LeSean McCoy has never lacked confidence.
Through the highs and lows that come along with a six-year NFL career, the Eagles' running back has attacked every game with the same tenacity. McCoy is coming off of his best game of the season in which he ran for 149 yards against the Giants, but the Arizona Cardinals' top-ranked run defense looms large this week. Still, McCoy says that he keeps the same confident approach entering the Eagles' Week 8 matchup.
"Obviously it was a good game and we ran the ball well, but I still feel the same way that I did before this year," said McCoy. "I feel like we have a good team here and I think we can run the ball well and we have the right guys up front to do it and the right guys in the backfield. It was a great game and we gashed them but I always feel the same way before games (coming off of) the 20-yard games or the 150-yard games. It doesn't make a difference."
Something that could make a difference on Sunday is the possible return of both Darren Sproles and Chris Polk to the Eagles' offense. Polk (hamstring) was listed as a full participant in Wednesday's practice report and Sproles (knee) was a limited participant, and though it's still a mystery as to whether or not the duo will be able to play on Sunday, McCoy will be ready either way.
"With Darren or with Chris (in the lineup) I still get a lot of carries," McCoy explained. "I play a lot. Hopefully we get those guys healthy. I think with Darren it's just seeing how he feels and with Chris, it's the same way. I would love to have them though.
"Especially with Darren, he takes another dimension away from the offense as far as all of the special things he can do running the ball and catching the ball on different routes, and even with special teams. Anytime he has an opportunity to get the ball, it can be something big, so I think that having him in there would be something big for us."
The Cardinals' defense has already shut down notable runners like Washington's Alfred Morris (41 yards) and San Francisco's Frank Gore (10 yards) this season, and McCoy is well aware of the tough task at hand of running against the Cardinals' formidable front.
"I'm sure they'll try to key out and take the run away, but we've just got to play ball," McCoy said. "They're a good team. They play well together, which is so impressive about that defense, the way they utilize their players ... They play fast, they're a physical group and they do tons of things with the blitz, so it'll be a good game.
"They run a lot of blitzes ... so I'm anxious to see how they play us, a team that's fast tempo that runs a lot of different plays and formations. We send a lot of different things at defenses, so I'm waiting to see how they play us."
As the Eagles look to establish the running game out in the desert, perhaps they will turn back to a strategy that proved to be effective against New York. In the 27-0 win, quarterback Nick Foles lined up under center more than in any previous game, and according to McCoy, that tactic played a role in his resurgent performance last week and could once again be a part of the Eagles' attack.
"I think what makes me a good back is vision," McCoy explained. "I think being under center, I'm about seven and a half yards deep, so I can see everything happening. I'm the farthest guy from the game all the way in the back, so if a guy has leverage on a block or if he gets beat, I can adjust to it and jump in and out of holes.
"That really helped out (against the Giants) just because I think sometimes under center you can see it better - see the cuts better, the lanes better. If there's pressure you can adjust to it and kind of move the way you want to move, where in the gun you're already kind of going sideways and if there's a little pressure, it kind of knocks you back off of your course. Under center you can get back to it, so if you get knocked off, you can get back and you can see different things."