The latest development in the LeSean McCoy vs. Adrian Peterson claim for the title of "best running back in the NFL" took place after the Philadelphia Eagles' OTA practice on Monday. Reporters asked McCoy what he thought of Peterson's rebuttal to McCoy's claim of being the best running back in the league. Peterson told the media "[McCoy] didn't mean it."
McCoy seemed to be unsure if Peterson's quote was serious. "I don't know him that well. I don't know if he's joking or what," McCoy explained. "I don't know how to take that. I play the game and it speaks for itself. [...] He was saying a lot."
Later on, McCoy was asked what makes him the best. His answer: "I feel like if you look around, look at tape, as a back I do everything. From running, catching, blocking, no third-down guy mixed in and out. There's not anything that you ask me to do that I won't do or that I can't do. So from that aspect, the last three years, I don't think there's a back that's been more productive."
McCoy's claim isn't wrong. In the last three years, McCoy has gained a total of 4983 yards from scrimmage on 941 total touches. That's good for an average of 5.3 yards per touch. Peterson, who's certainly no slouch, gained 4860 on 922 touches for an average of 5.27. In this respect, McCoy just edges out Peterson.
Sure, you can claim that Peterson has been the better "pure runner", but I don't see the purpose of not accounting for receiving yards, which count the same as rush yards the last time I checked.
In non-Peterson news, McCoy also touched on why he feels he can be even more effective with newly acquired running back Darren Sproles in the mix. McCoy feels Sproles will help keep him fresh, which will especially matter late in games.
"I think, to be honest, Sproles is really going to help me out. Just another option. Another type of look/formation, that teams will have to be aware of. And also to keep me fresh. Leading the league [in rushing] is definitely a great thing to do. Running around with the belt is definitely fun. But [Sproles] just being productive [will help]. If he takes some of the load off, in the 4th quarter I'm fresh. I know a defense won't like to see that. [...] Also that you're preparing for our offense, and you have two of us back there, it's a screen, it's a run, it's a pass. I mean, Coach Kelly, he finds ways to get us into open space, so I like it."
But even though McCoy may best supremely talented, some are already wondering if he will fall into the same situation that happened with former Eagles WR DeSean Jackson this offseason. McCoy's cap number, which is currently just under $10 million, will jump up nearly $12 million for 2015. McCoy said he isn't worried about this right now.
"Not really [worried]. I know it's a business. I feel like if I do my job as far as being a productive player... and just being positive, just being everything that I am. I'm not nervous at all. That's something we'll work on when that time comes. As long as I'm productive, stay healthy, and do all the right things, I should be fine. I think in this offense I'm the best fit... around the league, and anywhere. You have to have that kind of confidence. I feel like I've been good to this team and they've been good to me."
McCoy's not worried about "the man in Minnesota", as he calls him. He's not worried about having to share some touches with a new teammate. He's not worried about his future contract status. The only thing he's worried about is working hard and continuing to deserve the title of being the best running back in the NFL.