Zone Read: Eagles-Giants, the Day After
Note: Because Chip Kelly is addressing reporters early Monday morning (8:30 a.m.) and we’ll have news from the players as they clean out their lockers, this is an abbreviated version (now updated!).
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — With 4:40 left in the fourth quarter and the Eagles backed up deep in their own territory, LeSean McCoy took a handoff to the left and was tackled after a 4-yard gain.
He hit the turf at MetLife Stadium, landed awkwardly, and the game was stopped as Eagles medical personnel helped McCoy to the sideline. He turned out to be fine, and Chip Kelly said afterwards that McCoy could have even gone back into the game. But after an Eli Manning interception virtually secured an Eagles victory, there was no need for him to return.
At that point, as he watched the final seconds of the 2014 season tick off the clock, McCoy said he wasn’t thinking much about his future. But afterwards, at his locker, the 26-year-old fielded multiple questions about whether he’d return in 2015.
“I don’t know how they think,” McCoy said. “I just know that as a player, they know what I can do, what I’m willing to do. They know what type of production I’m gonna bring, so we’ll see. I really can’t control it. I can’t. [Drew] Rosenhaus can’t. The only thing I just think is honesty, that’s all. It’s hard to get in this business, but just honesty. We’ve got great people upstairs, from Howie [Roseman] to Coach Kelly and Mr. [Jeffrey] Lurie for sure. So I’m just waiting to see how it plays out. I’d be lying if I said it never flashed in my mind cause it happened to Jacc [DeSean Jackson] off his best year, so you never know. But then he went somewhere and got paid.”
McCoy finished the season with 1,319 yards on 312 carries (4.2 YPC). Per Over The Cap, he’s due $10.25 million in 2015 and carries a cap hit of $11.95 million. Both numbers rank second at the position, behind only Adrian Peterson. McCoy has been a productive player for the Eagles since they drafted him in the second round back in 2009.
But if last offseason proved anything, it’s that nothing can be ruled out with Kelly.
“It’s something you think about. You definitely do,” McCoy said. “Especially just the couple of years in a row, I’ve been playing at a certain level. Different things may happen, and I think from the outsiders to you guys, nobody cares who’s hurt. Nobody cares what’s the problem. They see the numbers. You show me 17 for 26. That’s what matters. I’ve learned that. So it don’t matter what happens or why it happened. It is what it is. That’s what I’ve learned. So saying all that, I’ll say you never know. Some of them days, you do think of stuff like that because I am human. And in this league, nothing’s guaranteed.”
Would you be willing to restructure your deal?
“It depends how they want to do it,” said McCoy. “It depends. I love this team. I’ll do whatever it takes. There’s things that I can get better at. I feel good. I feel young. I’m still productive. So it depends how they want to restructure it. We’ve got some time for that. It’s one thing to try and overlook it, but it is a business. I know that. You can’t get any way round it.”
McCoy has been careful to accept blame and not criticize his offensive linemen all season. But clearly, the injuries up front were the biggest reason for the inconsistencies in the run game.
Defenses having another year to scheme for Kelly was also a factor.
Asked specifically about his relationship with Kelly, McCoy said: “I have a good relationship with Chip. He’s the boss. I move when he moves since he’s got here. Whatever he thinks or says, I go with it. So I think our relationship is cool. The best thing about him is he wants me to be great, he wants me to be better. And that’s what I like about him.”
In the coming weeks, Kelly and the team’s decision-makers will review what went right and what went wrong in 2014 before formulating a plan for the coming months.
The guess here is McCoy will stay put. He’s young, talented and durable. It’s not like the Eagles have a franchise back waiting in the wings (at the current moment, at least). It’s just 31-year-old Darren Sproles and Chris Polk, who has had trouble staying healthy.
But until Kelly says definitely that McCoy will be back (which could happen as soon as Monday morning), the shifty running back will continue to wonder what the future holds.