Missing out on playoffs is hard on Eagles' McCoy
LeSean McCoy says it's 'tough' knowing Eagles won't make the playoffs, says he thinks he has productive years ahead.
LeSEAN McCOY has played 6 years, is the Eagles' all-time leading rusher, with 6,693 yards heading into Sunday's season finale at the Giants, but has never played on a team that won a playoff game.
One of the crushing realities of the Eagles' December swoon is that it won't happen this season, either, for the back whose only postseason action will come next month in the Pro Bowl, as one of five Eagles selections.
"It's tough," McCoy said this week. "Every year, you strive to get to the playoffs, get there, and hopefully have a nice, little run, get a chance to get to the Super Bowl. That's something I've always thought of, something I always dreamed about doing."
Asked whether he'd thought this would be the year, McCoy said: "I really did. Just 3 weeks ago, we were 9-3. And the games we did lose were all close games" except the 53-20 loss at Green Bay Nov. 16.
McCoy has taken the field for 89 regular-season games, but only three playoff contests, the first his rookie year, when he backed up Brian Westbrook. Though McCoy doesn't turn 27 until next July, he has those 6 years of mileage, at a position where players seem to age overnight. McCoy's average of 4.1 yards per carry this season (1,220 yards, 296 carries) is his lowest since that rookie year of 2009.
McCoy said that he isn't thinking about that part of the equation, that he thinks he has many productive seasons left. He noted that this year's big Eagles stumbling block - leading the league with 35 turnovers - is a familiar obstacle. (Though McCoy didn't say so, turnovers usually are a reflection of quarterback play, and he has played on only two teams that got real Pro Bowl-level quarterbacking - from Michael Vick in 2010 and from Nick Foles in 2013.)
"Moving the ball is never the issue. Yardage, stats, big plays . . . there's always talent. Turnovers have kind of haunted us. Kind of destroyed our teams, on offense," McCoy said.
McCoy said he thinks this group is close, though, and he said he is glad he plays with a group in which everyone knows and accepts his role.
Can't un-nick Foles
The biggest Eagles decision this offseason will be how to go forward at quarterback, the position that kept the team out of the playoffs in 2014. In his final media availability before Sunday's game against the Giants, Chip Kelly was given an opportunity to endorse Nick Foles, the most obvious option. As usual, Kelly declined to commit. Asked whether he would have liked to have seen more of Foles before making the decision, Kelly said there is no point to thinking that way - the decision must be made off the information he has.
"Nick's been great" as he rehabs the broken collarbone he suffered Nov. 2 at Houston, Kelly said. "You knew it last year when Mike was here - Nick's the ultimate teammate. I think he's a great supporter, when he got injured, of Mark going in those situations. He's been in every meeting, he's been in every training session. He's really vocal in meetings, he's vocal in practice. He has a lot of really good comments . . . We were in meetings today, and we were talking about a route combination, and he grabbed me and said, 'What about doing this on the back side?' A real valid point. I think he's been very engaged. Unfortunately, he can't play on Sundays, but he's done everything a really good teammate does."
Asked whether Foles' shortened season clouded the decision on what to do, Kelly said: "We'll sit down and thoroughly evaluate everything, but it's no different than any other position, when you look at it. It's just, 'Tell us what we have available right now, let's take a look at it, let's detail it, let's go through the film again . . . let's get everybody's opinion on it, and then make valid decisions' . . . It doesn't matter how much it clouds or doesn't cloud, that's the reality of it. He got hurt, and we've got to make decisions moving forward in terms of what we're going to do.
"It doesn't matter if I can say yes or no . The reality is the reality. I can't say, 'Hey, let's not make a decision because I need to see him play 16 more games' . . . You've got to make it on what you have . . . We can't go back to the Houston game and not get him injured. It is what it is."
Mychal Kendricks, who missed five games with a calf injury, seemed to be the Eagle most upset about being left out of the Pro Bowl discussion. Kendricks said he thinks he does things no other inside linebacker does. He also said that smaller, speedier linebackers like himself are the wave of the future, as offenses spread out more and more. The rest of the team seemed more puzzled that Fletcher Cox, no doubt handicapped by being a 3-4 defensive end competing against 4-3 pass rushers for a spot, could garner only a sixth-alternate selection. Eagles coach Chip Kelly said Cox might have been the team's most valuable player.
"I was surprised . . . We're not allowed to our own players, but I thought he had a Pro Bowl year. He's the one guy that, when I was handed the results . . . so I could call our players, I was like, 'Wow. That was one that kind of surprised me.' I think he's been our top player," Kelly said. "He's been really unblockable at times. I think he's a very disruptive force, but sometimes you make the Pro Bowl, I guess, on reputation. You ask Jason Kelce - Jason'd be the first to tell you he played better last year than he played this year, which is obviously true; I mean, he missed 4 1/2 games. Evan Mathis is a second alternate, and Evan missed eight games . . . I hope people recognize him, maybe like Kelce, where it's probably a year later than he should have gotten it."
Cox said he was disappointed, but "I wouldn't want to hang myself over it. I didn't make it, and that's the way it is . . . I was kind of mad , but then I finally realized there was nothing I could do to change it."