LeSean Perspective

Posted: July 9th, 2014 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 88 Comments »

LeSean McCoy is a great RB, but an interesting question is whether he will end up being one of the all-time greats. There is no doubting the fact he has unique ability and does special things. Can he produce at a high level for an extended period of time?

This is where the Andy Reid factor comes in. Did he hurt McCoy or help him with the limited carries?

McCoy is about to turn 26. He has 1,149 career carries. Emmitt Smith is one of the biggest workhorse RBs of all time. When he turned 26, Smith already had 1,630 carries, which is almost 500 more than McCoy. Both players had 5 seasons under their belt at this age. It really is amazing to see how they were used.

Smith had his biggest year in 1995, when he was 26.  He ran for 1,773 yards and 25 TDs. But that was the final season when he did anything special. There were a couple of 1,300 yard seasons after that, but Smith only averaged 4.2 yards per carry and scored a total of 24 TDs. Those are certainly good numbers, but nothing like the special ones he put up earlier in his career. The Cowboy offense was in decline. The O-line wasn’t dominant. And Smith had taken a beating early in his career that caught up to him.

There is still plenty of tread on the tire with McCoy. But you can argue that Reid wasted his best years by not feeding him the ball more. We can’t accurately judge the situation until we see how the next few seasons goes. Does McCoy keep his dynamic cutting ability for the next couple of years or the next 5 years? Once that goes, he’s going to have to change the way he runs.

It is good that Chip Kelly arrived when he did. McCoy is at his peak now, in terms of health and experience. Kelly will feed him the ball and McCoy can put up big numbers if he can stay healthy. McCoy in 2013:

314 – 1,607 – 9 – 5.1

McCoy led the NFL with the 1,607 yards. The yards per carry was outstanding. Any time a workhorse runner is above 5 ypc, that is very impressive. It is a bit curious that McCoy “only” scored the 9 TDs. I’m sure he wants that number to go up in 2014.

One interesting difference with Emmitt and McCoy is the offense they played in. Dallas was a running team. Emmitt finished his career with 11 TD catches. He only had 4 TD receptions when he turned 26. McCoy has 10 TD catches already. The number of receptions is similar, but not the way the players were used. Emmitt was strictly there for screens and checkdowns. McCoy is part of the passing game. One of his best highlights in 2013 was beating Ryan Kerrigan down the right sideline for a long catch and run. That was a beautiful pass play.

McCoy has gotten better each year. He works at his game. He is more disciplined in short yardage situations. As a young RB, he would too often look for the big play. He is now disciplined enough to focus on moving the chains with 1 or 2 tough yards. McCoy runs more N-S than he did earlier in his career. He still takes some crazy chances and does unusual things, but that’s part of his game. You can’t expect him to be like every other RB. He’s got a bit of Barry Sanders to him. In order to enjoy the long runs and dynamic plays, you must live with the ones that don’t work out so well.

His non-traditional running style will help McCoy as he gets older. He doesn’t live between the tackles, where a RB can take a real beating. McCoy is a player that is at his best in space. He’s getting hit by 1 or 2 tacklers and often they are glancing blows instead of head-on collisions. That will save some wear and tear.

I’m excited to see how McCoy does in 2014. This could be another big year for him. If he’s able to string together several big years, McCoy could find himself headed to Canton. He’s got the highlights. Now he needs the stats. McCoy has 5,473 career rushing yards. My guess is that he needs something like 12,000 to feel comfortable about a shot at Canton.

* * * * *

Eagles fans obviously love LeSean McCoy, but do you think he is appreciated across the league as an elite player? I think every person on Earth sees Adrian Peterson as a dominant player and freak of nature. Does the average fan see McCoy as a great RB or just a guy who has some cool highlights?


88 Comments on “LeSean Perspective”

  1. 1 P_P_K said at 12:33 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    “But you can argue that Reid wasted his best years by not feeding him the ball more.”

    I would certianly argue that point. This is THE reason I was glad that Andy left. We had a Ferrari in the garage but would hardly burn the rubber. Shady should be great for a couple more years, maybe even HOF great, but there’s no denying the effects of age. Regardless of the number of touches, a running back will lose 1/10 of a second, or so, as his legs age. This tick of time can be the difference between breaking through the line or getting free in space, and being tackled. I hope and hope he will be some freak of a guy who defies nature. The dude is a thoroubred and a blast to watch play.

  2. 2 Cafone said at 1:48 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    I agree completely

  3. 3 Brian said at 7:11 PM on July 10th, 2014:

    Hes only like 26 years old. On average, players come in to their prime around age 27-28. So expect him to get better. He by far, doesn’t have his best years behind him.

  4. 4 Anders said at 12:50 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    Did AR really misuse McCoy?

    In 2010 he had “only” 200 carries, but he had almost 78 catches
    In 2011 he had around 330 touches and an amazing 20 total TDs
    In 2012 he had around 250 touches but missed 4 games and this was also the disaster year in terms of playing from behind and losing all the time.

    Really only year he was a bit underused was his 2nd season (in rookie year we still had Westbrook) and a bit in 12, but you do not win by running in the 1 quarter anyway and in many games in 12 we was losing big and fast

  5. 5 ChaosOnion said at 1:27 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    I would add that if McCoy had more carries, he would be approaching the end of his NFL life cycle. RBs appear to drop off as they approach 30 years old, but I think that is just coincidental with the number of carries they have. I think saving carries from early in his career has given Kelly’s Eagles and extra two seasons of Shady’s services.

    Only time will tell…

  6. 6 A_T_G said at 3:49 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    I’ve wondered about that. One would have to think that the march of time and training program these guys follow the other six days, and all offseason, must play a more significant role on their aging than whether they get knocked down 15 times or 30 times once a week for a third of the year.

    Can anyone think of examples of late-blooming RBs? Did they last longer into their 30s?

  7. 7 anon said at 3:54 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    I think you’d get another year. But it really depends on that you’re skill is. Are you a power back, then even when you’re old you might have some life as a 3rd down back. But if you’re a CJ2K, i’d be worried. AP is an alien.

  8. 8 A_T_G said at 4:03 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    Sure, career length will be effected by the style of play, but I don’t think that is the question here.

    I don’t think I believe the theory that McCoy will be able to extend his career because Andy didn’t give him as many carries. He was still putting in the work every day, he was still getting hit on Sundays, too. The difference is that instead of trying to juke the LBs and avoid the big hit he was stepping in front of blitzing LBs with a head of steam to protect the QB.

  9. 9 Ark87 said at 4:52 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    Yeah, it’s more about snaps than carries. Running backs get contact on every down (at least they’d tell you that, technically they occasionally get to sit in the flat as a check down once in a while, but still).

    It will be interesting to see play out. His style seems to save him from big hits. But it also seems like a minor step backwards due to aging would have a pretty big impact on his effectiveness. He hasn’t had a major injuries to date, that should help. Then who knows about sport’s science. A lot of premature aging is the result of the accumulation of wearing down more than you can recover during the week. Emphasis on recovery may help a running back’s longevity resemble the other athletes on the field. So much to guess at, so little to base it on. Will be interesting to see it play out.

  10. 10 Neil said at 8:52 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    I wouldn’t underestimate what the game does to these people. What would happen if you got in a car wreck 15 to 30 times over 3 hours? It’s remarkable the players hold up as well as they do. Practice is not like that.

    I’m definitely not saying that limiting McCoy’s touches will extend his career though. In my opinion and limited experience, that is mostly decided by quality of nutrition and training regimen. These bodies get WRECKED on a weekly basis whether the guy got 20 or 25 touches. You need to supply the materials to heal with and make doubly sure your training regimen is not in some way interfering with recovery.

  11. 11 Froogal Stoodent said at 10:34 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    Late-blooming RBs? There aren’t many; the Bills’ Fred Jackson is a contemporary example

  12. 12 Sconces said at 1:03 AM on July 10th, 2014:

    When you looked at it statistically yeah McCoy got his carries, but I don’t think he was used in the right situations. Like one example was AR subbing him out for Brown in goal line situations last year. I don’t think Reid looked at him as a guy that could carry the ball 3 times in a row.

  13. 13 eagleyankfan said at 7:36 AM on July 10th, 2014:

    Frustration is how I’d explain AR use of Shady. Near the goal line — put the ball in the best players hand. A lot times, Shady never touched the ball and we settled for field goals.

  14. 14 Dell24 said at 1:07 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    Interesting article Tommy. I never thought of Shady as being the all time leading rusher. For now I am just enjoying him in his prime, hoping it will last as long as possible. Not sure how others view him.
    Type of offense may dictate or hinder some runners. It does not seem to effect McCoy. I remember Emmitt as one tough dude, but he was a N-S runner with very little shiftiness in his game. I think he was fortunate to stay healthy almost his hole career and is the leader by sheer volume of carries.
    No way would I take Emmitt over Payton or McCoy. It should be mentioned McCoy is largely gaining his yards without the benefit of a fullback; Smith had one of the best in “Moose” Johnston.

  15. 15 Cafone said at 1:24 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    Re: “do you think he is appreciated across the league as an elite player.”

    I remember watching highlights in a bar outside of Philly two years ago and a Saints fan said “Wow, he’s the best RB in the league right now.” And yes, that was 2 years ago, pre-Chip Kelly and not a particular good “numbers” year. Shady makes people say “wow” when they watch ESPN highlights. People know about him.

  16. 16 anon said at 1:30 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    Think Shady, like Barry, will be remembered for highlight reel skills, instead of running between tackles, dragging guys to 2,000 yd. seasons every season and being an all around beast like AP.

    System is great for shady, though honestly i think we’ll see him run more in open space instead of juking duds out of their socks. Think Kelly is trying to get him to run smarter instead of relying on juke moves. Worse for the highlight reel, better for longevity.

  17. 17 austinfan said at 1:58 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    McCoy is not a workhorse back like AP. Reid used him correctly, you could make the case that Chip overused him last year and needs to cut back his carries a bit and use Polk and Sproles.

    McCoy is best in space, which limits his hits, but also means he depends on quickness and agility, not power, so he needs fresh legs to be effective. And you can’t just look at carries, McCoy catches a lot more balls than Smith did.

    You don’t want McCoy running for tough yards, you want Polk doing that, you want McCoy to get to the second level and do the jitterbug.

  18. 18 Cafone said at 2:09 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    Maintaining one of the the highest pass to run ratios in the history of the league when you’ve got one of the best running backs in the league is not using him correctly.

    Most RBs in the NFL last three years. You need to use them when you’ve got them. Shady is entering his sixth season. You can’t sacrifice wins in the hopes that you may get an extra season out of him when he’s 30.

  19. 19 anon said at 2:19 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    Don’t think it would have made a difference.

  20. 20 Anders said at 2:24 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    In 2011, McCoy had over 330 touches and had 20 TDs, how is that misuse? How is getting almost 80 catches on the best receiving RB in the NFL a waste?

    Also in 2010, we did know McCoy would be this good. In 2010 he was good, but not 2013 or 2011 great

  21. 21 Cafone said at 3:34 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    You are making an argument against misuse, but your evidence is about quantity. They aren’t the same thing. Andy Reid had one of the best running backs in the league and ran the ball less than anyone in the league.

    If you disagree that this was misuse of his personnel, make some arguments that don’t include the work “touches” or rely on McCoy’s receiving stats.

    One of the things we always hear about Kelly is that he tailors his schemes/calls to the talents of his personnel. My point is that Andy Reid did not do this. He “misused” McCoy’s talents to fit his system.

  22. 22 Neil said at 4:05 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    Are you really equiped to make a schematic point? I’m asking, do you really know enough about football that you can conlusively say Reid used his player wrong? I don’t, and I suspect most if not all people here don’t. We could even probably debate if Tommy does because nobody who did would be sitting here writing about the eagles on the internet. They’d be coaching in the NFL and would have probably coached a team to at least 5 NFCCGs or on the cusp of doing so.

    Anyway, try this statistical argument. McCoy’s lowest YPC of his entire career, subtracting his rookie season and 2012 when we lost 4 offensive linemen, is 4.8 Not much of a farcry from the 5.1 he put up under Chip in one year. So while it’s true that Andy’s teams passed A LOT, and I would even agree with you and many others that they passed too much, McCoy still got a lot of carries and was extremely effective with them. Andy Reid may have run the ball less than anyone else, but he also subbed out his number 1 less than anyone else.

  23. 23 Cafone said at 4:09 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    Yes, I am equipped to say that one of Andy Reid’s biggest problems was that he did not run the ball enough.

    And frankly I don’t think I am going out on a limb here.

  24. 24 Neil said at 4:18 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    It’s a good thing you’ll never have an opportunity to embarass yourself trying to justify that opinion to Andy Reid himself.

  25. 25 Cafone said at 4:29 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    You never know… I could fail spectacularly at my job and be forced to look for work in some mid-western hellhole like Kansas City.

    Besides, I think we’ve all seen Captain Obvious bumble through non-explanations for his lack of a ground offense enough times to last a lifetime.

  26. 26 Neil said at 4:32 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    Yeah, but you wouldn’t turn a 2-14 squad instantly into a playoff team with Alex Smith as your QB.

  27. 27 anon said at 9:18 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    That team was stacked with pro bowlers when he got there. Not saying he didn’t do anything. He got a decent QB who gave it to one guy 75% of the time. The D almost outscored the offense (reminds me of seattle’s 2012 team).

  28. 28 Neil said at 10:51 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    Yeah, no disagreement from me. That’s a talented D, but they don’t have much more than a solid oline and gamemanager at QB, a great RB but little at WR and TE. And before the rash of injuries to their pass rushers, they had the best record in the league, didn’t they? Pretty easy schedule too, but Reid got that team to finally take care of business. The last two coaches had had almost the same personnel and were total fiascos.

  29. 29 P_P_K said at 4:32 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    And you wouldn’t be alone. Here’s Trot:

    “If it came down to both teams were even, talent-wise, I think the opponent’s team would win if it came down to coaching. Andy Reid got out-coached in a lot of games, man, a lot of big games. Time outs, running the football, you know.”

    “As a defense, we understood we passed the ball too much,” Trotter said. “You know, there’s times we’re sitting over there like, ‘Man, listen. Just get us a couple of first downs so we can get a break.’ And I’m sure it frustrated Jim Johnson also.”

  30. 30 Media Mike said at 9:21 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    Can somebody interview Trotter about all of the big runs he gave up by flowing past the correct gap and allowing the runner a big cutback lane for a 20+ yard game?

  31. 31 Anders said at 7:05 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    So it was misuse that we used the best RB in 2011 to get 17 rushing TDs on him?

  32. 32 Cafone said at 7:54 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    let’s see… 2011…

    Week 2: Eagles go into 4th quarter leading the Falcons by 10 points. McCoy runs 3 times for 23 yards. Mike Kafka throws the ball 10 times. The Eagles lose 34-31.

    Week 3: Eagles go into 4th quarter leading the Giants by 2. McCoy runs 3 times for 16 yards. Vick throws once, is hurt, then Mike Kafka throws the ball 8 times.

    Week 4: Eagles go into 4th quarter leading the 49ers by 6. McCoy runs 1 time for 1 yard. Vick throws the ball 16 times.

    Week 5: Eagles lose to Buffalo. McCoy rushes 11 times for 80 yards… You’d think a 7.3 yard average might warrant more carries, but you would apparently be wrong.

    Weeks 6-7. The Eagles win two in a row! How you ask? LeSean McCoy carries the ball 58 times for an incredible 311 yards.

    I’m not going to do the whole season, but you get the idea. The Eagles went 8-8 and failed to make the playoffs for the first time in years.

    In the Eagles’ wins, McCoy played in 7 of them and averaged 22 carries. In the Eagles’ losses, McCoy averaged under 15 carries a game.

    If anything, 2011 was a perfect example of a coach not understanding his talent and misusing it consistently enough to miss the playoffs.

  33. 33 anon said at 9:21 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    Same thing happened in 2013 when mccoy didn’t get the ball.

  34. 34 Media Mike said at 9:23 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    Falcons game:


    Thanks again to Jamar “please kill yourself immediately” Chaney for his non-coverage and giving up of two TDs right over his hopefully soon to be decapitated head.

  35. 35 P_P_K said at 9:53 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    How cruel of you to bring up those memories. I hated 2011. The Year of Danny Watkins, Casey Matthews, Howard Mudd, Jim Washburn and, last but not least, our new DC.

  36. 36 Sb2bowl said at 2:24 PM on July 10th, 2014:

    Didn’t mind Mudd, everyone else can vanish.

  37. 37 CrackSammich said at 4:13 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    The argument could be made, and make it Reid did, that they passed so much *because* Shady was so effective when they gave it to him. As in, If you know the running game will get it done, you can waste two downs shooting for the home run ball and still get the first down.

  38. 38 Neil said at 4:32 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    And this is optimal strategy. The eagles have generally had very good lines over the years. If you have a line that can reliably block for 3 seconds, YOU GO DEEP. Chip Kelly, Captain WR Screen, comes in and inherits the same personnel, and, while he did add a new emphasis on the run, this team passed deep with fury.

    I don’t think it would have mattered what play Reid called when we lost 80% of our line. And the rest of our problems in the final Reid years were matters of discipline and heart. Not scheme.

  39. 39 Cafone said at 4:37 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    You are really neck deep in revisionist history here…

    Do you completely forget about the offensive line complaining about the exhausting effects of so much pass blocking and how they wished that they could run more plays that allowed them to show off their real strength: run blocking?

  40. 40 Neil said at 4:40 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    I tend not to argue with success.

  41. 41 Cafone said at 4:49 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    Well, yeah, you are arguing with success here. You are arguing with the success of Chip Kelly who is playing LeSean McCoy differently and having a lot of success doing it.

    If you are trying to make the argument that “Kelly and Reid might have used McCoy very differently, but both methods are equally as successful and good,” then I disagree.

    No, Reid wasn’t so horrible that he turned LeSean McCoy into Dion Lewis. But he certainly didn’t maximize his ability, as so many people thought at the time and who have since been vindicated by seeing McCoy play under a different coach.

  42. 42 Neil said at 4:57 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    Get back to me when Chip Kelly has won a playoff game.

    I like Chip Kelly, though. I definitely think he could be a better coach than Andy Reid was for us. How “misguided” could Andy Reid’s offense be though considering that from 2000-2010 he was easily a top 5 coach? Sure, it petered out a little sourly after that. It’s sad all good things must come to an end. But the problems with those teams after 2010 had at least as much to do with injuries, bad player acquisitions and a lack of character than Reid’s “misguided” schemes and misuse of his players. So what if McCoy averaged like 30 less carries per 16 games? That’s less than 10% of his carries under Chip for one year. That’s hardly a justification to pronounce Reid a fool who couldn’t tell how to use his best players, even if we ignore the fact that Reid is a great coach who had massive success here, easily the best coach in eagles’ history.

  43. 43 Cafone said at 5:03 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    If Chip Kelly continues to face a weak NFC East like Andy Reid, then this talk of Andy Reid being the best coach in Eagles’ history will be a distant and faded memory in a few years.

    If Andy Reid had to contend with the NFC East that Buddy Ryan faced, he would have found himself coaching another team after a few years, as an assistant QB coach.

  44. 44 Neil said at 5:06 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    I don’t deal with hypotheticals.

  45. 45 Randy said at 7:00 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    That’s pretty weak.

  46. 46 Anders said at 7:08 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    How can we know how ARs teams would have done against a better division? That fact that we made the NFCCG 5 times, where Ryan couldnt even win 1 tells a different story (it means the Eagles had to play well outside of just the NFCE to win games)

  47. 47 Neil said at 8:12 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    I look at his hypothetical and think wow, can you imagine what Reid would have done with Randall Cunningham, the only QB in history who rivalled Vick’s gifts, in his prime? With Reggie and the gang on defense? I can tell you what, Randall wouldn’t have fizzled out so pathetically in Philly with Reid mentoring him.

    You see how I can just project my perceptions onto a hypothetical, and then nobody can prove me wrong? Yeah, this seems like a fruitful exercise, and it’s definitely not the move of someone who has already lost the debate.

  48. 48 Sb2bowl said at 2:30 PM on July 10th, 2014:

    I think Dion could have been a good #2 for us (not poopy)—-

    From what I remember, Tommy said he had some off the field issues; mostly, he would prank ‘ole Danny Boy by tripping the fire alarm when the team was at the hotel when traveling. Danny got so confused, he notified his own next of kin because he was getting killed on the field due to his horrible technique and lack of football skills.

    Oh, what could have been. I think Big Red should just use his draft picks on every kid that comes from The university of Cincinnati ……..

  49. 49 John Paine said at 2:20 AM on July 10th, 2014:

    “The good is the enemy of the great”… Just because it was very good at doesn’t mean it couldn’t have been great instead… Andy Reid was gifted a whole lot of defensive talent by Ray Rhodes, and had one of, if not the, greatest defensive minds of the decade to coach it. I’ll give him credit for running a locker room that guys love to be part of while still maintaining discipline (the first 2/3 of his time here at least), but he also:

    Insisted on running an offense based on passing efficiency despite not having a particularly efficient QB.

    Insisted on putting as much weight as possible on that QBs shoulders, despite the fact that on multiple occasions he made much less talented QBs look just as good simply by running the ball more (i.e., every back up during McNabb’s career except Mike McCoy).

    Refused, during the formative years of that QBs NFL career, to get him anything approaching a starting caliber WR to throw to, despite insisting on throwing the ball more often than ANY OTHER TEAM IN THE LEAGUE every year during that stretch. Thus stunting said QBs development.

    … And that’s just how he mishandled Donavan. That’s not even talking about his inability to make second half adjustments, inability to get plays in on time (thus wasting time outs), or poor clock management otherwise (both not using timeouts well when he had them AND doing a poor job of controlling the clock with a late lead). Andy was an excellent coach from Monday to Saturday, but was mediocre at best come game day.

    “Appeal to Authority” is a logical fallacy. Feel free to read the Wikipedia article. Then maybe you’ll understand that just because Andy had very good success here doesn’t mean that he was infallible. In fact, I’d say his greatest flaw was the fact that he always seemed to be trying to prove that he was smarter than everyone else. He had OBVIOUS flaws in his “game”, but he refused to ever take a step back and self criticize. If he ever had, we’d probably have a couple of Lombardi’s to show for those 14 years.

  50. 50 Sconces said at 2:17 AM on July 10th, 2014:

    How the hell is he not a workhorse back? Because he doesn’t ground and pound or isn’t physical or a bruiser? That’s like saying Sanders wasn’t a workhorse back. McCoy got over 300 carries and had the 2nd best YPC in the league. Chip used him like AR should have been.

  51. 51 Mitchell said at 1:58 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    I’m worried about the day we dnt have LeSean anymore because odds are, the next RB won’t be as special as he is. I am definitely appreciating what he does now and can’t wait for next season when I jump off te couch at some of the stuff he does.

  52. 52 anon said at 2:02 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    If you’re scheme relies on his juke moves you’re not much of a coach.

  53. 53 Mitchell said at 2:38 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    You’re right, McCoy isn’t that special….. In all seriousness, I think Kelley and McCoy enhance each other. It’s not a one sided matter.

  54. 54 Birds4Life said at 2:16 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    Idk, I think we are really lucky in the RB department. We went from Duce to Westbrook to McCoy. I think we have had nice RBs for awhile now. But yeah, can’t wait to see what McCoy can do this year!

  55. 55 Media Mike said at 9:26 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    LOL @ Duce. You need 1 yard, Duce will get you 3. You need 5 yards, Duce will get you 3.

    Ricky Watters was vastly superior to Duce and should have been the guy we used to bridge to Westbrook.

  56. 56 Birds4Life said at 8:28 AM on July 10th, 2014:

    Duce wasn’t at the same level as the other 2 but I still liked watching him. I thought he was perfect for Philly.
    I will always remember Ricky Watters for his alligator arms and the quote “For who? For what?”. He can go suck it!

  57. 57 ztom6 said at 1:49 PM on July 10th, 2014:

    How many ypc did Watters average again? He was the same kind of back as Duce. The guy they goofed on was Charlie Garner.

  58. 58 Mike Roman said at 3:05 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    Shady would need 1200 yards a year for 5.5 more years to put him at that 12,000 mark. That’s just crazy to think about. The way running backs are used these days, it’s hard to imagine him even getting that opportunity. If a RB doesn’t break down by the age of 28, they’re generally pushed out the door for salary purposes or they have their work load lightened.

    Frank Gore is entering his 10th season and is still over 2000 yards shy of 12000. Man, I can’t stand Emmitt Smith but it’s hard not to respect what he accomplished. I just did the math and he basically ran for 1200 yards a year for 15 years. How in the hell do you do something like that?!? Interesting side note, he rushed for 937 yards his rookie year and 937 in his final year.

    Back to McCoy, what are the minimum requirements to make him an all time great? I think averaging 1200 yards per year is a fair bench mark. That’s what Smith did. Dickerson averaged over 1300 per year. Sanders averaged over 1500. As it stands now, he’s falling short of that benchmark. But in fairness, he was used sparingly in his rookie year and he’s only now hitting his peak.

  59. 59 Cafone said at 4:57 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    I don’t ever see McCoy being classed with the all time greats for the statistical reasons you mentioned, but if he continues at his current pace for a few more years I think he has a very good shot at the Hall of Fame.

  60. 60 Media Mike said at 9:27 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    The difference is that you can’t just use rushing yards when talking RBs, the true benchmark is yards from scrimmage.

  61. 61 anon said at 9:28 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    yeah he’s a 21st century RB.

  62. 62 Media Mike said at 9:34 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    As Bettis continues to not get in the HOF, more writers will catch up to what the HOF voters already know; if you’re career starter from Walter Payton on you had better have some passing game value or you’re not getting in the HOF.

    Emmit Smith is the only HOF running back from the past few decades to get in the HOF without any real strong passing game contributions. Martin, Faulk, Sanders all were 3 down backs.

    A string of 1500+ yards from scrimmage seasons from Shady can really help build his profile.

  63. 63 Mike Roman said at 8:28 AM on July 10th, 2014:

    Yeah, I was just going off of Tommy’s 12,000 yards comment. As I was typing that I thought about Marshall Faulk as being a better measuring stick for Shady. Then I looked up his stats and realized he also had over 12,000 career rushing yards and nearly 20,000 yards from scrimmage. That’s insane.

    I don’t know what combination of yards / total yards / TDs will get it done for McCoy to get HOF consideration. One thing is for sure though, he’s going to need at least 5 more REALLY good years.

  64. 64 mtn_green said at 3:28 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    Shady is by far the most fun running back to watch.

  65. 65 CrackSammich said at 4:06 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    Gotta root for the home team, but Giovanni Bernard is even more fun.

  66. 66 CrackSammich said at 4:18 PM on July 9th, 2014:


  67. 67 anon said at 9:30 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    Nah, no way was that better than the pre-season run against Carolina, I almost ran out of the house. That Gio run was the product of good blocking, I could have done that s**t and i’m fat.

  68. 68 CrackSammich said at 11:51 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    You and I must be watching different plays, because this one started as a sweep to the right where two different lineman missed their blocks. Gio broke two tackles, then reversed ran to the other side of the field missing another tackle. From there? Sure, good blocking. Almost looks like a designed screen. But only for like 20 yards. Then he got the last bit on his own by dodging two more tackles.

  69. 69 Baloophi said at 4:19 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    I wonder if it’ll be harder to make it to the HOF for “today’s” RB’s. As defenses get faster, the effective shelf life of a RB gets smaller, meaning racking up HOF numbers (or what are considered HOF numbers now) will become harder. Also, with the rules favoring passing offenses it seems fewer and fewer teams are “run first” in the traditional sense.

    RE: McCoy being a better receiver than Smith – will “effectiveness as a pass-catcher” be factored into HOF bids, or will it hurt RB’s by diluting their rushing yards?

    Lastly – to your point about people around the league respecting McCoy’s game – I think we’re once again in the Catch 22 of Chip Kelly’s “magical” offense. McCoy (like Foles) is sometimes considered the product of the scheme. For every “look at that cut!” observation from a commenter, I feel like there’s also a “I could run through that hole!” one. The ironic thing is that while people are often willing to discredit the talent in favor of the offensive scheme, they also refuse to credit Chip Kelly and point toward the talent – “I’d look like a genius, too, if I had LeSean McCoy.” Can’t win in Philly!

  70. 70 Media Mike said at 9:28 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    If you look at aggregate pro bowls and all pros for any given guy, that tends to hold up no matter what the era.

  71. 71 Cafone said at 4:24 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    Can we really judge McCoy’s “wear and tear” based on the fact that he played his first years in Andy Reid’s bizarrely misguided offensive system that seemed to compulsively avoid his players’ strengths? I seem to remember him doing a hell of a lot of blocking. Perhaps blocking isn’t quite as damaging as running the ball, but it’s not like Shady was relaxing in the locker room in a hot tub.

  72. 72 GEAGLE said at 9:10 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    Actually blocking really really wears on RBs.. This comes into play with 3rd down backs like Sproles who people think bodies haven’t been beaten up… 200lb RB repeatedly crashing into 250lb LBs to keep them from murdering up it QB takes it’s toll, more than usually accounted for…
    Think Westbrooks blocking was what really beat up his body, according to his former team mates..

  73. 73 Media Mike said at 9:29 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    Great point, but I think Westbrook already came into the NFL with to catastrophic injuries; one in HS and one at Nova.

  74. 74 Toby_yboT said at 5:33 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    Huge McCoy fan here, naturally.

    I think McCoy has the potential to become a great, but only if he works at it. He has a lot of room for improvement, and I mean a lot. On some level it’s a question of personality, it takes a certain type of man to look at himself and realize that even though he’s doing amazing things, he still sees his own shortcomings.

    Westbrook made a comment on McCoy that I personally agree with, about the way he finishes his runs. McCoy creates great moves at the LOS where things are crowded, but he gets down field where he already has room, and he’ll cut it back again and lose a bunch of potential yards because of the cutback. This isn’t like the issue he has at the LOS, to hit the hole hard vs. cutting back, because in that case it works out for McCoy more often than it backfires. At the end of his runs, I’m tempted to say always, get’s tackled right after he cuts back. Since it was Westbrook who made the comment I’ll mention that Westy picked up a nasty stiffarm later in his career, and Shady could really tack on some yardage to his long runs if he learned to run towards the sideline while pushing off with a stiffarm. Instead he bounces it back to the middle almost every time.

    I’m choosing not to dive much into his short yardage problems, because I’m betting they’ve already been discussed.

  75. 75 Jernst said at 5:55 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    The one area stat-wise that McCoy seems to struggle is TDs. Except for 2011 he’s had very avg td numbers. I think the one thing that keeps him from being on that next level is his straight line speed. There’s a lot of times he breaks off a huge run and gets caught from behind inside the ten yard line. His numbers would be astronomical if he could convert some of those big opportunities into TDs rather than just yards. He’s a great goaline back tho when we need 1yd for a score.

  76. 76 Joseph Dubyk said at 6:20 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    I don’t think McCoy at this peak is anywhere near Peterson at his. Close, but no. I actually think Brian Westbrook was the better talent overall. Westbrook’s talent was HOF, he just wont have the stats. I think McCoy could get in, also consider that as a whole, RB stats are declining. More RBs are going by committee or just not getting a lot of carries thanks to a pass-happy league.

  77. 77 Mitchell said at 8:37 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    Has Lane been officially suspended yet? I don’t see anything on line. Do suspensions usually take this long?

  78. 78 Neil said at 8:38 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    No, they really don’t. This is indeed suspicious. Dion Jordan’s didn’t leak at all; the NFL just came out and said he was suspended.

  79. 79 GEAGLE said at 9:01 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    KC Cheifs player and Redskins DBs have had their suspensions for failed drug tests officially announced too after the Lane rumor…so ATleast 3 players failed tests were confirmed, still no word on Lane.. Fishy..but whatever, we get him back for week 5 against the rams top rated DL, that’s all I really care about…we can start the year 3-1 without Lane as far as I’m concerned…but def fishy

  80. 80 anon said at 9:53 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    He’s probably appealing. But agree, suspicious.

  81. 81 GEAGLE said at 9:05 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    I will judge shady this year on one thing and one thing only…..him and our OL actually showing up in the playoffs… FOles and the pass game were better than Shady and the run game against the saints,,,and that should NOT have happened in FOles first year…. I need to see shady do SOMETHING in the playoffs….0-2’so far, THAT NEEDS to CHANGE THIS YEAR..and shady and the OL, need to be a big part of the playoff win..

    Every defense tries to shut down the run in the playoffs….the great ones, run wild regardless… need to see the strength of this team have a BIGTIME showing in the playoffs this year.,Marshawn and the Seahawks answer the bell in the playoffs. If we are going to take that next step as a team, shady needs to get over his playoff hump….once we win a playoff game, WATCH OUT, I think we will get hot….but if we lose in the first round of the playoffs again, than it starts to become a monkey on our back situation….so we need to run our way to a playoff win this year!!!

  82. 82 Media Mike said at 9:30 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    That was frustrating.

  83. 83 Ark87 said at 9:40 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    good points. As dominant as this run game has been at times, it could go into witness protection at times, not just in the playoffs. It doesn’t always need to be dominant, but it needs the lean times to be somewhat productive.

  84. 84 anon said at 11:25 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    true for all aspects of the offense. hopefully that will change. sometimes we don’t have the right gameplan.

  85. 85 Ark87 said at 9:37 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    My 2 cents:
    Path’s to the hall come in many varieties. As best I can muster, you must have at least 2 of 3 things: Overwhelming stats over time, narrative, do something/have something people only see once a decade or greater.

    I’d like to explain my premise for narrative. A lot of people can make up for being simply good in the other categories with a strong narrative. What’s your story? Achievements? Were you instrumental to something great? Super bowls come to mind immediately, but also the general concept of transcendence. As time blurs memory, a player’s narrative can take over and turn a man into a folk hero.

    I think Shady is in a solid place right now for this point in his career. Something special may be brewing in Philly to add to a nice narrative so far. The personality/ smile, the nick name, the making people fall over looking dumb, 4th quarter take-overs, the snow bowl, the rushing title. 4 more seasons with a good narrative could do it. The stats could end up among the greats and be good enough. And attribute wise he will also be compared to Barry but not be considered quite as good. In my opinion Barry has a more versatile and efficient quickness than Shady. It seemed like he could juke and spin any direction, multiple times a play and all day. I do think Shady’s cut is more explosive and different enough from Barry that it could stand on it’s own though.

  86. 86 anon said at 11:25 PM on July 9th, 2014:

    rings is another easy way to HOF, in combination with something else.

  87. 87 eagleyankfan said at 7:48 AM on July 10th, 2014:

    A bit of Barry Sanders? I’m not sure anybody makes more people miss than Shady. I mean — complete whiffs. I think he has a lot of Barry in him.
    I’m always a believer that when near the goal line — you give the ball to your best player. The elite RB’s will get fed the ball 3 times. If you don’t make it, well, you put your team in the hands of your best player so you did give all you can. Under Chip though, even with Shady, the offense itself is the best player. AP will always get his number called. Eagles offense, say from the 4 yard line. Who’s getting the ball? Could be Shady, could be Foles or Mac or Ertz or Cooper or me(hey, anything is possible). Point is, you can’t line up and stop Shady consider that a great game plan.

  88. 88 unhinged said at 10:07 AM on July 10th, 2014:

    All this blah blah about AR and CK and LeSean is a minutia-laced, walled-in argument. Reid worried more about using weapons than he did about matchups. Reid’s reliance on Jim Johnson AND his ignorant drafting of defensive players over 12 years calls into question his value as a HC. On the other hand, because Kelly is a matchup junkie, he is determined to build a defense that can win a matchup game by disguising and masking and fooling QB’s into false reads and mistakes, and he wants a few studs as well to pound people. Reid was pretty clueless about how to orchestrate a defense, and he was fortunate to land on a team that had an NFL class unit that he could totally ignore (as he did in Philly when JJ was there).