McCoy rivals Vick in Eagles' offense

Posted Dec. 04, 2010 @ 10:53 p.m.
Posted By Eric Edholm

There is no question that Michael Vick plays a vital role in the Eagles' offense. He's the dual-threat quarterback who forces defenses to choose which element of his unique game — run or pass — to take away, leaving themselves exposed in the other.

However, it has become clear in recent games as the season has developed that RB LeSean McCoy might be just as significant to the Eagles' offense as Vick is. As opponents have found ways to hem Vick in somewhat — the Bears stunted up front, played their safeties very deep and tried to keep Vick in the pocket — McCoy remains the Eagles' best playmaker because of how often he touches the ball. The screen game and delays and draws have been vital all season, and the Eagles now are using a read option play as one of their bread-and-butter runs where Vick can keep the ball or put it in McCoy's belly.

The Eagles trust McCoy as much as any offensive player on the team. WR Jeremy Maclin has been remarkably consistent as well, but WR DeSean Jackson has been prone to distractions and bouts of immaturity, and TE Brent Celek has taken awhile to get going.

The good news is that the Eagles remain supportive of Jackson, who is said to be too focused on his contract status, and want him to be involved. It's not insignificant that Marty Mornhinweg drew up a big play designed to get the ball in the receiver's hands on the first play of the Week 13 victory over the Texans. And Celek recently has been coming on, too, earning Vick's faith with a gorgeous, needle-threaded TD and a massive 3rd-and-19 conversion against the Texans.

If the Eagles are to go deep in the playoffs, it likely will mean that Vick has remained playing at a very high level. The past few games have not been up to the ridiculous bar he set in his first five starts, but his performance has been strong nonetheless. But McCoy has been the hidden offensive MVP all season, currently fighting through a shoulder injury but making a ton of big plays. He deserves mention right next to Vick in terms of his value to the offense.