LeSean McCoy made headlines stressing he was the best running back in the NFL. He specifically called out Adrian Peterson and made note that he would lead the league in rushing this season without being challenged. Of course the Philadelphia Eagles would love for that to be true. The ground game is a prominent aspect of head coach Chip Kelly's offensive attack. However, McCoy might not be able to fulfill his statement with Darren Sproles now on the roster.
The Eagles traded for Sproles at the start of the offseason. The hybrid offensive star is seen as the x-factor of the Eagles' unit. Sproles excelled with the New Orleans Saints as both a running back and receiver. He has the ability to be shifty outside the pocket while possessing great hands for catching passes out of the backfield. The Eagles likely intend on using him in multiple ways, but Kelly is making note that first and foremost, Sproles is simply a running back and will line up as such.
"I think he's an outstanding running back, that's what he is," offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur said, via Philly.com. "There's a lot of conversation about the fact we brought him in to play receiver. He's played at a very high level for 10 years. He brings outstanding leadership. He's one of our hardest workers. The first training session he went out there and he finishes as well as you see from any player, not to mention he can help us running the ball and catching it. That's a very strong addition for us."
McCoy might not get the carries he is hoping for after predicting he would lead the league. Kelly intends on running a dual-threat ground game which means both backs will be sharing time on the field. Fantasy football owners beware. While McCoy is confident in his abilities, Sproles will be seeing plenty of the workload. According to McCoy, Sproles will only make him better.
"I think 366 touches is a lot," McCoy said. "Being in the prime of my career and bringing in a guy like Sproles who can do so much, we'll work well together. I think having me fresh in the fourth quarter with fewer carries can be even more dangerous."
The running back position is not the only area where the Eagles have quality players all fighting for time. Right now, the team must decide who their No. 1 receiver will be. The team has Jeremy Maclin and Riley Cooper signed to new contracts as well as an incoming rookie, Jordan Matthews, who is excelling quickly. The Eagles are hoping one player steps up and takes the spot of DeSean Jackson, but getting production from all three equally could be the end result.