Two years ago, a former Canadian Football League pass rusher arrived in Philadelphia as a long-shot to make the Eagles' roster. After an impressive training camp and preseason, the one-time NFL washout earned a spot on the squad. That player was current Eagles' linebacker Phillip Hunt, who has compiled two successful preseasons and 3 sacks over his short NFL career as a backup defensive end.
This season, another CFL import is fighting to be an Eagle and hopes to repeat Hunt's success in Philadelphia. Outside linebacker Chris McCoy is coming off a two-year stint with the Calgary Stampeders. Like Hunt, McCoy is Howie Roseman pickup with little to lose and all to gain.
The 6-foot-4 pass rusher started playing football as a junior in high school. He was recruited by Middle Tennessee State and redshirted in first year on campus. After two seasons of being an inconsistently-used backup (23 tackles, one sack and a forced fumble during that span), McCoy really gained momentum in his junior season. In 2009, McCoy took advantage of extra playing time and compiled 25 tackles (five for loss) and three sacks. As a senior, McCoy became a full-time starter and registered 64 tackles (20 for loss), seven sacks and three pass breakups. His performance in his final college season earned him Sun Belt Co-Defensive Player of the Year and First-Team All-Sun Belt honors.
McCoy was drafted by the Miami Dolphins in 2009, but was waived during final cuts. He spent time on the Dolphins, Texans and Steelers practice squads until he signed with the Stampeders in 2011. During his time in Calgary, McCoy collected 29 tackles and five sacks.
The 26-year old signed with the Eagles in February. He is currently competing for the backup SAM linebacker position in Billy Davis' defense and has made an impression on BGN's Jimmy Kempski and Brandon Lee Gowton during training camp for his coverage ability. While it may seem like an uphill battle for McCoy, his competition isn't daunting. With Trent Cole, Connor Barwin and Brandon Graham likely locked into their spots, McCoy is battling Hunt, Everette Brown and possibly Joe Kruger for a roster spot. His coverage ability could be his ticket to the 53-man roster.
Here is a look at McCoy's work in the CFL: