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Redskins @ Eagles Week 3 Player Spotlight: LeSean McCoy

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He's no Al-Mo, but he's alright.

Andy Lyons

LeSean McCoy

Running Back

Age: 26

History Against the Redskins

LeSean McCoy has been a thorn in the Redskins side ever since coming to the NFL a few years ago.  Obviously, being a divisional foe, McCoy has a great deal of history in this rivalry and unfortunately, he and the Eagles have gotten the upper-hand more than their fair share of times... so far.  We've face off against one another nine times in McCoy's career and he's made the most of it.  The Redskins are only 3-6 in those games and McCoy has accounted for 697 rushing yards (77.4/game) and four rushing TD's during that time.  We do "hold" him to only 4.2 ypc (as opposed to his 4.7 ypc average for his career), however.

McCoy is also a threat in the receiving game against the Redskins and he averages 5.3 receptions each game against us.  Over the course of our nine meeting he's racked up 451 receiving yards (50.1/game) and a TD.  In addition to his five overall TD's against the Redskins, he also is responsible for one two-point conversion for a total of 32 points.

So, with all that said, what's an average LeSean McCoy game against the Redskins?  18 carries for 77 rushing yards and five receptions for 50 yards for a total of 127 yards and just over half of a TD.  He's pretty good.  Add in Darren Sproles and the 'Skins have their work cut out for them Sunday in Philly.

Form

"Shady" has been pretty great thus far this season, though he's taken on a somewhat diminished role with Sproles eating into his workload.  Over the first two games of the season, he's consistently gotten about 20 carries each game and has stayed between 70 and 80 rushing yards.  He's scored one TD (rushing) this season and it came last game against the Colts.  He's been good for about five receptions a game and gets 20-40 receiving yards.  It's interesting to note that his receiving numbers dipped a little from the 41 he had in game one to the 23 he had in game two.  It's also interesting to note that that happens to coincide with a huge day catching the ball for Sproles.  It would appear that Chip Kelly is using them both a lot, especially in the receiving game.

He's still as quick and elusive as ever though and at 26 years of age, McCoy is smack in the prime of his career.  He's universally thought of as one of the top three RB's in the game and is near impossible to stop.  Based on the Sproles usage thus far, it would seem likely that McCoy will remain fresh throughout the season and not have to carry quite the load/burden that he has for the Eagles the past couple of years.  The Redskins must work to correct their issue of allowing big plays because McCoy is a game breaker.

Skills

McCoy has prototypical size for an NFL RB at 5'11" and 208 lbs.  While not as big and bruising as our Alfred Morris, McCoy wins with speed, quicks, elusiveness, and a shifty running style that leaves defenders stuck to the ground.  Don't believe me?  Check the video.  He's hard to corral.  He's shown the ability to run between the tackles very effectively but where Shady excels most is out in space, and Kelly does a good job of finding ways to maximize his opportunities.  From screens to passes in the flat, the Eagles get the ball to McCoy outside the tackles and let him beat defenders one-on-one.  When running the ball, he does a great job hitting the hole hard and can bounce outside ridiculously quick.  Once alone, McCoy has great speed for a RB.  He can fit into any system and is truly one of the elite backs in the game.  It's a shame the Redskins have to face him twice a year.  We have our work cut out for us.

Potential Against the Redskins

On the bright side, Redskins fans are very lucky to be cheering for a team with a drastically improved defense, especially against the run.  While McCoy will certainly get yards and the Eagles will score points, there's good reason to believe the 'Skins can limit them as good as anyone.  We currently have the #1 defense in the NFL and have the #4 overall run defense.  Last week, Toby Gerhart went off for eight yards on seven carries.  Obviously McCoy is better than Gerhart, but still, that's impressive.

Our defense will certainly be tested by the speed with which the Eagles offense operates, and our DL is limited with the loss of Barry Cofield and possible loss of Kedric Golston for this week.  Chris Baker and Jarvis Jenkins will have to stuff the interior while Orakpo, Kerrigan, and Robinson will be responsible for containing and hanging with McCoy outside the tackles.  It will also be important that the stamina of our defensive players is up to par.  The Eagles offense is designed to wear defenses down with speed until they get winded and the best cure for that is to keep the ball in our offense's possession and let those big guys on the DL get plenty of rest.  Luckily, Jason Hatcher should be in tip-top playing shape now after missing some camp/preseason time.  Expect to see a lot of Ryan Clark and Brandon Meriweather in the box too, as those guys have the kind of quickness to run with McCoy a little bit.  Someone will have to account for McCoy every single play.

Interesting Facts

LeSean was actually born and raised in Harrisburg PA, played his college ball at Pitt, and has spent his entire NFL career with the Eagles.  This guy is Pennsylvania through-and-through.  He's been a Pro Bowler twice and was both the NFL Rushing Leader and the NFC OPoY last year.  He also has a number of Eagles records such as:

  • Single-game rushing record - 217 yards (2013)
  • Rushing yards by a rookie - 606 yards (2009)
  • Single-season rushing TD record - 17 (2011)
  • Single-season total TD record - 20 (2011)
  • Single-season rushing yards record - 1,607 (2013)
  • Single-season yards from scrimmage record - 2,146 (2013)

His nickname of "Shady" was given to him by his mother because he used to have crazy mood swings as a child.  He also went to the same HS as Ricky Watters.  In 2004, LeSean clocked a 4.23 40.  LeRon McCoy, Shady's brother, was a WR for the Arizona Cardinals.  LeSean has one son who shares his name, LeSean Jr.

Also, this month, McCoy got a lot of criticism for leaving a $0.20 tip at a burger restaurant in Philly.  He said service was bad and the restaurant owner said McCoy was "verbally abusive" and made "derogatory comments about women."