Blast Andy Reid all you want. Here’s a few simple facts: The man wins, he knows how to develop quarterbacks, and he really knows how to draft running backs. The man he selected in the second round from Pitt during the 2009 NFL Draft is no exception. No, LeSean McCoy has been nothing but a delight since the Eagles drafted him and in 2010, his second season, he took many positive steps forward.
McCoy rushed for a total of 1,080 yards and seven touchdowns over the course of his sophomore season. When running with the ball he showed a knack for rarely going down at first contact and was one of the league leaders in tackles broken at the line of scrimmage. He showed incredibly fluidity of the hips as he left many defenders looking silly in his trail.
However, beyond just the rushing statistics, McCoy proved to be arguably the best pass catching back in the league. McCoy posted 78 receptions for 592 yards and two touchdowns. Only 12 players across the entire league caught more passes than McCoy and the next closest running back only caught 66 (Arian Foster of Houston).
However, the most encouraging thing about McCoy wasn’t the numbers. The numbers are certainly impressive, but what they don’t show is the amount of game clinching or clutch runs that he made. In the first meeting with the Giants, McCoy was bottled up most of the game. However, at the end, he was able to rip off a game winning 50 yard score. To seal the game, he then ran for 40 yards on a drive to run out the clock. Later in the season, he effectively chewed up the final four minutes of game clock against Dallas to crush any hopes of a late comeback for the Cowboys.
Behind McCoy, quite frankly there wasn’t much to look at. At the beginning of the season, the second running back was Mike Bell, a free agent acquisition from the offseason. However, it wasn’t too soon into the season that Bell was sent to Cleveland for Jerome Harrison in a running back for running back trade.
Harrison showed flashes of brilliance when he rushed for 109 yards and a touchdown in the 59-28 route of the Redskins in Washington. For the rest of the season, he only posted 130 yards and no touchdowns. For reasons beyond comprehension, he became an afterthought in the offensive attack. He was passed over in goal line situations by the fairly small wide receiver, Chad Hall. Harrison proved to be one of the true head scratchers of the offense in 2010.
Sitting behind him was Eldra Buckley who rushed for a whopping 67 yards and had another 10 yards receiving. Hall of Fame stuff right there folks, Hall of Fame.
Well, LeSean is the real McCoy (I really couldn’t resist). Behind him, anything could happen. Jerome Harrison and Eldra Buckley are both slated to be free agents this offseason. I don’t expect there will be much of a market for Buckley and I am not opposed to the Eagles retaining him.
In all honesty, he is a solid special teams player and that’s really all you’re looking for in a third running back. Now, Jerome Harrison is a different story. I can see Harrison drawing interest from some teams that need a jump start to their rushing attack and if he gets the chance to start, I see him taking it.
So what will the Eagles do? My instincts tell me that whoever the Eagles add will likely come from the draft. My instincts further tell me that said pick likely wouldn’t come until the mid to later rounds. There’s simply too many other needs, and the Eagles are fairly set at running back.