With that established, McCoy said he’ll be disappointed if Peterson’s foot injury keeps him sidelined when the Eagles visit the Metrodome.
“When we saw them on the schedule,” McCoy said, “my eyes got big. I thought it was a chance to go one-on-one with one of the best backs. You always want to compete against one of the elite guys in the NFL.”
McCoy certainly considers himself among them. He is pretty matter-of-fact when discussing his abilities and his place in the hierarchy. It is why he caused a stir early in the season by tweeting an insult about Denver’s Knowshon Moreno, whose crime was being taken ahead of McCoy in the 2009 draft.
“I definitely think I’m in the top five [backs],” McCoy said. “Top three.”
“There’s a lot of different guys,” McCoy said. “I like to give you a couple guys to think about, some elite guys. Arian Foster is in there, too, even though he’s banged up.”
McCoy said he valued consistency, versatility and longevity, but there was something else that was harder to define in identifying a great back.
“What makes you special?” McCoy said. “Guys that have great offensive lines, they’ll get yards. But what else do you do special? Is he a shifty back? Will he run you over? Can he catch, can he run routes? Is he a mismatch for defenders? What makes that guy special? All those guys I named, I can give two, three, four, five attributes that make them a special back.”
McCoy spoke from a bully pulpit. He is leading the NFL with 1,305 rushing yards, ahead of Peterson, and in total yards from scrimmage, ahead of Charles. In the latest ESPN.com MVP Watch, Dan Graziano had McCoy third behind only quarterbacks Peyton Manning and Drew Brees. Charles, at No. 8, was the only other running back in Graziano’s top 10.
On Sunday, McCoy broke the Eagles’ 64-year-old franchise record for rushing yards in a game, topping Steve Van Buren 217 to 205. He is 207 yards away from Wilbert Montgomery’s 1979 record of 1,512 rushing yards in a season.