It was certainly appropriate that during the press conference to announce that he would remain in the City of Brotherly Love through at least the 2017 season, LeSean McCoy's most heartfelt thanks went out to his older brother LeRon.
I want to thank "my older brother for just being a great role model since I was a little boy," said McCoy, "just showing me the ropes in not only being an NFL player but doing the right things and letting me follow his footsteps, not getting in trouble, going to college and doing the right things."
LeRon, 30, was in attendance for the press conference and was obviously thrilled for his younger brother.
"We just keep talking about it's kind of surreal," said LeRon. "We came here earlier today knowing that there was going to be negotiations. We didn't know they would hammer it all out. We knew it was close, but close became done. So it's very surreal for us right now."
The elder McCoy has been a benchmark for young Shady for a long time, first paving the McCoy road to the NFL as a wide receiver after a standout collegiate career at Indiana (Pa.). Though LeRon's NFL career ended with 18 catches for 191 yards and a touchdown, it was more than he expected. Like any good older brother, his eyes were always on his younger brother.
Lesean "said to me, 'Man, can you believe what we did?'" LeRon recalled after the press conference. "I was like, 'Honestly, I never thought I would make it to the NFL. It wasn't in my dreams to do it. But I've always known you were going to be in the NFL.' He was like, 'How'd you know,' and I was like, 'I just knew.' It's something you just know. His high school coach told me the same thing, the first day he saw him, he was like, 'Wow, he's different.' I think that's what it is. I knew he would be good in the NFL, I didn't know he would be as good as fast."
Even now, the two keep in constant contact and LeRon still serves as LeSean's biggest shoulder to lean on.
"We talk every day," said Leron. "I love to tell people that I'm the first person he calls after a game. That's huge to me. He knows that I'll shoot him straight, like today you sucked or today you were amazing or you missed this. so that's always cool. I never was the player he was, so it's hard for me to pinpoint when he doesn't do something great. I just love the fact that he still respects my opinion."
As LeSean sat alongside Andy Reid and Howie Roseman with an ear-to-ear smile, talking through a banner moment for he and his family, LeRon was quietly enjoying the scene from his seat in the audience, relishing the journey his younger brother has taken to becoming, reportedly, one of the three highest-paid running backs in the NFL.
"I'm ecstatic," LeRon said. "This is big for him. Second to him being drafted, this is a big moment for him. He's excited. He's been smiling all day since he got the call."
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