Head coach Chip Kelly had to wait a few extra days before he could test-drive his new sports car.
Running back LeSean McCoy made his preseason debut on Thursday night against Carolina. And with one sudden move, McCoy made jaws drop and sparked reaction from fans on Twitter as animated GIF files of his brilliant run popped up all over the social media universe.
It was a first-and-10 from the Carolina 28-yard line with 3:45 left in the first quarter. McCoy took the handoff from quarterback Nick Foles and bounced to the outside on the left. Cornerback Drayton Florence squared up, but McCoy slashed back to the right side so quickly that Florence fell not once, but twice. Guard Todd Herremans pulled on the play and shoved linebacker Thomas Davis, who bounced off Florence and twirled around like a ballerina. It was a 21-yard gain that signaled McCoy is going to be just fine with Kelly at the wheel of the offense.
"It's just one of the things you feel. It's really hard to describe it," said McCoy, who added he should have scored on the play.
McCoy showed no lingering effect from the knee injury that kept him out of last Friday's preseason opener. In the Eagles' 14-9 win over the Panthers, McCoy had 47 rushing yards on eight carries and another three catches for 16 yards. McCoy scored on a 1-yard run to the left side late in the first half. With room to roam in Kelly's spread attack, McCoy enjoyed putting the coach's teachings into action for the first time.
"I think everything Coach Kelly has taught us and told us about this offense is honest and he was correct as far as the fast tempo and getting the defense off-balance. It's hard for them to get their defensive calls on because we're going, we're going, we're going. We're fast," McCoy said. "I think the tempo is definitely effective. I think also when you execute and you know what you are doing it's effective. If we minimize the small mistakes and kind of focus in on capitalizing on all of our plays, we'll be fine."
Missing practice and playing time is different now for McCoy than in previous years. McCoy admitted that he was rusty and embraces getting more work in the remainder of the preseason.
"In this type of offense, it's so different because we go at a fast tempo, a fast pace. You want to get that conditioning as far as running where the tempo, play after play after play. It's crazy because I saw how tired the defense was. Imagine if it was four quarters with this type of tempo. It shows you how effective this offense will be," McCoy said.
What makes the offense tougher to defend, in McCoy's estimation, is how balanced it is.
"I think when you run the ball enough, they don't know what's coming. We're so spread out where it can be a run play that turns into a pass. Every question teams want to ask us, we have answers for. I'm just happy to be a part of it," he said.
McCoy joked about how his fantasy football draft position wasn't as high as it was a year ago coming off of his 20-touchdown, All-Pro season. With Kelly dusting off the turbo-charged engine Thursday night, McCoy is set to reclaim his spot among football's elite, in real life and fantasy.
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