Regarding limiting LeSean McCoy’s snaps

I’m waaaaay late on this one, and I meant to address this, but when this story came out it was the week after the draft and I was focused on all the new players in the bEast.

Anyway, Bo Wulf of the Eagles Mothership did a writeup of Andy Reid quotes in regard to his new draft picks, which included the following nugget on his usage of LeSean McCoy:

On the state of the running back position: “We’ll see how it goes. We’re good with young guys and we’ll see how that works out. With Dion (Lewis), I would have liked to have gotten him a little more time last year as we went on. I didn’t end up doing that and I probably overplayed (LeSean) McCoy a little bit, even though he doesn’t want to hear that. As he continues to get older and have the number of reps under his belt that he does, you’ll want to back off the number of reps that he does.”

Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk ran with that quote and in typical Mike Florio style, he attempted to turn Reid’s words into something more sinister:

The remarks come at a time when McCoy and the Eagles are believed to be dancing around a long-term contract.  McCoy’s camp undoubtedly is pointing to his production last season, when he set a franchise record with 17 rushing touchdowns.  If he has fewer reps, he’ll have lower numbers — thereby justifying a smaller slice of salary-cap pie.

The reality is that Ronnie Brown stunk last season, and the Eagles didn’t trust him.  They’d simply like to get more out of their RB depth next year, if possible.  Why?  Because if you put your running backs through too many of these kinds of seasons…

Per Pro Football Focus

…they won’t have a very long NFL shelf life.  It has nothing to do with trying to keep a guy’s stats in check in an attempt to screw him out of more money.  That’s just stupid.


  1. I just choose the information a lot, I do hope you could very well blog much more about it.

  2. I truly wish I hadn’t witnessed this when i want only one right now!

  3. NoDecaf says:

    OK, so, it’s not a contrived conspiracy, but all the same, is it a bargaining chip for Joe Banner?

  4. McG says:

    Is it possible to get a side by side on “snaps” and “touches”

    I realize that a high number of snaps are dangerous for an Eagle’s RB due to the nature of having to block DEs and LBers.

    I’m curious if there is a more conclusive way to evaluate the wear and tear on LeSean over the course of a season.

  5. DaCrock says:

    Reid wants some RB to demonstrate the following to serve as McCoy’s backup: 1) ball security (not a turnover machine); 2) ability to gain “plus” yardage (doesn’t need to be a game-breaker, just a RB who keeps them in manageble 2nd and 3rd down situations); 3) decent pass catching ability (Eagles run a lot of screens, and you don’t want to have to shelve that when McCoy is on the sidelines); and 4) pass-blocking/blitz pick-up skill (keeping Vick uppright for a full season is paramount, and McCoy actually does a decent job pass blocking). Whoever comes closest to providing these skills at a quality level–whether it’s Brown, Polk, Lewis, or someone not yet on the roster–will back up LeSean McCoy. And finding that someone should be a very high priority for the Eagles’ offense, so that LeSean doesn’t take such a pounding that he ends up being lost for a prolonged period.

  6. […] of hacks, Jimmy Bama has a good post on LeSean McCoy’s snaps.  That number is too high.  The Eagles need to mix in more of the backup RBs.  One thing did […]

  7. Ralf E. Chubbs says:

    Really? Chris D. Johnson?

    1. Yeah, that’s PFF, not me. Used the snipping tool. I guess there’s some other Chris Johnson they needed to differentiate from.

  8. Trueblue63 says:

    Hard to imagine McCoy falling for that, they talk reduced snaps, reduced snaps, and they do, but then they up his touches wear him out and cut him loose.

    (he only touched the ball on about 320 of those almost 900 snaps)

  9. Maximdim says:

    894 despite playing in only 15 games… Ray Rice had almost less than 50 snaps than McCoy and he played in 18 games last season…

    Imagine if the Eagles made the playoffs and pulled off what the Giants did.. That would mean they play 4 more games (Wild Card, Divisional, Conference, Super Bowl) McCoy averaged about 60 snaps per game.. Add another 300 (240 playoff snaps, and 60 in the final game) to his total (sat out the last game against the Redskins since he was a bit nicked up and it didn’t matter if the Eagles won or loss) Then he would get to a whopping number of nearly 1200 snaps in a season…

    1200 snaps for a 23 year old isn’t THAT rough, but it is pretty much like playing a season and a half, possibly reducing your playing career by 33%

    I would love it if the eagles can keep McCoy at around 700 effective snaps, and spread the ball out to the other RBs, Celek, Maclin, DeSean and crew

    1. ArthuroMolenda says:

      Those numbers are for the regular season only.

  10. Tracer Bullet says:

    Did Lewis ever do anything to show that he deserved more PT? I won’t be disappointed at all if he gets cut and they keep Brown and Polk instead.

    1. He’s done as a returner. That clearly didn’t work. There were a few times I thought he looked promising as a runner. It’ll be good to see all of them on an even playing field at Lehigh.

      1. theguyotc says:

        I actually remembering thinking fairly highly of Dion Lewis as a runner (definitely not returner).

        He’s not an explosive home-run threat or very elusive, but he had decent speed and ran tough. Shady has a tendency to dance around trying to catch the defense out, but Lewis would just hit the hole hard and fight for every yard. I liked him as a change of pace guy for McCoy.

        As far as comparing him to Brown and Polk, well, Brown has more natural talent than everyone except *maybe* McCoy but who knows if he can even make the team. Polk seems like a workhorse type, which doesn’t seem to fit the Eagles, especially as a 2nd or 3rd stringer.

    2. iskar36 says:

      Lewis didn’t do much in the KOR game, but he flashed talent as a RB in the few carries he did get. That being said, to say Lewis didn’t show much to deserve more PT but then turn around and argue that two rookies, one of which was undrafted and another who hasn’t shown much since high school seems to be a bit of a contradiction. Neither of these guys have shown anything in the NFL, literally. Let’s wait to see how they do in pads against NFL talent before we kick out a guy who has already made an NFL roster.

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