Philadelphia Eagles: Andy Reid Needs to Realize LeSean McCoy Is on the Team

Chris TrapassoAnalyst ISeptember 9, 2012

Sep 9, 2012; Cleveland, OH, USA; Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy (25) runs behind center Jason Kelce (62) in the fourth quarter against the Cleveland Browns at Cleveland Browns Stadium. Mandatory Credit: David Richard-US PRESSWIRE
David Richard-US PRESSWIRE

I would call 56 pass plays against the Cleveland Browns if I had Michael Vick as my quarterback.

Hey, throwing the ball is fun, it can lead to big plays, and Vick has a rocket arm. 

Why the heck not?

The thing is, I'd be making those calls on XBox 360 while playing Madden.

Andy Reid actually did that as the head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles—a somewhat flabbergasting offensive decision that nearly led to what would have been an extremely surprising and downright embarrassing loss to the Browns to start the 2012 season. 

This was the same Cleveland club that allowed 147.4 yards on the ground and was run on a whopping 534 times last year. Sure, reigning All-Pro running back LeSean McCoy wasn't totally neglected. He carried the ball 20 times and had six receptions.

He needed more.

McCoy was clearly the team's most effective offensive player, and the Eagles were in the game, so passing incessantly wasn't a necessity. 

Instead, Reid called pass after pass after pass, during an afternoon in which his quarterback was obviously out of sync and wasn't exceedingly confident passing the football against the Browns secondary.

This isn't a disrespectful jab at Reid, a guy who's been to a Super Bowl and has won six division titles since accepting the gig in 1999—his track record indicates he knows his football. But was I the only one who thought McCoy absolutely had to get more touches, especially in the second half? 

I hope not. 

McCoy, in my estimation, was under-utilized in 2011, averaging a shade above 18 carries per game. Yes, the game has changed, and McCoy certainly doesn't have the traditional "workhorse back" build—I get that. But he toted the rock an average of 19.25 times in the team's eight wins and only 14.87 times in Philly's eight losses.



The otherworldly physical talent of Vick, DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin is tantalizing. When things are clicking in the Eagles passing game, there probably isn't a more vertically threatening group in the NFL

But Reid must realize that Shady McCoy is quite the talent, too. He's really, really good. 

The Eagles head coach has to get him the ball much more frequently, there's nothing wrong or boring about having the running back as the offensive focal point. 

Next time, if Vick throws it 56 times and tosses four interceptions, Philadelphia probably won't get as lucky.