When LeSean McCoy talks, people still listen, especially in Philadelphia.
Even though his career is winding down, and his role mostly irrelevant the past three years, during which he’s played with three different teams, he is still the Eagles’ all-time leading rusher and his name appears many times in the team’s record book.
McCoy, who will turn 33 in July, spoke on Zoom during player availability at Super Bowl LIV in Tampa on Tuesday. He is there with the Buccaneers trying to win his second straight Super Bowl championship, after having done it with the Kansas City Chiefs last year.
Six years in Philadelphia, he never came close to a ring. Not all his fault, of course, but the teams McCoy played on in that time went 0-3 in the postseason.
“I do wish if I could have had a championship, I wish it would have been when I was an Eagle,” said McCoy. “I started there, and it means more to me as far as like, my hometown being an hour away, being drafted there, a lot of my friends when I got in the league are still my friends to share that with.
“I’ve built a bond here and last year with new guys, I knew a lot of them dudes from like commercials and Pro Bowls, but it’s a difference. It’s definitely a difference.”
The Eagles and McCoy came close to a reunion last year, with the Eagles trying to add a veteran, complimentary back to join Miles Sanders.
While they parried back and forth, the Bucs jumped in with a commitment to McCoy and it was too good to pass up, especially as Tampa was adding Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, and others.
“I had a lot of talks with the Eagles, and it was close,” he said. “My heart belongs there.”
As for Sanders, McCoy said the third-year RB from Penn State will be “the next franchise back” for the Eagles.
“People try to compare us. I think we’re different,” said McCoy. “He’s a lot faster than I was. When I watch him play, I think he’s a lot faster than I was, my top speed. I think he has nice size. I think he’s bigger than what people give him credit for and he runs a lot tougher than people give him credit for.
“I watched his growth from last year to this year, he’s actually become a better blocker and he’s become more of a complete running back, three-down back. I look forward to him taking over the franchise and I look forward to him being the guy in Philly.”
As his age advances, McCoy has become nothing more than a spare part these past few years, an insurance policy of sorts should injury arise.
The potential for two straight Super Bowl titles, however, would be a just reward for a player who piled up 6,792 career yards with the Eagles, with four 1,000-plus-yard seasons, including putting up 1,607 yards rushing in 2013 with 52 catches for 539 yards.
It was one of the best individual seasons by a RB in team history and was his second time being named first-team All-Pro. His first All-Pro season was in 2011 when he scored 20 touchdowns – 17 rushing, three receiving. The 20 TDs are still the best single-season effort in franchise history.
In his career, McCoy has run for 11,102 yards and 73 touchdowns with 518 catches for 3,898 and 16 scores.
He has had the kind of career that should merit Hall of Fame conversation when that time comes.
For now, though, McCoy is in his twilight.
The beginning of the end came in 2018 when he had 161 rushes for 514 yards and 34 catches for 238 yards receiving.
Not bad, but his usage was limited to less than 50 percent of the snaps, 46 percent to be precise.
In 2019, he joined the Chiefs and played 28 percent of their snaps, watching his rush count shrink to 101 carries and catches decline to 28. Still, he was relatively productive with the time he spent on the field.
This year, Tampa has used him in just 12 percent of their snaps. He has carried 10 times and caught 15 passes.
Next year…well, there may not be a next year for McCoy.
“I always think about this all the time, especially now, just how my career has been from being a guy and a franchise player to now being older and asked to do different things in my role,” he said. “But then you look at the winning. If I can help the young guys out, we’re winning and I’m back in a championship game, Super Bowl, things like that, they make it hard to make that decision to call it quits.
“It’s up in the air. If I get two championships, with all my resume and that, it might be over. But you never know, so I think I just take it every day and I’ll kind of revisit that when the time presents itself.”
Ed Kracz is the publisher of EagleMaven. Check out the latest Eagles news at www.SI.com/NFL/Eagles and please follow him on Twitter: @kracze.