New Kansas City Chiefs running back LeSean McCoy — who was signed to the team on Saturday after being released by the Buffalo Bills — has already rushed for more than 10,000 yards in his 10-year NFL career. He has more than 3,600 receiving yards and has reached the end zone 94 times.
There’s really not much left for him to prove.
Still, McCoy is gearing up for at least one more season — but this time, he‘ll be with his original NFL coach, playing for a team managed by the man who originally advocated for the Philadelphia Eagles to draft him out of Pittsburgh in the second round of the 2009 NFL Draft.
That made it a pretty easy decision.
“When I had time to reflect on just how the season went last year — and what type of scheme I wanted to be in — there were a group of teams that called in and I thought [Kansas City] probably was the best fit for me,” he told the press on Monday. “You see the offense. I’m just trying to get in here and fit a small role. These guys are rolling. To be a part of that — I think we have a great chance at a championship.
“You have to pick a team that you want to play for,” McCoy added, “and I think the best part about it is Andy Reid, who has been one of my favorite coaches of my NFL career. He’s had me since I’ve been 20 years old. Now I’m at 31. We had a long talk. Brett Veach [is] a guy that believed in me for years. This was the right fit.”
McCoy made it clear, though, that his decision to sign with the Chiefs wasn’t strictly about being with old friends once again.
“The team they had here, where they were going, the type of goals, a realistic approach to getting to the dance,” he said. “You look at a team like this, it’s so explosive on defense — and especially on offense. There are playmakers around. Then, the quarterback. I mean, this guy is for real; he’s the real deal. Getting in here with him and all of the other weapons — and as a unit — it just made sense.”
But whether McCoy will see action in the season opener this Sunday against the Jacksonville Jaguars is unknown. At his regular press appearance on Monday, Reid wouldn’t be pinned down.
“We’ll see what he can pick up in a short period of time here, how comfortable he is with it, and then we’ll go from there,” Reid said. “He’s a pretty sharp kid, so I think he’ll be OK doing that. He’s been practicing and playing in their preseason games. The conditioning part is not an issue; it’s just becoming familiar with the protections and the run game part.”
Reid said that while the Chiefs offense has similarities to what he ran while McCoy was playing for him in Philadelphia, there were many things that are different.
“Listen, it comes down to coaching and playing once he’s here, that’s what it is,” he said. “I think the main thing is he knows what to expect. He knows I’m not going to pull any punches with him. He’s going to get to work and he has to learn the offense.”
McCoy had already noticed.
“Some of the terminology is a little different,” he said after getting his first look at the Chiefs playbook, “but a lot of the concepts are kind of the same. Coach has a lot more wrinkles than before, but there are some similarities. The hard part with different offensive schemes is that the code words are kind of the same, so it confuses you a little bit. I should be fine. I’m a smart dude. I have nothing else to do.”
That drew a laugh from the press on Monday. But when some of his new teammates spoke to the media on Wednesday, McCoy was drawing nothing but admiration.
”He obviously is going to add to the offense,” said quarterback Patrick Mahomes. “Whenever you get a guy with that much success in the NFL, you’re going to add to your offense in each and every way. The depth that we have here, you can rotate in and out from every single position — tight end, running back, receiver — and there’s not going to be any drop-off. I’m excited to have that.”
”Shady’s the man,” said tight end Travis Kelce. “I guess being around Philly — even when I was in college, my brother [Jason Kelce] was in his first couple of years [with the Eagles] — [so] knowing a lot of the guys on that team, it’s been cool to see how his career has gone and how he’s stayed level-headed through it all... especially with how much praise that guy gets for what he can do with the ball.”
Reminded that he had recently described the Chiefs offense as having limitless options, Kelce was asked about his reaction when he finally saw the game plan the Chiefs will use in Jacksonville.
”When I said that, we didn’t have DeAnthony Thomas or LeSean McCoy,” he replied. “I can’t really say exactly what we’re going to do, but it looks right now like everybody’s going to have [an] opportunity to catch the ball.”
For his part, McCoy doesn’t seem to be worried about how many touches he’ll get while sharing carries with Damien Williams and Darwin Thompson.
“They are some pretty good backs. That is for Coach Reid to handle,” he said. “The good thing about that is that he has been doing that for a number of years with different guys like Duce Staley and [Brian] Westbrook — who had really good careers. I am open to working hard and competing. The ultimate goal is to win. That’s one thing that I haven’t done yet. I have had good numbers and I’ve done some good things, but I want to win with a winning team.
“Whatever it takes to get that done,” he said, “we will do.”