Eagles Wake Up Call: McCoy And the Star Theory
LeSean McCoy believes he burns a little too bright for Chip Kelly‘s liking.
Speaking with the Inquirer’s Jeff McLane at the start of the Bills’ offseason training program, McCoy offered his take on why he is starting anew in Buffalo rather than returning to Philadelphia for a seventh season.
“I don’t think he likes or respects the stars. I’m being honest,” he said. “I think he likes the fact that it’s ‘Chip Kelly and the Eagles.’
“It was ‘DeSean Jackson – a high-flying, take-off-the-top-of-the-defense receiver.’ Or ‘the quick, elusive LeSean McCoy.’ I don’t think [Kelly] likes that.”
This was McCoy’s first time really speaking out post-trade, and it’s not surprising that his comments towards Kelly had a little bite to them. He was heartbroken when he learned the news, which was delivered by his agent rather than his former head coach. (Kelly has since called him twice, according to McLane, but McCoy has yet to return his calls.) He is a prideful person and that pride has been pierced. That needs to be taken into account when digesting these quotes.
That doesn’t mean there isn’t some truth in them.
Is Kelly star-averse? That might depend on what your definition of a “star” is. The DeMarco Murray signing suggests he has room for high-profile, top-end players on his roster. The idea that he is concerned about maintaining top billing or shies away from elite players seems off base.
What might be more accurate is that he is looking for a specific type of standout — one that is low on ego and steadfast in dedication to the Kelly way. That doesn’t exactly describe McCoy (or Jackson). Kelly is looking for north-south both in terms of running style and commitment to the plan, you could say, and McCoy by nature has some east-west tendencies.
The question is whether Kelly has enough wiggle room built in to allow for the eccentric to be eccentric and for the artist to have an independent voice. Outliers by definition fall well outside the line…so where does that leave them when you’re asking f0r a single-file formation?
“I think [Buffalo] is a more NFL type of feel,” he told the NFL Network. “Being with Coach Reid for so long, you get used to something like that. Your coach is a player’s coach; the NFL type of personality, atmosphere in the locker room, around the facility. And for two years in Philly it wasn’t like that as much. Not in a negative way, but it was just different, and it was more like the college feel. It was kind of cool because I only did two years at Pitt, so it worked out,” he joked. “But being back to the NFL type of scenery, I like it. It let’s the players become players, be players, have your full personality and letting it show without it becoming an issue.”
Again, there are hard feelings involved, which likely impacts the commentary. And both money and running style were among the main driving forces behind the trade. But the fact remains that the team’s two biggest personalities — both of whom were a bit too large for Kelly to contain — were sent on their way in back-to-back offseasons. And it’s fair to wonder whether that type of star has a place in Kelly’s universe.
WHAT YOU MISSED
Sheil takes a look at the idea of the “second-year leap” and Kelly’s philosophy when it comes to rookies.
Will the Cowboys pull out all the stops in their pursuit of Adrian Peterson?
A profile of UConn CB and combine stud Byron Jones.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Thompson, the reigning Paul Hornung Award winner as the most versatile player in the country, showed off his all-around game, showing impressive agility and speed in linebacker and defensive back drills. There is still plenty of debate as to where the six foot, 228 pounder fits in best in the NFL but it won’t be at running back. He was asked to work out at that position Thursday but declined. Thompson spent last night dining with San Diego Chargers linebackers coach Mike Nolan and is going out tonight with members of the Carolina Panthers.
Thompson has either visited with, worked out privately or is scheduled to with seven other clubs: the Atlanta Falcons, Cleveland Browns, Dallas Cowboys, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts, Minnesota Vikings and Philadelphia Eagles.
Geoff Mosher of CSN Philly looks at the value of USC WR Nelson Algholor.
The 20th-overall pick is probably too high, but Kelly has very specific scouting criteria and he might be less interested about the round valuation for specific players and more concerned about getting the guy he wants, within reason.
If Algholor is Kelly’s guy, Kelly might consider trading down in the first round to select the receiver without reaching deeply and adding another pick. He could also consider moving up in the second round like he did last year to get Matthews, but in that scenario he’d have to give up a pick.
Third round seems out of the question. It’s a strong and deep wideout class but Agholor has too much talent and no character red flags to plummet into the third round.
We’ll round up what the national media are saying about the Eagles.