• Al Thompson

CHIEFS LeSEAN McCOY TALKS ABOUT ANDY REID, EAGLES FANS AND THE LOVE HE STILL HAS FOR PHILADELPHIA


LeSean McCoy talks from his riser during a media session leading up to Super Bowl LIV. Photo by Al Thompson

MIAMI: Looking back on what happened to running back LeSean McCoy at the end of his tenure with the Philadelphia Eagles, it seems even more preposterous now than it did at the time.


McCoy was drafted by Andy Reid in the second round of the 2009 draft. The former University of Pittsburgh star went on to three Pro Bowl appearances (2011, 2013, 2014), named first-team All Pro twice (2011, 2013), won the rushing title in 2013, led the NFL in rushing touchdowns in 2011 and last but certainly not least, became the Eagles all-time rushing yards leader.


Reid was fired after the 2012 and was replaced by Oregon's Chip Kelly and his gimmick offense.


Kelly struggled to deal with the ego of professional football players. Kelly traded players like Pro Bowlers DeSean Jackson and Nick Foles then traded McCoy to the Buffalo Bills for linebacker Kiko Alonso (who was a former Oregon player under Kelly). McCoy was named to three more Pro Bowls while in Buffalo.


Kelly's offense crashed and burned; he was all but run out of town on a rail in 2015, fired by owner Jeffrey Lurie with a game left in the 2015 season.


McCoy laughs about it now. The 31-year-old was released by the Bills with the final roster cuts just before the 2019 season.


On the day he was released by Buffalo, McCoy signed a one-year, $3 million contract, with a potential $1 million in incentives, with the Kansas City Chiefs on August 31, 2019, reuniting with Reid.


He says he still stays in touch with many of his Eagles teammates. At Wednesday’s media session, McCoy said they still talk about Kelly.


“Oh yeah, we’re all tight,” McCoy said. “Me and Kelce talk about that with Jason. Like our old memories with him…also Fletcher Cox. I talked to Jeremy Maclin yesterday…I hear from DeSean Jackson…so we’re all tight. Whether we got traded or got cut, went our separate ways.”


McCoy then cracked a big smile and started to chuckle.


“We had tons of group chats about Chip,” McCoy said. “But we’re all still tight, we’re all good friends.”


McCoy said Reid has changed their days together in Philadelphia.


“I think he is different,” McCoy said. “You’re talking about 11 years ago. The cool thing now is that, he’s always shown his personality, but I think he’s really, really doing it now. He’s got a lot of younger guys; he lets them be themselves. He’s really showing his personality. Some of the clothes he wears now is a little more stylish. Some of the music we have at practice, he bobs his head…I’ll ask him ‘hey coach you know this song?’ He’s a lot different in that aspect. He’s still the same, one on one, pushing the guys hard at practice. He expects a lot out of us.”


Like many players who make their first Super Bowl, McCoy reflected on his childhood days in Central Pennsylvania.


“This would be great,” McCoy said. “Just to get a ring. I think about…as a child…playing in Super Bowls every year when I was like nine, ten, eleven and twelve. To actually play in a real Super Bowl, it’ll be special. And who better to do it with than Andy Reid?”


It is obvious McCoy has a deep appreciation for Reid. He drafted him and was the first to grab him when he was released by Buffalo. He has rushed for 465 yards on 101 carries and four touchdowns in 13 regular season games this year.


He played against Houston in the Divisional round but did not register a carry or catch. He was inactive in the AFC Championship game. His status is uncertain for Sunday. McCoy was not listed on Friday’s injury report.


But still, McCoy is rooting for Big Red.


“It’s pretty cool,” McCoy said. “I came in with him. I know how much he puts into this game. There’s a lot of players here, but a lot of players before the Chiefs that he’s been a part of. I feel a lot of those guys want him to win also. He’s done a lot for me and a lot of former players, so we want to do this for Andy.”


McCoy continued.


“He deserves it. Talk about winning games, being a good coach, if you look at the coaching tree he’s been part of; all these have jobs because of coach Reid. So, it’s only right for him to get a championship. He’s done a lot for this league, he really has.”


McCoy said he rooted for the Birds to win the Super Bowl in 2017. He said he knows the fans and how passionate they are, and how they will support a player or coach as long there is 100 percent effort. He is certain the Chiefs are representing Eagles Nation.


“They’re special,” McCoy said. “I know that he’s not there, but I know a lot of Eagles fans are rooting for him. He spent 14, 15 years in Philadelphia and was successful there too. Before he got there, it was rocky times. He kind of changed that around for them. I think it’s a special moment for a lot of the Birds fans. I know they’re rooting for him. It’s the same for us, I’m sure when they were in the Super Bowl, coach Reid was rooting for them. I know I was. I lot of us are still tight. It was a special time there. Hopefully we’ll get it done and them guys will cheer us on.” *


Some information from Wikipedia.com and pro-football-reference.com


Follow Al Thompson on Twitter at @thompsoniii

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