PHILADELPHiA – LeSean McCoy's left thumb was wrapped tightly in a bandage. His sore toe was hidden away in cleats.
“You know I’m durable,” McCoy said after practicing Sunday.
Come Sept. 7, McCoy said, both extremities will be fine. He will be at full go for the Eagles’ regular-season opener against Jacksonville.
“Right now,” McCoy said, “I can’t do too much with (the thumb), as far as catching with it. I’ve got another two weeks for it to get better, and it will. The toe’s feeling good.”
McCoy said he won’t need the thumb wrapped by the time the games count.
“Catch with two hands, with one hand, spike the ball, do everything you can do,” McCoy said. “Blocking? Everything.”
The Eagles are counting on McCoy, the NFL’s leading rusher last season, to have another big season. If anything, McCoy should be even more comfortable in his second season in Chip Kelly’s offense. And Kelly has had a full year to think of new ways to unleash his running back.
“One of my favorite coaches was Andy Reid,” McCoy said. “When he left, it was hard to get over that. I was like, `Man, Coach Reid is gone.’ But that’s part of the business. I loved him so much. He pushed me a lot.”
But Kelly has different ways of getting the best from McCoy.
“He never yells,” McCoy said. “Never. He’s always talking, teaching. That’s like a challenge. I want to do it, perfect it so well, I want to get that acknowledgment. You did a good job. He’s very intelligent. He finds a lot of ways to challenge me. That’s why I like him as a coach.”
Ever since his rookie year, when he was just glad to be in the NFL, McCoy said he has sought new things to challenge himself.
“I’m always trying to find a challenge, something to compete against,” McCoy said. “I play against different running backs that people talk about all the time. I want to be one of the backs that people talk about. `How good is he?’ There’s always a challenge as players. You find ways to push yourself.”
McCoy caused a bit of a stir by declaring himself a better back than Minnesota’s Adrian Peterson. Spend enough time around McCoy, though, and you realize that’s ultimately a compliment to Peterson. He’s comparing himself to the back he considers the best of the bunch. Otherwise, there would be no point.
McCoy proved himself among the best backs in the NFL last season. His new challenge is to repeat the accomplishment despite the nagging injuries that are part of the game.