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McCoy on the verge of passing Montgomery in Eagles' record book

LeSean McCoy is 48 yards from surpassing Wilbert Montgomery to become the Eagles' all-time leading rusher.

Eagles running back LeSean McCoy and head coach Chip Kelly. (David Maialetti/Staff Photographer)
Eagles running back LeSean McCoy and head coach Chip Kelly. (David Maialetti/Staff Photographer)Read more

THERE IS NO need to worry, because LeSean McCoy has his priorities straight. He knows the primary focus on Sunday is for the Eagles to do whatever is necessary to beat the Seattle Seahawks at Lincoln Financial Field.

Still, it would be naïve to think McCoy has paid no attention to the individual accomplishment sitting right in front of him.

The sixth-year running back needs only 48 yards to pass Wilbert Montgomery as the all-time leading rusher in Eagles history.

"It's something cool, it really is," McCoy said. "I never imagined when I got drafted that I could potentially have the chance to hold the rushing record as an Eagle. That's something big. That's something I'm looking forward to. It means a lot, considering the guys on the list.

"The main goal is to win the game, obviously, but when we're doing that, I would love to accomplish that."

Analyzing this game, it is fair to say that McCoy's passing Montgomery's total of 6,538 yards will be key if the Eagles (9-3) are to win this battle of the birds with the reigning Super Bowl champion Seahawks (8-4).

In fact, it would be really helpful if McCoy can put some significant distance between him and Montgomery, because that will mean he will have found a way to be effective against Seattle's rush defense, which should increase the odds that the Eagles' passing game succeeds against the Seahawks' formidable secondary.

The more yards McCoy runs, the better it should be for the Eagles' entire offense.

"They're definitely a good team," said McCoy, who is third in the NFL, with 1,018 rushing yards, despite having what some have classified as an off season. "They are fast. They hustle and play hard. Physical group that work well together from the linemen to the back end.

"Usually, a team has good players here or some there. They are all good players."

McCoy is coming off consecutive games rushing for at least 130 yards. Doing so for a third time would vault him past Montgomery - something McCoy thinks Montgomery would enjoy seeing.

"I'm actually good friends with [Montgomery]," McCoy said. "Coming into the league, one of my coaches was tight with him. I was a big-time Eagles fan; that kind of was brought to his attention.

"When I got drafted here, we talked when he was with the Ravens [as the running backs coach in 2009]. I was very respectful to him."

McCoy said he recently heard that Montgomery, currently the Browns' running back coach, was happy that McCoy was close to breaking the record.

McCoy said he thinks players should want their records to fall eventually.

"If it was different and he was in my shoes and I was in his shoes, I'd be happy for the guy to pass me," he said. "You always want the next guy coming up to do well. Records are made to be broken."

McCoy said that's how it was when he was at the University of Pittsburgh and he broke several school records set by Heisman Trophy winner and NFL Hall of Fame running back Tony Dorsett.

"[Dorsett] is a Hall of Famer who has done everything in this league and in college, and he was happy for me to break some of his records," McCoy said.

A lot of players who reach an elite level do not reach back into the past for advice and instruction.

McCoy isn't like that.

He often seeks advice from former Eagles running backs such as Ricky Watters, a fellow graduate of Bishop McDevitt High School in Harrisburg; Brian Westbrook, who was still an Eagle during McCoy's rookie season; and Duce Staley, who has been the Eagles' running backs coach for two seasons.

"I just feel that a guy who has played the game, who has done better than I have so far, who knows the right and wrong things to do, yeah, I'll take that advice," McCoy said. "If a kid came up to me asking what I did to get better, I would tell him.

"I hate when players feel like they've gotten so big that they can't get advice. I know I'm always taking advice from Duce.

"[Westbrook] is tough on me. He'll tell me things I don't want to hear. But nobody is worse than Duce."

McCoy said he and Staley have developed a big brother/little brother relationship and he knows that Staley's only intent is to help him become the best player he can be.

Still, with the all-time record about to be eclipsed, McCoy has a bigger trump card to hold over Staley, who is fifth on the all-time Eagles' list with 4,807 yards.

"Tons of credit goes out to Duce," McCoy said. "He's helped me reach a certain level of my game that I did not know I had.

"But I do talk trash to Duce all the time, because I've been past him. I made some jokes to him when I passed him, and we have some fun with it.

"He's always trying to get me to do better. If I feel like I'm at a point where I feel I've arrived, he's always pushing me to do more."

On Sunday, McCoy could rush into Eagles immortality, and, if he passes Montgomery in a big way, it could be key to the Eagles' securing a huge victory to start December.