Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy has stated on several occasions the benefit of having Darren Sproles as part of the organization. In the short time the two running backs have been working together, Eagles' head coach Chip Kelly is already seeing the progress.
“He can do a better job as a receiver coming out of the backfield,” Kelly said of McCoy. “I think the addition of Darren [Sproles] has helped him from that standpoint. He has a guy to learn from and he's a better route runner right now.”
McCoy finished the 2013 season with 52 receptions for 539 yards and two scores. Sproles has made a living as a pass catching running back, hauling in more than 70 passes the past three seasons. The combination of both, especially with McCoy improving as a receiver, offers the Eagles limitless possibilities in 2014.
McCoy has set lofty individual goals for the upcoming season, which includes rushing for 2,000 yards. Last season, he led the NFL with 1,607 rushing yards, so that is not out of the question. As far as Kelly is concerned he isn't worried about anyone's stats.
“I really don't care and he knows that and I've told him that,” Kelly said. “All we care about is are we winning football games. We've never been driven by individual statistics and he understands that. But if you ask him if he'd rather win a football game and run for 50 yards, I think he would be the first to tell you that than run for 200 yards and lose a football game. He'll tell you he'd rather run for 50 and win a game.”
Despite McCoy already emerging as one of the NFL's best running backs, he was made strides to improve. He has come into training camp with better conditioning to help him achieve that 2,000 yard goal. He has also become a more patient runner, which will help him decrease the number of negative plays.
“There's a lot more patience in him in terms of understanding that you have to pick and choose when he has those God-given gifts where he can make people miss,” Kelly said. “ His conditioning has really upgraded from where it was a year ago, so you kind of see that on the practice field in terms of what he can do and staying on top of it.”
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