LeSean McCoy led the NFL in rushing this year, which is kind of like saying Peyton Manning had sort of a solid season offensively.
McCoy finished with 1,607 rushing yards. Runner-up Matt Forte, meanwhile, finished with “just” 1,339 yards. McCoy also had 52 catches for 539 yards (his most since 2010).
We’ll call this “The Chip Kelly Effect.”
“In the beginning, it was so crazy,” McCoy said on The Morning Show. “Chip’s coming from college and Coach Reid (had been there) for 14 years. (Reid) had the whole laid-back role. He let his older vets kind of run the show and he was in the back. With Coach Kelly, he’s upfront with everything. He’s like the player.”
The Eagles were the talk of the NFL town after exploding for 26 points in the first two quarters of the Kelly era – on prime time, no less. The Eagles beat Washington 33-27 that night, but they lost their next three games. They won their next two against the Giants and Buccaneers, but then they lose two more – scoring a combined 10 points.
There were serious doubts about Kelly’s offense working in the NFL, but Philadelphia won seven of its final eight games to win the NFC East.
“Once we really just settled down and kind of bought in to what Chip Kelly was offering,” McCoy said, “it worked out.”
It also worked out because Nick Foles was one of the best quarterbacks in the league this year. Stepping in for an injured Michael Vick midway through the season, Foles, 25, finished with 27 touchdowns and two interceptions.
“He’s a good quarterback,” McCoy said. “Nick is really good. He’s smart, he’s intelligent, he makes the right reads and he’s low risk. If he feels like there’s a risk in the pass, he won’t take it. He won’t pull the trigger. And that’s why he never throws any interceptions.
“We were just a great team. We gelled together and played well together.”
McCoy was also asked about Riley Cooper, who was caught on camera last summer using the N-word. The incident could have easily destroyed the Eagles’ locker room; instead, it brought it closer together.
“It was tough because guys like myself, I’m friends with Riley Cooper,” McCoy said. “I’ve played with him for four years. So on and off the field, we have a relationship. So I had to go back to that.”
Vick also played a pivotal role in pardoning Cooper and accepting him back into the fold.
“He’s been through things,” McCoy said of Vick, “where he’s done some things wrong and people hold on to it and hate you for it and they never let it go. Mike has the type of leadership and control over the team where you understand it. You see the stuff he’s been through, but you also see him, how he is. He’s the most positive person on the team.
“I know Riley, and we talked about it. Because when he said it, I was so angry with him. I was like, ‘I know this guy. This is how you feel about me?’ You have (those) thoughts. And then you really sit down and talk to him and you see what really happened. He said some things he didn’t mean. He said he was angry, he definitely was drunk and he got into it with a guy and he said some things he didn’t mean. And I understand it because I say some things that I might not mean.
“I don’t think he’s racist or anything like that. All the guys I talk to, they love Riley. He’s a good dude. He (just) made a mistake.”