiftiest back since Marshall Faulk

  • Johnny Domino

    “Josh Paunil contributed to this post.”

    Hope it wasn’t the soccer reference.

  • Andy

    If only our opponent could have signed Donovan McNabb to a big extension before every game, Mike Vick would be headed for the HOF.

  • NickS1

    Sheil must be on vacation again, leaving all the work to T-Mac. Which Josh must be loving since he’s getting to add a lot more.

  • Jim Connolly

    Peters at 67 is a joke

  • mtn_green

    Shady all day. Peterson can’t catch is 5 years older.

    • Andy124

      Shady All Day

      I see what you did there. Hoping that was on purpose.

      • mtn_green

        Oh yeah, that was cut on a dime.

  • Robert Baer

    I don’t know much about AP, but I do notice that McCoy was very impressive in Big Red’s “unconventional run game.” Then he was put into a new system, and kaboom! I believe there is even more to McCoy than we’ve seen so far. I suspect there is more to AP than what we’ve seen as well, but will we ever get to see it? If the coaches maximize the skills of the backs, then we’d know who is the best. I’m partial to McCoy though…. :)

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  • aub32

    AD is still the best RB in the league. Some are confusing Shady being more fun to watch as him being the best. How quickly some of you forget how dominant AD was just a year ago. He could have been just as dominant this year if the pieces around him and coaching weren’t so awful. Shady is definitely in the conversation, but can you imagine what AD would have done with CK and this O line.

    • na id rather not im happy with shady and he will surpass AP? i dont know who AD is.

      • aub32

        So you are fine with calling McCoy by his nickname but have a problem when I call Peterson by his. Peterson’s nickname is AD as in All Day.

        • Amar

          The lack of offensive weapons meant the Vikings depended on him All Day, all the while knowing it will not get them anywhere close to the playoffs and also does not do anything good for the long term.
          When they did find Patterson and the TE, AD’s numbers went down by 30%.
          Thanks to Rotoworld, I wont get destroyed by NickS1 on the numbers.

          • NickS1

            Should I be insulted? I happen to love that stats you just threw out as it will certainly make me push AP as the #1 to my FF league members while I plot a strategy to get Shady.

            EDIT: I have the #3, so it’s between Shady, AP, and Charles, unless someone surprises and takes Manning in the top 2.

          • Amar

            My new found appreciation for the formation of opinion based on facts and numbers.

          • NickS1

            It’s pretty sweet.

        • lol na just not a big AP fan so i really didnt know his nickname which thanks for clarifying is all day “AD” my bad didnt have any issue just that im not imagining one running back over another when the current one on my team is a beast is all… sheesh

    • MattE

      Can you imagine any good RB if they had a good O-Line? Your speaking speculation and not realizing that Shady and AD are COMPLETELY different running backs. The thing people are getting enamored with is the mystique of Barry Sanders and the FACT that no one has looked even close to his running style as Shady does. Barry Sanders was one of the greatest but retired early and statistically was “worse” than Emmite Smith, but if you were to ask me if i would take Emmit or Barry….. it’s Barry all day. If i was the 49’ers i would love AD, in the Eagles system Shady all day.

    • moesus

      Peterson is a better RB in the traditional sense. He’s more physical than Shady and has some moves to go with it. As far as being an overall weapon out of the backfield, I think McCoy is better based on his receiving abilities and the fact that he stays on the field more on 3rd down than AP. I really enjoy watching AP play though. Dude is a freak but I would take Shady in Chip’s system over any other RB in the league.

  • Mr. Magee

    The highlights from the Detroit game, with LeSean high-stepping through and around defenders in the snow, did as much to enhance LeSean’s rep throughout the league as anything else. He was a hot knife on a cold winter day!

  • cliff henny

    what’s the countdown till camp? this is brutal, kind of makes me miss Foles vs Vick and some solid Dutch logical fallicies

    • NickS1

      I think 15 days.

  • jpate

    Here’s a theory I just thought of as to why RBs are so undervalued in the draft. Could it be because in recent times, teams have found studs in 2nd round or later and busts in 1st round. For example Ray Rice, MJD, Shady, Forte, Jamaal Charles, Frank Gore vs first round busts such as Knowshon, McFadden, David Wilson, Felix Jones. Could this be making teams lean towards picking RBs in later rounds? If so that’s just effect of misjudging talent not undervaluing the position. Because if you take any of those stud RBs off their team in their prime their teams would suffer greatly.

    • JofreyRice

      That could be a part of it. I think another big part is the shorter shelf-life. I think the least most teams are hoping for from a first rounder is a “solid” starter that can solidify a position for a number of years, say 8-10. Most RB’s only play for 3-4, and fall off dramatically after the age of 27. So if you draft a senior that is a starting quality runner, you realistically have about 5 years you can get out of him before he starts declining rapidly. As compared to say, DLine, OLine or QB that don’t fall off at the same precipitous rate.

      • jpate

        Good point