One player who has under performed this season for the Philadelphia Eagles is running back LeSean McCoy. After rushing for a career high 1,600 yards and having over 2,000 total yards, McCoy is off to a slow start in 2014.
Through five weeks this season “Shady” has only rushed for 273 yards and averages only 2.9 yards per carry. The Eagles have had their fair share of offensive line issues this year as both Kelce and Mathis have been out but McCoy simply does not look like himself.
On Pro Football Focus, McCoy is the fourth worst graded running back in the league with a -6.7 overall grade. His 2.9 yards per carry is the worst among running backs with over 60 carries. This is a running back that had 5.1 yards per carry just a season ago.
Looking at film it looks like McCoy has lost the confidence that helped him lead the league in rushing last season and it looks like the coaching staff has lost confidence in McCoy.
On the final offensive drive for the Eagles, Darren Sproles came in for McCoy and gain 25 yards on a third and three. There have been conflicting reports about why the Eagles took arguably there best player out in that important situation and didnt put him back in the game.
On an interview with 94.1 WIP-FM McCoy was quoted saying “They called me out. (Running backs coach) Duce (Staley) pulled me out,”
However, according to a report by Pro Football Talk coach Chip Kelly was quoted the same day on WIP-FM saying, “McCoy took himself out.”
McCoy and Kelly don’t seem to have a great relationship, much like the situation with DeSean Jackson. Listening to Kelly’s press conferences he always seems to praise Sproles while criticizing McCoy.
Much like Jackson, McCoy seems to always be in the headlines whether it be because he gave a 20-cent tip or causing trouble on a party bus. Kelly doesn’t like star players who make headlines for the wrong reasons and seeing what happened to Jackson, you can’t help but wonder if the same won’t happen to McCoy.
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History also suggests that McCoy’s best days are behind him. Many times in throughout NFL history if a running back has over 300 carries in year six the next year they fall off the map and don’t ever see the good numbers again. For some it even happens earlier.
Former Chiefs running back Larry Johnson had 416 carries in his fourth year in the league while rushing for 1,700 yards that season. The very next year Johnson only rushed for 559 yards and never rushed for over 1,000 yards the rest of his career. After 320 carries in his 6th year, Priest Holmes, also a Chiefs running back, rushed for 1,400 yards. The very next year he rushed for only 892 yards and was out of the league three years later. The same happened with former Seahawks running back Shaun Alexander who went from 370-1,880 to being out of the league three years later and also Eric Dickerson who after his 6th season of playing 10 or more games and rushing for 1,311 fell off a cliff and only rushed for 677 yards the next season and never saw 1,000 yards again.
This isn’t just a pick and choose between four great running backs, it is a trend. There are exceptions like with everything, but history suggests that even at only 26 years old, McCoy had over 300 carries last season and is on pace for that again. The odds that he has a 1,300+ yard year is not likely.
Come 2015, Sproles and/or others could be good enough in what the Eagles do to justify not keeping McCoy and his $11.95-million cap number. We saw what the Eagles did with Jackson, and the same might be happening to McCoy. According to Chip Kelly he can plug anyone in his system and make it work.
The fact the McCoy was apart of the Andy Reid era and is causing a lot of distractions for the Eagles could mean that the Eagles try to move the star running back.