Overshadowed by the much anticipated, yet unforeseen, signing of Michael Vick(notes) and the return of the most famous butt-chin in America (Tom Brady(notes)), ballyhooed rookie LeSean McCoy(notes) absolutely dazzled in his preseason debut. The Noise, an unyielding Shady supporter, unsurprisingly shrieked with girlish excitement with every attention-grabbing touch.
Playing almost the entire first half, the second round pick from Pittsburgh executed assignments against the Patriots' hard-blitzing, aggressive 3-4 defense almost flawlessly. Twice (one receiving, one rushing) he broke plays of 15-plus yards showcasing the hawkeyed vision, nasty cut-back moves and sensational versatility many expected (See highlights from NFL.com here). More importantly, he performed admirably in blitz pick-up, a quality he's worked diligently to improve this summer.
The Noise isn't the only media member who's fallen hard for the well-rounded back, former Eagles linebacker, and current WIP radio personality, Ike Reese(notes) also daydreams of taking long, hand-clasped beach walks with McCoy:
"I've been very impressed with McCoy since he has been here. The Eagles haven't had a back like him since Duce Staley(notes). He hits the hole fast and has great hands. I didn't know that he was that big when he came out of college. He is solid, runs hard and will be a big part of the offense this year. He won't just be in the game to spell Brian Westbrook(notes). He will be involved in the base offense a lot."
As featured in the Handcuff Hierarchy, McCoy's skill set, comfort level and tireless work ethic mesh perfectly with Andy Reid's West Coast brand. It's difficult to determine exactly how many touches per game he will accumulate when Brian Westbrook is in uniform. But based on the glowing reviews he's received and due to the veteran's advanced age and proneness to uncovering landmines, 170-plus touches (8-12 per game) are a strong likelihood. Considering Westy has never played a full season in his illustrious NFL career, the chances the freshman back nets 2-3 starts are also very favorable. Any owner who sinks a first round investment in Westbrook must make McCoy a top priority in the middle rounds.
Bottom line: last night was a sterling initial effort by McCoy. Fellow rookie runners Knowshon Moreno(notes) and Donald Brown(notes) may enter the season with more hype, but when the smoke clears, the Pitt product might just be fantasy's most treasured youngster. Philly's high-flying passing attack and stout offensive line -- graded a B+ by Pro Football Weekly -- only increase the odds.
Another standout performance, this time in front of a nationally televised audience (at Indianapolis Thursday, August 20th), and the blooming Eagle's ridiculously low 106.56 ADP will surely soar.
Fearless Forecast: 163 rushing attempts, 733 rushing yards, 38 receptions, 300 receiving yards, 5 total touchdowns
How impressed were you with McCoy's first pro game? What's your Fearless Forecast? Discuss below.
Image courtesy of US Presswire