Rookie LeSean McCoy will begin his quest to climb the depth chart when the entire team practices for the first time on Thursday afternoon. Remember that this practice is closed to the public. The first open full-team workout is on Friday.
But as the full-team practices get underway, McCoy will be the backup to Lorenzo Booker as Brian Westbrook continues to rehab from his ankle surgery. McCoy looked outstanding in the rookie and selected veteran practices. He looked like he knew his assignments. He was very smooth in how he caught the ball. He appeared to put very little effort in his change of direction. McCoy said that his cutting ability is a "God-given gift," but he also picked up a few pointers from his idol Barry Sanders.
"So much comes to my mind when you talk about him," McCoy said. "Shaking seven defenders, cutting on a dime. He made it look so easy. You're talking about one of the best, man. The way he perfected his game. I'm sure a lot of running backs (will tell you) one of their favorites is Barry Sanders."
McCoy has the ear of another Sanders-like player in Westbrook. The two live in the same suite at the Lehigh University dorms and have gotten to know each other quite well in the last few days.
"He's clean, man. He's real clean," McCoy said. "I'm more of a younger pup where I leave my bed unmade. I'll leave my clothes on the floor. He always has to be on time. His bed is made up. Everything's clean. Everything's neat. His Gatorade and water are in line."
As good as McCoy has looked in these shorts and shells workouts, he needs to be just as dynamite when the pads go on. His pass blocking ability is going to be the difference between him being an impact player as a rookie or a benchwarmer.
-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 2:30 p.m., July 29