LeSean McCoy talked quite a bit in training camp and the preseason about how he used this past offseason to build up the strength in his lower body. Well, last Sunday, the Eagles saw that talk put into action as McCoy rushed for 120 yards and three touchdowns, both career highs, on 16 carries in Sunday's 35-32 win over the Lions.
"There's a kid that came in as a rookie, needed to add more strength, he added more strength in the offseason, really bought into the offseason program, worked his tail off and it's showing up now. He's going out and he's running more physical," head coach Andy Reid said. "He's more deliberate and accurate with his cuts, seeing the daylight and getting North and South, which you have to do in this league. Going sideways in this league, like he did a little bit last year, doesn't work."
A prime example of McCoy's ability to break tackles was on the 46-yard touchdown run early in the fourth quarter. Lined up in the shotgun alongside quarterback Michael Vick, McCoy took the handoff and as he got through a seam between the tackles he broke an arm tackle from a linebacker and then leaped over a defensive back before he was off to the races. According to Pro Football Focus, 99 of McCoy's yards on the ground Sunday came after first contact which shows that he's much tougher to bring down.
"I worked hard in the offseason and it's paying off a little bit," said McCoy, who was named the FedEx NFL Ground Player of the Week. "A lot of the credit goes to the offensive line for giving me the opportunity, making some holes so I can get through there."
The line has been criticized for its pass protection early this season, but McCoy lavished the big uglies with nothing but praise for their work up front.
"They've been excellent, opening some holes, reading the defense preparing the whole week and going out there and dominating," McCoy said. "They've been excellent so far."
A year after setting the team's rookie rushing record, McCoy has 155 yards (6.7 yards per carry) and four touchdowns this season. McCoy is the first Eagles running back to have three rushing touchdowns in a game since Charlie Garner in 1995. And with Vick in at quarterback, those numbers may only continue to grow.
"I think so. When you have a player like Michael, you have to be aware of what he's going to do," McCoy said. "I think it's definitely opening up some lanes for us."
And McCoy has put himself in a great position to take advantage.
-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 5:40 p.m., September 24