The Birds are able to get him the ball in the open field and he may be the toughest guy in the NFL to tackle in a one-on-one situation. He almost always makes the first guy miss when approached in an open field situation.
I knew about his cutting ability from Pittsburgh and last year in his rookie year he let us some of it, but he’s taken things to another level this season. One of the Eagles most consistent plays is a simple wide route or check down to McCoy.
This is considered a running play in the west coast offense because you can complete the play so consistently. If you watch an Eagles practice, the quarterbacks work on these throws as much as they work on throwing the ball down the field.
Tens of times this year, we’ve seen McCoy catch a wide route or check down, make the first guy miss and it’s now second and one or two.
He’s also learned to run the screen, which is also a favorite of Reid and Mornhinweg, with the same patience that we saw for years with Brian Westbrook. In the game last night, the second-year back caught 8 passes for 86 yards and one touchdown. That’s in addition to the 44 yards on 12 carries which he rushed for.
The former Pittsburgh Panther scored the first two touchdowns of the game on a reception and rush up the middle. McCoy has rushed for 823 yards and caught passes for another 534 yards. Those are some big numbers with five games remaining.
McCoy doesn’t have great size or speed, but he’s becoming a great running back because of his quickness, ability to make people miss and his vision. Many times he makes cornerbacks look awkward in the open field, which isn’t an easy thing to do.
It’s getting to the point where McCoy shouldn’t even look at the first tackler, but look to the second one
“It’s a natural feeling”, the running back told reporters when describing how he makes tacklers miss. “You see a guy and you know what you are going to do. You are just trying to get past them. All I need now is that extra burst to get me to that end zone.”
On one play, McCoy left Pro Bowl defensive end Mario Williams grasping for air, after Williams threw away a block from tight end Brent Celek, then tried to come inside and tackle the running back. McCoy made a 90 degree cut and left Williams tackling air.
I like back up running back Jerome Harrison, who I think is faster than McCoy. He also does a nice job making tacklers miss.