Friday, February 12, 2016

McCoy carries Eagles to victory

One of the most interesting parts of training camp in August was watching rookie LeSean McCoy.

McCoy carries Eagles to victory

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LeSean McCoy scored the winning touchdown with a 10-yard run. (David Maialetti/Staff Photographer)
LeSean McCoy scored the winning touchdown with a 10-yard run. (David Maialetti/Staff Photographer)

One of the most interesting parts of training camp in August was watching rookie LeSean McCoy.

With Brian Westbrook hobbled, he got the first-team reps. After every snap, there was someone in his ear. A coach. A teammate. Always someone.

He knew he had to improve as a blocker. He knew he would be counted on right away. He knew others before him had tried and failed to learn the offense.

But he kept chipping away, always enthusiastic, always willing to listen.

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And tonight, McCoy took a huge step in his development.

The 21-year-old carried 20 times for 99 yards, including the game-winning 10-yard touchdown with 5:38 left, as the Eagles beat the Bears, 24-20, at Soldier Field.

It's funny how quickly a player can go from goat to hero in this league. Less than three minutes into the fourth quarter, McCoy was stripped by Charles Tillman, and it looked like the Eagles were headed for a loss and a .500 record.

But on their first offensive snap after the fumble, the Birds went right back to McCoy. And what choice did they have? With Westbrook sidelined, he's going to be the guy they count on. He's going to be the primary ballcarrier as they enter the stretch run.

"To come back to him, I thought that was important," Andy Reid said. "I think that shows the confidence that we have in him, and I think that that helps you down the road with a young player."

The Eagles, who have been fairly criticized for their inability to win close games and come back in the fourth quarter, did both those things. Heck, they even converted in short yardage.

In doing so, they kept pace with the Cowboys and the Giants, who both won earlier in the day. The Eagles now sit in second place in the NFC East at 6-4, one game behind Dallas, and tied with New York.

Next up are the Redskins Sunday at the Linc.

Much more to come.

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About this blog
Sheil Kapadia is in his fifth season writing about the Eagles and the NFL for philly.com. His earliest memories as a sports fan include several trips to Veterans Stadium with his Dad. He's not a beat writer or an Insider, but is here to discuss the NFL 365 days a year. E-mail him at skapadia@philly.com or by clicking here

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