- Phil Sheridan, ESPN Staff Writer
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FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- LeSean McCoy's campaign to rush for 2,000 yards this season is a marketing ploy. The Philadelphia Eagles running back has made those statements as part of his endorsement deal with Bounce dryer sheets.
But 2,000 yards isn’t all that outrageous considering McCoy ran for a league-high 1,607 yards in 2013. That was McCoy’s first season in head coach Chip Kelly’s offense. There were seven games where McCoy ran for less than 75 yards. So 2,000 is not exactly science fiction for McCoy.
“A lot of that’s the Bounce commercial,” McCoy said. "I had a lot of fun with it. I’m blessed to be with the type of team, the type of scheme, to get the ball. I’m surrounded by good players, like (Nick) Foles, (Jeremy) Maclin and (Darren) Sproles. The ball’s going to be spread around a lot. So 2,000 will be tough. I just have fun with it. I let the media and the fans react to it, the fantasy people.
“That’s not my biggest concern. What player wouldn’t want to do it? If I get it, it’s good. If I don’t, I don’t. There’s good players on the other side.”
McCoy thrives with the spotlight on him. He brings it sometimes, comparing himself favorably to Adrian Peterson. But there seems to be a connection between McCoy’s persona and his production.
“I wanted to win the division last year and personally get 2,000 all-purpose (yards),” McCoy said. “That was last year. This year, I haven’t sat down and thought of it. Last year we did so good, winning the division in Chip’s first year. With this type of team, the sky’s the limit.”
Kelly said “I don’t care” whether McCoy rushes for 2,000 yards.
“I really don’t care and he knows that,” Kelly said. “I’ve told him that. All we care about is winning football games. We’ve never been driven by individual statistics. If you ask him if he’d rather win a football game and run for 50 yards, I think he’d be the first to tell you that, or run for 200 yards and lose a football game, he’d tell you he’d rather run for 50 and win.”
There is a method to McCoy’s madness.
“I really try to see the limitations I have for myself,” McCoy said. “Can I go past that? How good could this team be? What can I do to help the team be better? Running the ball, controlling the game, making plays does that. I always try to better my teammates and kind of get going.
“The biggest thing is winning. That’s the main goal. Last year, I was successful and productive and we still were winning. The main goal is always winning. I just like to have fun with it.”
Kelly sees a more fit, more dedicated McCoy this summer.
“He’s in better shape this year,” Kelly said. “His conditioning is better than it was a year ago. You see that on the practice field in terms of what he can do. He’s a better route runner right now. The great thing about him is he wants to be that. I don’t think he’s complacent or happy in terms of where he is. Hopefully, he thinks last year was just scratching the surface in terms of what his potential could be.”