Anyone who has been around the Eagles these past few seasons knows that if there is one word that doesn't describe LeSean McCoy, it is quiet.
Which is why this offseason, and really most of last season, has been very different for McCoy.
After bursting out onto the scene in 2011 with a record-breaking year, McCoy battled through an injury-plagued 2012 behind an injured offensive line. Gone were the big smiles, touchdown dances and ankle-breaking runs. Instead, McCoy finished with less than 1,000 yards for the first time since his rookie season. It was a frustrating year not only for the fans, but for McCoy. Throw in the much-publicized Twitter spat with the mother of his child, and McCoy has gone away from the public eye since the season ended.
For the first time this offseason, McCoy talked about all of the moves the Eagles have made. While he wouldn't talk about the issue on Twitter, McCoy did take some time during his photo shoot for BODYARMOR (a nutritional drink he invested in) to talk about his thoughts on Chip Kelly, Michael Vick and Nick Foles for the first time since the season ended.
While he said he would miss Andy Reid "as a person and coach," McCoy is excited to see what will happen with a new coach now running the team.
"Chip Kelly loves speed from watching him in college," McCoy said. "I'm excited to see how it works out in the NFL. We have the potential and the players to get it done."
There is little doubt that the Eagles have the weapons on offense to run any system Kelly decides to, but a big question still remains- who is going to be the quarterback? McCoy, who worked out with Michael Vick recently, says while Kelly hasn't tipped his hat either way to him, Vick is the starter in his mind.
"Right now I think Michael Vick is the starter," McCoy said. "People forget- this is Michael Vick. One of the best athletes to play this game. He's got a lot to prove this year, but he's ready to roll. He knows people are questioning if he can get it done, and he's gonna prove this year he can."
Can Vick still be a winning quarterback in this league?
"Oh my God yeah," McCoy said emphatically.
Credit: Matt Kartozian-USA TODAY Sports
McCoy said he is excited to watch the two battle it out like the rest of us, but he is also excited to move on from last year.
"You work hard each year to play the whole season, and when I got banged up, it was tough," McCoy said. "This year I'm looking to bounce back and take off again."
If he does, it will be a big boost to an Eagles offense that struggled to get in the end zone last year. After scoring 17 rushing touchdowns in 2011, McCoy had just two in 2012. Part of the problem were injuries, but another factor was the emergence of Bryce Brown. Even before McCoy went down, Brown got some key carries- especially in the red zone. Both Kelly and new offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur have spoken at length about their desire to run the ball more this year, and to do so with a backfield built around McCoy and Brown.
"Bryce is a great player," McCoy said. "I like the way he plays the game, and I'd be fine with that. I feel like I've shown I'm a No. 1 guy, but it's a team sport. A guy like Bryce has to get the ball."
With so many questions surrounding the team, the expectations are low for the first time in a long time around the Eagles. Gone are the days of double-digit win seasons and NFC Championship games. Despite the recent struggles and turnover in the coach staff, however, McCoy is not one of those people who trending downward.
"I wouldn't say it's a rebuilding year," McCoy said. "That's why this kind of coach (Chip Kelly) was brought in. He's meant to coach our team. He has the players he's looking for- speed guys with tons of talent. It's just a matter of unleashing it. He can win with this roster. The talent is here and the guys have the will to win. We just have to go out and do it."
Follow Eliot Shorr-Parks on Twitter at @EliotShorrParks