As promising as his rookie season was, LeSean McCoy's sophomore campaign in 2010 really put the NFL on notice as to how good the Eagles running back can truly be. McCoy led all NFC running backs with 5.2 yards per carry, led all NFL running backs with 78 receptions (which was also a team-high) and was fourth in the league in yards from scrimmage. McCoy's numbers improved across the board, as did, perhaps more importantly, his blocking ability.
While the credit for the step up surely goes to McCoy for his tireless efforts in his first offseason to bulk up and get in the playbook, quietly a former Eagles star running back was constantly in McCoy's ear urging the youngster to keep pushing.
Duce Staley was a coaching intern for the Eagles in 2010 and spent a lot of his time working with the running backs, specifically McCoy. Staley impressed head coach Andy Reid so much in that role that he was later promoted to special teams quality control coach, a role that will also allow him to continue working with McCoy. What was Staley's impression of his protégé from the University of Pittsburgh? The answer might surprise you.
"His talent is unbelievable," Staley told CSNPhilly.com. "I've said it before and I'll say it again, he has a chance to definitely be better than myself and (Brian) Westbrook put together. If he continues to stay hungry on that goal, and he will, he'll be a special player."
Certainly high praise, though, with all due respect to Staley and Westbrook, you can see Staley's point. McCoy's production in his first two seasons is unprecedented in Eagles history. His 1,717 rushing yards are the best for any Eagles running back in his first two seasons, as are his 2,617 yards from scrimmage (DeSean Jackson is second in Eagles history with 2,312 yards from scrimmage in his first two
Of course, McCoy has a long way to go before he can really be in the same class as Staley and Westbrook, two of the franchise greats. The good news is that both Staley and Westbrook have been willing to help McCoy along the way.
"Playing with Brian, I learned a lot about all the ins and outs of the position," McCoy said of his rookie season. "After working with Duce this year, I realize that Brian has a lot of Duce in him. Some of the same things I learned from Brian were reinforced by Duce, so being able to work with those guys has been huge in my development."
With Staley on board and another season of improvement ahead, for McCoy, the sky's the limit.
-- Posted by Bo Wulf, 2:00 p.m., February 18