LeSean McCoy paused, composed his thoughts. McCoy is one of the Eagles best young talents. He is often honest, but he is also a team player who is careful to say the right things.
McCoy, entered this week as the NFL's leading rusher and the Eagles biggest threat. So did he think he would get more than 10 carries?
"I thought I'd touch the ball a little bit more," McCoy said. "I don't ever judge the calls. We made some plays downfield early so maybe that was the reason why. We just got down real early."
McCoy quickly recovered, but it was obvious to anyone watching that it was taking some work to not openly criticize his team's play calling. McCoy said the Patriots stacked the box early to stop him, and the Eagles made them pay with some deep strikes. Which makes sense. The Patriots pass defense ranked dead last heading into the game. What made less sense was that the Eagles, despite a 10 point lead at one point, only got McCoy six first half carries. After those first few big passes, Shady said, the Patriots run D backed off a bit up to help shore up their pass defense.
"It's really hard to talk about it because as a competitor obviously I want the ball but it's a team thing ... Maybe we threw it a little bit to back them off the box," McCoy said. But he added, "I felt we would go back to it, running the ball a little bit, at least to test them out. But we got down a little bit so we selected to throw the ball."
McCoy finished with 10 carries for 31 yards and the Patriots did a good job swarming him. But he didn't get many opportunities.
McCoy also defended two of the people who drew fans' wrath: Andy Reid and DeSean Jackson.
"Andy’s not going anywhere. He’s a good coach. Everybody knows that. I think as players we need to fight for him a little more, a little harder. Just gotta make plays. Coach can’t go out there and play," McCoy said. "He’s been a successful coach in his career. So, we know he’s not going to anywhere. That’s just kinda fans talking."
As for Jackson, McCoy said the Eagles need his play making, and that everyone has bad days.
"He's a good player. He had a bad game, which everybody has a bad game. Nobody's perfect from a player to the media to fans," McCoy said.
"He didn’t play well, he knew that, so you fight through it. I don't think the contract had anything to do with it," he said. "Everybody plays bad sometimes, he’s entitled to that."