McCoy part of Philly's youth movement
The Eagles have gone with a youth movement on offense, and LeSean McCoy will be one of the young players expected to step up. Our Dave Richard caught up with him to get his thoughts on an interesting offseason in Philly.
LeSean McCoy rookie season was a success in some ways -- he finished 2009 leading the Eagles in carries, rushing yardage and rushing touchdowns and tacked on 40 receptions for 308 yards.
A positive? Yes, but McCoy knows there's much more to do. After all, the 155 carries for 637 yards and four scores pale in comparison to other rushers last year, and especially Philadelphia rushers of the past.
With a year under his belt and the starting job willed to him following the release of Brian Westbrook earlier this offseason, McCoy is ready for his sophomore season, though he stresses it won't be a piece of cake.
"It's never too easy," McCoy told CBSSports.com regarding preparing for 2010, "but in some aspects it is, knowing what [the coaches] expect and what I need to do. Actually, running with the ones (first-team offense) this year is going to make it easier."
McCoy said his goal this season, aside from winning the Super Bowl, is to top 1,200 all-purpose yards, a reasonable challenge since he had a shade under 950 total yards last year. Those are his expectations, but what are the coaches looking for?
"A lot, especially with the Eagles," McCoy explained. "They expect you to kind of pick up every protection, and that's a lot for a man because if you saw Brian Westbrook he did a lot of catching the ball and being outside with the wide receivers and running the ball, so it puts a lot of pressure on the running back. But the good thing is we've got Leonard Weaver , who's done a good job, and Mike Bell , so I feel comfortable."
It's a good thing he is, because there is plenty of anxiety in Philadelphia following the trade of Donovan McNabb , paving the way for Kevin Kolb to start at quarterback. It's a topic McCoy has been talking about a lot since the deal with the Redskins went down, but when asked "The Kolb question" instead of "The McNabb question," McCoy was all smiles. After all, like Kolb, he's a big part of what he calls "the future team."
"I think Kevin has always shown great potential," McCoy said. "He's young, he's very smart -- if I ever have a question I always ask Kevin, he knows what's going on. He's a great player, so a lot of people this year will see what he's made of."
"I think it was very big [for the team to] trade McNabb, but you could kind of see it. I mean, I don't think you trade a player like that if you don't think [his replacement] is good enough. And obviously Kevin was the backup, so he has to be pretty good to do it. He knows when to check out, check different plays, run the ball, throw it. He's a good quarterback -- anywhere else he could start."
Ask McCoy about the state of the Eagles' offense now -- a unit that includes fellow burners DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin as well as quality tight end Brent Celek -- and he smiles even brighter. He knows he'll never see eight-in-the-box on defense.
"That's the good thing about it," he said. "As much as we throw the ball, and with everyone spread out to different areas, it's going to be tough to stop us. Celek, D-Jack and Maclin ... we'll be tough."
McCoy is happy about his situation, though there's one aspect Fantasy owners won't be thrilled with. In most of Brian Westbrook seasons in Philly he didn't share the ball much because of how explosive and versatile he was. McCoy has to prove he's as explosive and as versatile, and that's going to be hard to do with Mike Bell taking some of his reps.
In fact, McCoy said he fully expects Bell to shoulder the short-yardage work, which means goal-line touchdowns will go to the veteran, not the second-year standout. Not that McCoy minds.
"I think Coach Reid is a fair coach, and the good thing is that we've got Weaver and we've got Bell for the power game," he said. "Bell did a great job in short yardage with the Saints. So I think we got him for short yardage and to handle that, which is fine because I'm all about the team."
Then McCoy gave one last grin.
"I guess I've got to break some long ones then."
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