Eagles’ LeSean McCoy Entering The Elite
ASHBURN – LeSean McCoy was considered undersized and unprepared when he chose to leave Pittsburgh after his sophomore year and enter the NFL Draft.
It didn’t take very long for McCoy, now in his third year, to prove those labels didn’t fit.
The 5-foot-11, 208-pound running back ran for 1,080 yards and seven touchdowns for Philadelphia a year ago. They were not spectacular numbers, but they were good enough to shed doubt that McCoy could handle the rigors of being an every-down back.
“I thought LeSean McCoy was one of the best backs in the league last year,” said Washington Redskins linebacker London Fletcher. “He didn’t make the Pro Bowl, but we thought he was one of the elite running backs in the National Football League, and this year, he’s even better than he was before. A very shifty guy.”
McCoy’s explosiveness puts him unique company amongst the league’s other running backs. But he fits right in with the Eagles, who, with Michael Vick and receivers DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin, have four playmakers who can cause any defense trouble.
“Probably the best back in the league,” Redskins head coach Mike Shanahan said. “You can argue if it’s [Minnesota’s Adrian] Peterson or it’s him. I know one thing, any time they touch the ball, they’ve got a chance to go the distance. Not too many people can do that.”
The Redskins haven’t had much trouble against the run this season, ranking sixth in the NFL by allowing 84.5 yards a game. But they also haven’t seen a back like McCoy, who has rushed for 443 yards and five touchdowns – the first Eagles player to have one in each of his first give games – and also has caught 19 passes for 110 yards and two more touchdowns.
“He’s an elusive guy with great speed,” said Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett. “He’s a cutback runner that can make a lot of things happen. He’s scary with the ball in his hands. He’s like the receivers. He’s got great speed and can make a lot of things happen.”