Eagles Notebook: Buying into Kelly's system? No sweat for McCoy

Posted: June 20, 2014

LESEAN MCCOY, one of the Eagles closest to released Pro Bowl wideout DeSean Jackson, indicated yesterday that Jackson's departure taught McCoy something about Eagles coach Chip Kelly.

"No matter how good a player is, it's the team. If you can't buy in, anything's possible," McCoy said, when asked to expound upon recent remarks he made to NFL.com. about Jackson's departure being a warning to other players. "Some players, some teams may think, 'Well, he's producing on the field, so that's the only thing that matters' . . . It's the small things, that you think nobody really cares about, but in all reality, they do."

McCoy said he didn't necessarily take the Jackson situation as a personal warning; he believes he has bought into Kelly's way of doing things and has taken care of those small things, en route to leading the NFL in rushing last season. But McCoy seemed to be saying his eyes were opened to how important such details are to the second-year coach.

McCoy, who turns 26 next month, will enter the 2014 season 1,055 yards behind Wilbert Montgomery as the Eagles' all-time leading rusher. A questioner said that McCoy setting a new team mark seems to be a given.

"Nothing's a given," McCoy said. "But that's another goal to put on my list of things to get done" after setting the team single-season rushing record last year with 1,607 yards.

McCoy was the only Eagles running back sweltering in baggy gray sweatpants yesterday, as the team worked under the midday sun in record heat. "It's a mental thing," said McCoy. " 'It's so hot. You're wearing sweatpants?!!' This was probably one of my best practices today."

Someone asked McCoy about the possibility that he might not get as many touches this year, with more weapons added, including veteran running back Darren Sproles.

"I never think like that," McCoy said. He said he looks to be "the guy to carry the load," but if his role does change, "I know whatever role I get, I'll be productive at."

Another questioner asserted that it had been a quiet offseason. (Suurrre, if you ignore a certain roster move made in late March . . . ) McCoy said not facing, say, a quarterback controversy going into training camp next month is definitely a good thing.

"The last couple years, we've had so much attention on this team, for all the wrong reasons," he said. "Now we're just preparing. We came off a good season last year, which ended too early, and we want to capitalize on that. Win the division again and hopefully take up where we left off. That's how I like it."

Chip the delegator

When Chip Kelly's assistants spoke with reporters Monday, several emphasized the autonomy they are given. Kelly was asked about that yesterday.

"Well, that's why we hired them," he said. "They need to be the experts in their field . . . I don't think this organization is going to work if you have to micromanage individual position coaches . . . I think we have a bunch of really, really good teachers that we are all on the same page with, and that's a positive."

Birdseed

If you didn't know the identities of the four Eagles quarterbacks, it still would be easy to determine the starter. Nick Foles is performing much more consistently this spring than Mark Sanchez, Matt Barkley or G.J. Kinne. Kinne kept having to pull the ball down and make a simulated scramble in yesterday's drills, which might have spoken to the quality of his receivers, or to the speed of his decision-making. Barkley started spring work with added velocity, his surgically repaired right throwing shoulder farther down the recovery road, but that early gain doesn't seem to have held up. Sanchez is still learning the offense . . . Malcolm Jenkins was asked what most impresses him about Darren Sproles, his teammate in New Orleans and now here. "Pass protection," Jenkins said. "He's small . . . you'd think he'd be a liability, but he's really, really good at pass protecton. He understands it. He puts himself in position to make plays. He's not just cutting everybody, either, he's standing in there, taking on blocks, and then holding up" . . . Wideout Jeff Maehl sat out yesterday with what seemed to be a right leg problem.


On Twitter: @LesBowen

Blog: ph.ly/Eagletarian

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