Next up for Shady: 12,000 yards.....and more winning

June 18, 2018

LeSean McCoy remembers when he was the young running back chasing the best of the best his first few years in the NFL.  But now, less than a month from his 30th birthday, McCoy knows he is no longer the the hunter, but the hunted, being chased by the younger backs who want to achieve what Shady has over his nine year career.  And it fuels him to keep going and tacking on more.  

More yards.  More TDs.  And more winning.

“It’s weird, because every year, not that I didn’t expect to get this far, it’s just I look at backs like Frank Gore, there’s not a lot of them,” McCoy said.  “There’s not a lot of guys out there.  I want to chase that and be one of those guys. I hang out with them in the offseason, a lot of the running backs like the (Todd) Gurleys, and the (Le’Veon) Bells, the way they view me is like the ‘old head baller’. It drives me. It does, because I remember being 25, 24, looking at the older guys, saying ‘I’m going to catch him, I want to be better than him’. Now, it’s like reversed. Now it’s like, ‘okay, I’m still an elite player, but the young guys are creeping on me,’ so I’ve got to continue to do better and do better. Stack my numbers up, stack my wins up. Just make that portfolio of just a baller. A solid career.”

There’s no doubt McCoy’s already had not only a solid career, but one that may one day land him in Canton, Ohio, as a member of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.  He ranks 29th in all-time rushing yards, 22nd in rushing yards per game, and 39th all-time in career yards from scrimmage.  Still on the outside looking in, but creeping up to some magical numbers that will put him in the same breath as some of the all-time bests.

McCoy is one of only 31 players ever to have rushed for over 10,000 yards, a goal he made clear he was after going into last season.  But now that he’s there, he wants more.  At least 2,000 more.  He wants 12,000 yards.  Only sixteen players have ever reached that milestone.  Thirteen of them are in the Hall of Fame, while another (Edgerrin James) has been a finalist and the other two, Frank Gore and Adrian Peterson, are still active (Peterson has yet to sign with a team and is currently a free agent).  

“We’re chasing 12,000,” McCoy said with clear intent.  “12,000, we’re chasing that.”

Heading into this season, McCoy still needs 1,908 yards for his name to sit next to Thurman Thomas, Franco Harris, and Marcus Allen in the 12K Club.  He almost certainly won’t hit that mark this year, and will have to do it in 2019, which also happens to be the final year of his current contract in Buffalo.  

Last year, McCoy said he felt he still had five more good years left in him.  Does he still think he can play into his mid-30s?  Does he want to? 

“We’ll see,” he said.  “I think it has a lot to do with winning. Winning and other achievements that I want to make and accomplish.

“Also, last year was our first time in the playoffs in 17 years, so (we’re going to try) to capitalize on that moving forward. A lot of exciting things happening in Buffalo right now. I just want to be part of it.”


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