Philadelphia Eagles News

McCoy's Greatest Challenge Waits At Lehigh

The contract part, well, that was never really a concern. The Eagles have an excellent history of signing their draft picks in plenty of time for training camp, so getting second-round draft pick LeSean McCoy to agree to terms on his rookie contract is no surprise. But it is nice to have it out of the way, and it clears a path for McCoy to have the most exacting test of his young life starting Sunday, July 26.

That's when rookies and selected veterans report to Lehigh University. That's when McCoy continues a full-scale effort to get ready for his rookie campaign, when the Eagles' coaching staff gives him day-after-day tests like he has never experienced in his body, in his mind.

The Eagles need McCoy to be ready from go. Yes, Brian Westbrook is the starting halfback and there are all kinds of positive thoughts about where he is going to be when September rolls around, but until the Eagles have him ready and on the field, the young rookie from the University of Pittsburgh is going to be a big part of the offensive show. McCoy and Lorenzo Booker are going to take the majority of the practice reps in camp and through the preseason games and both are going to be seasoned and set for the regular season ... should they perform in practice and in games.

Here is one argument when maybe you can appreciate four preseason games. Doesn't McCoy need all the work he can get to see as much as he can see before the season starts? That's why getting his contract done -- as the Eagles did all through the day and into the night on Monday -- was so critical.

McCoy is the seventh of eight draft picks to get their deals done with the Eagles, leaving only No. 1 pick Jeremy Maclin still out there. It should only be a matter of time, right? Dot the I's and cross the T's, although I'm sure there is much, much more to do in that department. But the Eagles are way, way ahead of the game here. Maclin, it is assumed here, will be done in plenty of time for the players meeting on July 26.

In the meantime, McCoy can proceed without any kind of financial worry hanging over his head. He can stay in his playbook and know that for the first three days of camp, he is the guy at halfback, and that he will learn a tremendous amount. Through all of camp, McCoy will have to show great physical and mental endurance, and he will have to be smart and tough and fast and everything the Eagles think he can be. McCoy already has a taste of the offense -- he saw significant reps in the spring.

This time, the tempo will be a tough higher. The play will be much more physical, of course. And one of the main projects in camp will be to make sure McCoy is ready to go. The front office got the contract part down. Next up is the coaching staff's classroom and practice fields, where Ted Williams will drill McCoy and prepare him for duty.

McCoy has to be ready. There are no two ways around that. The Eagles have a lot of things going on here, and one of them is making sure McCoy is good to go. It's something to watch very closely at Lehigh.

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