Now that his appearance in the Pro Bowl is behind him, Eagles running back LeSean McCoy‘s year is done as far as on the field performance. That has not stopped Philadelphia’s all-pro back from mixing it up on the airwaves as he tries to remain active during the NFL’s offseason. ‘Shady’ appeared in New York City on Thursday for the ‘Radio Row’ portion of Super Bowl week. McCoy, much like several other NFL players, is in attendance despite not participating in Sunday’s matchup. While McCoy is rarely considered ‘villainous’ when it comes to his discussions with the media, he has been prone to wearing a bulls-eye as a result of some of his tweets and utterances over his short career. Thursday afternoon, during his appearance with Evan Cohen & Steve Phillips on XM radio, the Eagles back decided to chime in on the NFL’s flavor of the last two weeks, Richard Sherman.
During his segment, when asked if there was one player in the NFL McCoy would not want to play with, Shady muttered just a single name, ‘Sherman’.
McCoy would elaborate on his decision by defending his fellow Pittsburgh Panther alumnus, Darrelle Revis. Revis, now of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, has been explicit in his regards for the Seahawks defensive back and, to this day, still feels he is the stronger player of the two. While I am sure there are others around the league who share Revis’ sentiment, it was McCoy with the unprompted seal of support for Revis that made ripples in Philadelphia.
In an article on Birds247.com, Sheil Kapadia documents his chat with the Eagles running back.
“I would take Darrelle Revis. He’s better. If you watch Darrelle Revis’ tape, right, his best clips, and you take [Sherman], it’s not even close. …As a player you’re gonna promote yourself, but if we’re gonna be realistic about it, c’mon. [It's] Revis.
“Next year off the knee injury when he’s really healthy… $16 million in one season for a reason. You know how that works. …He’s a lock-down defender. He doesn’t have tons of safety help. It’s Revis, we need you to lock him up, and he’s gonna get it done.”
The support of Revis is valid, given his accomplishments early on in his career. That said, Sherman has been held in similar regard over the last two seasons to what Revis was while he was still on the Jets. It is tough to say whether or not Revis will regain the form that had him labeled as the premiere cornerback in football for at least three seasons. Considering the fact that, while never at the same time, Revis and McCoy both attended Pittsburgh University, it could be a matter of alumni support.
Later in his interview, in perhaps a more telling snippet of McCoy’s true feelings toward the Seattle defensive back, Shady further explained why Sherman would not work in the Eagles locker room.
“I like Sherman, I like his confidence. …Oh no, I wouldn’t want him in the locker room in Philadelphia. It would be too much.”
Fortunately for McCoy, it is tough to imagine the All-Pro defender leaving the Emerald City any time soon. He is one of the most valuable players in the league and will be among the highest paid players at his position in the near future.
McCoy has never been one to bite his tongue and, for the most part, has not seen his momentary displays of trash talking in the media bite him in the rear-end. If there is one player a team should be ok with this type of fodder, it should be their best player. McCoy is the Eagles best player and has done enough not to be coddled when it comes to representing the team in the media. That being said, there are a few things that could be a slight cause for concern.
McCoy is either slightly delusional, and cannot see in front of his face that Sherman is one of the best players in the league, regardless of position. Or he is uneasy around the type of personality that Sherman has highlighted to vault himself to the biggest story of Super Bowl week.
Given the fact that Cary Williams was on the team this year and McCoy did not appear to have any issue with him, I don’t doubt that Shady can handle a more boisterous teammate in the locker room. Williams, who is a serviceable corner, might not have half the talent of Sherman despite having a mouth that gets him in just as much trouble.
Not that it necessarily matters, given the fact that LeSean McCoy holds no weight when it comes to personnel decisions, but his defiant support of Revis being substantially better than Sherman is borderline ignorant. Sticking up for a fellow alumni is a common practice in the NFL, and for McCoy to toss his hat in Revis’ ring is admirable. To say that Revis, even at 100% strength, is so far beyond Sherman that ‘it’s not even close’ is just wrong.
To unearth all of the statistics for both players and try and make it a numbers game does not work with cornerbacks in the modern NFL. One would have an easier time identifying the impact the individual player has on opposing teams and the league’s approach to throwing on his side of the field. Whether it is now or three years ago when Revis was at the top of his game, both players have done enough in their careers to be avoided and even feared by opposing defenses. Their skills have gone beyond the level where opponents will challenge them. Sherman led the NFL in interceptions this season, with eight. Revis never had more than six during a season, though that should not determine the opinion of Revis.
Sherman is what Revis was before his injury. There’s nothing to say that Revis cannot return to the level he was prior to being hurt toward the end of his career with the Jets. As an Eagles fan, there are only about five players I would NOT trade for the Tampa Bay CB. In a year, Revis could be back atop his perch of the premiere shutdown defender in the league and Sherman could be singing a different tune. Until that happens, though, Revis and all of his supporters should probably dial back the talk. To Sherman’s credit, he came after ‘Revis Island’ before the season started when it came to the debate between the two. So far, he has done nothing but back up his challenge and is currently the best defensive back in the NFL. Some might argue that its Arizona’s Patrick Peterson; and some, McCoy included, still feel that Revis is the top dog on the block. Anyone can make an argument, but until Sunday’s game is over their point is moot. Sherman is the best cornerback in the game right now and, while having Revis on the Eagles would be a noted upgrade, to prefer not to have Sherman in the fold is a misguided outlook by Philadelphia’s dynamic runner.