PHILADELPHIA, PA (CBS) — Chip Kelly made sure he defused that LeSean McCoy taking himself out of the Eagles’ 34-28 victory over the St. Louis Rams during a critical fourth-quarter juncture wasn’t that “big of a deal.”
It’s one of many areas the Eagles’ coach addressed with the press during his day-after press conference.
When asked why McCoy did come out with around 3:50 to play, Kelly said, “I think he does that a lot. I just think people are looking at that situation so it was a different situation, but if he has a couple of carries, he’s comfortable I think, we’re all comfortable that if he comes out and Darren [Sproles] goes in we don’t change anything we’re doing.
“So I didn’t think it was a big deal. When he knows he needs a rest, he comes out for a play or two. Darren goes in and we roll. He feels comfortable that the guy behind him there isn’t a drop off. There wasn’t a drop off when Darren went into the game.”
Sproles had nine touches on Sunday, perhaps the most important was his 25-yard fourth quarter run that gave the Eagles a first down and bled valuable seconds off the clock.
When asked if Sproles could get more touches, “In a one-back offense, you have to pick your poison in what you’re doing and we feel like we need both backs, so we need both of them to play a lot and it’s not both of those guys can be a lead back, either, so it’s not like you run a two-back offense where LeSean can be a lead blocker for Darren, or Darren is the lead blocker for LeSean. It’s not the way those two guys are built. We’re a one-back offense.”
Sproles has been more effective with his carries this season than McCoy, who rushed for a season-best 81 yards against the Rams on Sunday and now has gone the longest without a 100-yard game since his rookie season.
“You have to look at the individual carries to make a decision with that,” Kelly said. “Sometimes it’s blocked up a little bit better and sometimes there is a little bit of a bigger hole for him to hit. But he has a knack though of understanding and he’s a really smart football player, and I’ve said it since he got here. He really is a talented, talented running back that has great vision and great understanding of what we’re doing from a blocking scheme standpoint.
“I also know is that there’s a lot of people that don’t see him and he comes out on the other side. There’s some advantages about how he plays the game and how he fits in terms in how we run the ball.”
Kelly said he’s not concerned with who the running back is, and why one certain player isn’t in as opposed to another.
“They’re both playing very well, they’re both running the ball very well, so either one of them I’m happy with them at that point in the game,” Kelly said. “It didn’t even come up, as to why one guy is in and why guy’s not in. There’s never been a time in the five games we’ve played this season where I’ve asked ‘Why is Darren in and why isn’t LeSean in, or why is LeSean in and why isn’t Darren in. One of those guys is in and they’re both really good backs.”
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