Anytime you compare a modern NFL player to a Hall of Famer, in the immortal words of Walter White, you should “tread lightly”. That’s exactly what Philadelphia Eagles offensive coordinator Pat Shumer did last week when he was asked to compare the Eagles current running back LeSean McCoy and former Detroit Lions legend Barry Sanders. Despite some reservations, Shurmur has noticed some similarities.
“Growing up in Detroit, I watched Barry. He was one of my favorite players. He was out of sight. There was times when the o-line coach might say it was perfectly blocked, but you saw four guys in the hole, he’d find a way out of it. I think LeSean has some of those same characteristics by being able to make people miss. I think there’s some comparisons there. Let’s talk about those things after the season.”
As for the end of the season, McCoy could very well end up being the NFL’s leading rusher. Through Week 12, LeSean was still ranked number one in rushing yards with 1,009. But that’s just a mere twelve yards more than Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson, last year’s league MVP, offensive player of the year and leading rusher with 2,097 rushing years.
As for any Barry Sanders comparison, McCoy has along way to go. Not only is Sanders a Heisman Trophy winner, but he was also invited to 10 Pro Bowls, named rookie of the year, two-time league MVP, and a four-time NFL leading rusher. He amassed an amazing 15,269 rushing yards in just a ten-year career.
McCoy is currently in his fifth season and has a career total of 4,875 rushing yards. The final answer is: There is only one Barry Sanders.