It’s Saturday again Eagle fans, which means NFL owners, players, officials, fans and even hardworking sports writers like myself are taking the night off. Being a football fan has been stressful lately, to say the least, and every now and then it’s good to step away from all the litigation and rumors and speculation and anxiety and anticipation and chill for second. To sit back, take a breath, and try to remember to good times. To remind ourselves why we’re all fans in the first place.
And even if we don’t know exactly when it will happen, it seems like a pretty sure bet there will be football this year after all. So until we know exactly how it will all shake out, how free agency and rookie contracts and the preseason will look when all is said and done, the best we can do right now is just get psyched. It’s coming. Football is coming.
This week, we’re highlighting one of the most underrated skill players in the National Football League. Last season Shady racked up 1,672 all-purpose yards on only 285 touches (5.2 yards per carry and 7.6 yards per reception), adding another 82 in the playoff loss to the Packers. And he did it from the backfield of one of the most pass-happy teams in the league, behind a quarterback who took 100 carries of his own.
But Shady’s value to the Birds has nothing to do with numbers. When you watch this highlight, take a look at the down and distance for a lot of these plays. 4th and 1, 3rd and 4, 3rd and 8…McCoy knows where the markers (and the endzone) are, and he’s getting ridiculously good at finding them when it counts. He’s not just a shifty, quick back who finds holes and breaks off big runs every now and then. He’s a closer now too, and a damn good one. I’m predicting a huge year for the former Panther in 2011, and by December they’ll stop calling him a “Westbrook clone” and just start calling him Shady.