LeSean McCoy is well aware of what’s at stake for him personally in 2014.
Starring at a position where players peak early and careers can often be cut short, McCoy he is by all accounts focused on making the most of his sixth NFL season.
“I’m 26, I’m young. There’s gonna be times where players [say], ‘I wish I could have did this better. I wish I could have done this, done that.’ And I don’t want to be one of them guys,” McCoy said Wednesday after practice. “That’s why I’m busting my butt to do all the right things, stay in shape, mentally stay on top of the game and being the best. I think if I do that, I’ll take care of the small things and go out there and just play the game the way it’s supposed to be played and the way I play, I should be fine.”
Only seven players in NFL history have accumulated more yards from scrimmage than McCoy before their 26th birthday. Three (Emmitt Smith, Barry Sanders, Marshall Faulk) are Hall of Famers. The other four (who aren’t eligible) are: Ray Rice, Edgerrin James, LaDainian Tomlinson and Clinton Portis.
McCoy’s 1,607 rushing yards in 2013 were a franchise record, and he has a realistic shot at besting that mark this season.
Chase Stuart of Football Perspective did a study and found that running backs peak at 26 – the age McCoy just turned in July. In a few days, he will kick off his second season under Kelly. McCoy led the NFL in carries (314) and touches (366) a year ago. Despite the addition of Darren Sproles, those numbers are unlikely to dip much in 2014.
“A lot of people can say they want to lead the NFL in rushing, but not everybody has the God‑given ability to do it, and he does,” said Chip Kelly. “If he’s going to set goals and aspirations for himself, he has to go out and work for it. and I think he really understands that.
“He had an outstanding offseason and came to camp in the best shape of his life and training every single day out here. I think he realizes this is the prime part of his career. He’s no longer a young player, and he’s in the meat of his career right now, and he’d better take full advantage of it so that he doesn’t be a woulda, coulda, shoulda guy. …There’s a short window sometimes for running backs, and he’s right in the middle of it right now, and I think he’s taking full advantage of it.”
WHAT YOU MISSED
A bunch of national predictions have trickled in. Here’s what they’re saying about the Eagles from Intern Matt.
Is the Eagles’ secondary good enough? T-Mac and I offer our thoughts in our latest predictions piece.
The Eagles appear to be adding a new wrinkle to the offense: the pistol.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Paul Domowitch of the Daily News provides his Eagles-Jags scouting report:
The Jaguars want to run the ball. But that’s easier said than done. They were one of the worst running teams in the league last year, averaging a puny 3.3 yards per carry. They let Maurice Jones-Drew go and brought in ex-Viking Toby Gerhart. Gerhart is a power back with average speed and not a lot of elusiveness. He’s rushed for 1,305 yards in four NFL seasons. Up front, they’re starting a rookie at RG – Brandon Linder – and a journeyman at C – Jacques McClendon – who has played in just nine games in six seasons. Luke Joeckel, their 2013 first-round pick, has moved from RT to LT. The most experienced player on the line is LG Zane Beadles, who was a four-year starter in Denver. The Eagles were very good against the run last year, finishing fourth in yards allowed per carry. Cedric Thornton is developing into a solid two-gap end, and rookie NT Beau Allen is pushing Bennie Logan for playing time.
Geoff Mosher of CSN Philly catches up with rookie tight end Trey Burton:
“I’m a versatile guy that can play a bunch of different positions,” Burton said. “And I’m pretty good at special teams, too.”
Burton, who has family from Bucks County, is the only rookie free agent to make the 53-man roster except for kicker Cody Parkey. In the preseason, he showcased an ability to get open, catching nine passes for 100 yards and a touchdown. Only second-round wideout Jordan Matthews had more catches than Burton and only three other receivers had more yards.
We’ll talk to Kelly at the NovaCare Complex and be back home in front of a TV in time for Packers-Seahawks. Football season is officially here.