Running backs in the National Football League will usually fall under the “burner” or “bruiser” category. Take a look for yourself. The Chris Johnson, Jamaal Charles’ of the world would fall under the “burner” category. To a much lesser extent, you could even place a Felix Jones into this category given his elite break away speed.
The larger category is made up of the “bruisers” – The Maurice Jones Drew, Adrian Peterson, Rashard Mendenhall, Michael Turner’s of the NFL. The list would continue with the likes of Peyton Hillis, Brandon Jacobs, Steven Jackson. Why stop there? Mike Tolbert, BenJarvis Green Ellis and not to mention the “it’s about time somebody recognizes what I’m doing” LeGarrette Blount.
But what about LeSean McCoy?
He most definitely isn’t a bruiser and, unfortunately, he isn’t a burner. He has great quickness and elusiveness while making cuts on a dime…but his high end speed leaves you longing for more. That is what makes this season that much more impressive for the 2nd-year running back.
Consider this: McCoy ranks 13th in the NFL in rushing yards compiling 1,080 yards and seven rushing TDs. Those seven TDs have him tied for 12th in the NFL. Seems pretty modest, right? Wrong. If you look at the NFL running backs heading into week 17, only two RBs have tallied more scores with fewer attempts. McCoy is averaging 13.8 attempts per game (26th in the NFL), leaving only Jacobs (8.9 att/gm – eight TD) and Tolbert (12.1 att/gm – 11 TD) ahead of him. Both of those running backs are bruisers, who have the ability to pound it in the endzone from five yards and within.
Taking scores out of the equation, McCoy also leads the NFL in runs of 40+ yards. Yes, I will say that again. In a league that features CJ2K and KCJC (my little nickname for Jamaal Charles), McCoy has had an NFL best five runs of 40 yards or more. In addition, he adds another 7 carries of 20+ yards. We haven’t even mentioned Arian Foster yet! Foster leads all of the NFL in rushing yards, yet only two of his carries have eclipsed the 40 yard mark.
LeSean McCoy, is not a burner threat to score every time he touches the ball. LeSean McCoy isn’t a bruiser who will pick up tough yards and bully his way into the endzone. Simply put, LeSean McCoy is a solid running back who is certainly making a name for himself in the NFL.
One can argue that the presence of Mike Vick opens up a lot for the running game and a back like McCoy. I will simply offer up the suggestion that perhaps McCoy is opening up the passing game for Vick and their group of talented wide receivers. He may not make you “pay” every time he touches the ball, but he certainly makes a defense pay attention. There is a lot that can be said to that.