Eagles Wake-Up Call: ‘I Know Who I Am’
LeSean McCoy did his best to demonstrate patience for about seven minutes Wednesday afternoon, but when the 13th question was fired his way, he had to finally put his foot down.
The Eagles running back stood at the podium outside the NovaCare Complex for his weekly media session after practice. He fielded query after query – different angles, but the same topic: Why can’t the Eagles get the ground game going?
“Listen man, listen, listen, listen,” McCoy said, interrupting the reporter. “I’m not gonna keep answering the same question. You keep asking about the run game. He just asked the same thing about watching tape. I just told you. I’m not gonna keep talking about it.”
It’s fair to say the frustration has reached a peak. McCoy has carried 70 times for 192 yards. Of the 25 players with at least 45 carries, only Donald Brown (2.0) has a worse yards-per-carry average than McCoy (2.7).
In the offseason, McCoy talked about how he was the best running back in the league. He drew praise from the coaching staff for being in the best shape of his life. He predicted that having Darren Sproles by his side would keep him fresh.
But now, McCoy is running behind a makeshift offensive line. Chip Kelly and company have maintained that the running back is doing all he can. Still, some are questioning whether he’s healthy and whether there will be brighter days ahead.
“It’s definitely frustrating, just knowing what type of player you are and you want to put the numbers up,” McCoy said. “And the other part is if teams do come in and try to stop you and they’re successful with it, that’s another frustrating moment. But then again, I know who I am. I’m still confident. I know what I can do. So it doesn’t really bother me that much. We’re winning games. We’re 3-1. At times, it can be frustrating, but at the end of the day, I know who I am. That stuff can only go so far to be frustrating.”
Winning and losing really does seem to matter to McCoy. After the first three games, even though his numbers weren’t great, he seemed to be in good spirits, knowing it was only a matter of time before he got things going.
But things are a little different now. The 49ers were able to slow him down without stacking the box as much as the first three opponents, and the Eagles left San Francisco with their first loss. McCoy will be likely be without Evan Mathis and Jason Kelce for at least four more games. There’s no guarantee that things are going to improve in the next week or two.
“I’m confident in my game. I know who I am,” McCoy repeated. “The teams that we play, they know what type of player I am. So that doesn’t bother me. I can’t answer the reason why we can’t get the running game going. And I’m not going to. I’m not going to fight that battle. It is what it is, and hopefully it changes. I still prepare the same way. That doesn’t bother me at all. I’ll act and say the same way I would last year. There’s no difference in there.”
The Rams are allowing teams to gain 5.1 YPC against them, and they are giving up 155 rushing yards per game.
Maybe McCoy will get going on Sunday. And if not, he’ll be forced to field the same questions yet again next week.
WHAT YOU MISSED
An in-depth All-22 look at the Eagles’ offensive issues.
Josh Huff says he ready to go. Chip Kelly disagrees. T-Mac on the state of the Eagles receivers.
Kelce sets a target date for his return.
Is the defense getting over-worked again like last year? McManus asked around.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Jeff McLane of the Inquirer talks about Nick Foles‘ woes with the deep ball:
The Eagles quarterback is throwing far more deep passes than he did last year – and far more than any other NFL quarterback this season – and he’s having less success completing those attempts than he did last season.
“I’ve definitely just tried to take some shots, try stretching them out a little bit,” Foles said Tuesday. “I need to be a little bit more accurate. That’s what I’m working on this week. . . . Delivering the ball to the guys to where they can go make a play, not where the ball lands in front of them.”
Paul Domowitch of the Daily News has his scouting report up:
The absences of three starters up front has wreaked havoc on the Eagles’ ground game. They’re averaging just 3.6 yards per carry. LeSean McCoy has just 192 in four games and is averaging a puny 2.7 yards per carry. He’s had nowhere to run, and on the rare occasions when he has, he hasn’t been decisive. Forty-nine of his 70 carries have gained two yards or less. He has had one run longer than five yards (9) in the last nine quarters. The run game is a big part of Chip Kelly’s offense. The Eagles ran the ball 47 percent of the time last year, the fifth highest percentage in the league. In the first four games, though, that number has dropped to 36 percent. Against San Francisco last week, just 12 of the Eagles’ 56 offensive plays were runs. Getting RT Lane Johnson back this week from his PED suspension should help a little. So should playing the Rams, who are 30th in the league against the run. They are giving up 5.1 yards per carry and have had a 100-yard rusher against them in each of the first three games.
We’ll talk to Kelly and the players at practice this afternoon.