THE NFL WAS so impressed by LeSean McCoy's franchise-record 217-yard rushing effort in the snow, it asked him to take a drug test yesterday. Hey, the Hall of Fame got the jersey, cleats and gloves, maybe the league office wanted its souvenir in a cup.
Well, no, not exactly. The test was random, had nothing to do with McCoy's performance in Sunday's 34-20 victory over the Detroit Lions, in which he regained the NFL rushing lead, with 1,305 yards on 261 carries. But having to take the test was one of only a couple of things McCoy felt was at all worth mentioning, when a reporter asked him yesterday evening how he'd spent the day after the big day.
There were interviews set up over the next few mornings with the usual national networks and shows, handled by McCoy representative Ishmail Kamara. Oh, and the 50th birthday party of Ronnie McCoy, LeSean's father, which Shady said didn't allow for sleeping in, the morning after he unseated Steve Van Buren atop the list of Eagles franchise single-game rushing performances. The equipment guys handled the shipment of equipment to Canton. Mostly, the 25-year-old back who seems to be fashioning the best season by any runner in Eagles history "hung out," he said.
He wasn't limping or even sore, he said, when McCoy showed up yesterday evening at Chickie's and Pete's in South Philly for his 94 WIP radio show. Later he attended the Sixers game.
"I don't feel like 29 carries," he said. "The snow helped that out."
On his show, McCoy explained that "the best part was, when the big guys would hit me, it'd be like I was falling on pillows, because of the snow. The impact of the hits wasn't as hard, because they weren't running as fast."
McCoy lauded "just the attitude of the linemen - they took it as a challenge," having to run the ball so much against feared defensive linemen Nick Fairley and Ndamukong Suh.
McCoy said he thought the Lions might have been relieved initially, because they knew the Eagles couldn't make Detroit's big, physical defense run sideline-to-sideline. "We had so many things planned . . . they lucked out, believe me," McCoy said. He said he might not have had such huge yardage on a normal surface, but that he thought the Eagles might have had as many yards overall, or more.
With the snow, the Lions packed the box, he said, but "once Nick [Foles] started completing some balls downfield, it really opened things up . . . Once you've got a defense guessing, you can really do what you want."
One of the most memorable moments Sunday came when McCoy hurdled Detroit safety Louis Delmas en route to a touchdown. McCoy said that he and Delmas are friends who train together in the offseason, and that in a TV timeout earlier, "I said, 'I'm comin' now. Tie up your shoelaces. I'm coming' . . . He said, 'You ain't shaking me, Shady! I'm shootin'. I'm shootin'. (That is, firing at McCoy, rather than waiting to be faked out.) So as I'm getting the ball, I see him, and he sees me, and I give, like, a jerk, he comes, and I jump over him."
Co-host Anthony Gargano wondered if McCoy would be buying Christmas presents for his o-linemen. McCoy recalled Edgerrin James telling him James had promised the Arizona offensive linemen "new Hummers" one year if he gained 1,500 yards.
"Now, I don't know if they were off-the-lot new Hummers, or they had a few miles on 'em, but I'm like, 'Maaaaann!' " McCoy said, in the manner of a man who knows what new Hummers cost, and how to multiply by five. He said he was thinking in terms of vacations or Rolex watches. "Nothing that's too crazy."
McCoy said he was glad to hear Minnesota running back Adrian Peterson thinks he can play this week against the visiting Eagles, after leaving Sunday's loss to Baltimore on a cart with a foot injury. McCoy and Peterson are 1-2 in the rushing standings, and Peterson is acknowledged as the league's best back, a judgment McCoy shares - "To be honest, I think right now he's the best running back" - but McCoy also acknowledged he wants the crown. He said he hopes to speak with Peterson in warmups; they've never really talked, he said.
When Eagles coach Chip Kelly spoke with reporters earlier yesterday, he referenced a play on which he said McCoy could have run 70 yards but cut back inside and was tackled. Kelly raised the point as part of an explanation of why he feels it's important to look hard at what you did wrong even after a victory.
"Winston Churchill said, problems in victory are more agreeable than problems in defeat but no less difficult, and we always adhere to that as coaches, because, I think the easiest thing to do is, 'Let's move on, let's get ready for the Vikings,' " Kelly said. "Well, there's a lot of things that went on [Sunday] that we need to continue to correct, and that's the first thing we do in the Tuesday session with our guys."
McCoy mentioned the same play on his radio show: "On the left side, I made the safety miss, and instead of just hitting it, I shook him, but I don't know why, I looked inside . . . It's things like that - 'If only I'd done this, if only I'd done that' - it shows you there's so much more room for improvement, with the small things. I don't think of myself [needing improvement in] the big things, it's the small things."
Chip Kelly said safety Earl Wolff is scheduled to practice today for the first time since suffering a knee injury Nov. 10 at Green Bay . . . Kelly said he didn't consider putting in Michael Vick to give another running option when the Eagles were struggling because he feels the running game works fine with Nick Foles . . . Kelly said he gets a lot of suggestions from players, especially from receivers who feel they're open, but he listened when corner Cary Williams told him how hard it was to defend post patterns in the snow because "he's a student of the game . . . He doesn't talk very much, but when he talks, you should listen to him. He's got a great football mind."