LeSean McCoy Retires From The Gridiron | “Shady” Is One Of The Greatest Dual-Threat Running Backs In NFL History

(Photo: @shadymccoy/IG)

LeSean “Shady” McCoy is retiring from the NFL after 12 seasons. He signed a one-day contract with the Eagles on Thursday to end his career in the place where it started.

McCoy ended his career as the best statistical running back of the 2010s in terms of yardage (10,434). He also made six Pro Bowls, was a two-time All-Pro and a two-time Super Bowl champion.

 

There was a time when Shady’s game was so turned up as a member of the Eagles that he was compared to the football version of the movie “Fast & the Furious.” Over his first four years in the NFL McCoy put up some scorching numbers.

All-Purpose Dominance

McCoy starred at the University of Pittsburgh before entering the league as a second-round pick of the Eagles in 2009. He took over from running back Brian Westbrook in 2010 and had 1,080 rushing yards and seven touchdowns in a powerful offense led by Michael Vick.  With the multi-talented Vick at the helm, the following season McCoy became a star and had his best year, scoring 17 TDs.

Over the next four years he broke the 1,300-yard rushing mark twice and was a force catching balls out of the backfield before being traded to Buffalo, where he continued to rack up 1,000-yard rushing seasons.

When McCoy was in his prime, fans were hard pressed to find a more talented running back playing in the NFL.

Sure, Adrian Peterson, is the standard by which all pure running backs have been measured over the past decade. However, in a league where the passing game is king, McCoy was the gold star. He is one of the few backs in the league that could dominate on all three downs, as he proved himself to be equally dangerous as both a runner and receiver.

Nowadays running backs can’t even get on the team if they aren’t dual threats. The success of Shady McCoy has a lot to do with the way the game has changed since he was a rookie.

The New Marshall Faulk

In fact, in his prime, he may have been the most dangerous all-purpose threat the game has seen since the days of, dare I say, Hall of Fame inductee Marshall Faulk.

McCoy, who is similar to Faulk in body type, build and overall talent, also posted similar stats to Faulk to begin his career. Faulk compiled 4,001 rushing yards over his first four seasons, which is slightly more than the 3,866 rushing yards put up by McCoy in his first four years in the league. Their receiving numbers over those time frames are similar, as Faulk caught 211 passes for 1,896 yards, compared against McCoy’s 220 receptions for 1,588 yards. Touchdown wise, the numbers are even closer, as Faulk had 41 to McCoy’s 39.

From 2010 to 2015 McCoy was probably the most dangerous back in the NFL. He always found a way to break off that big run or catch that demoralizes the defense.

Shady didn’t succeed in bringing a title to Philly, but he caught a pair at the end of his run with Patrick Mahomes’ Chiefs and Tom Barady’s Bucs. He had a career that is Hall of Fame-worthy, and hopefully he gets inducted when he’s eligible.

JR Gamble joined The Shadow League in 2012. The General Manager of Content & Social Media is in his 25th year of covering sports and culture professionally. He has covered a wide variety of major sports and entertainment topics across different mediums, including radio, newspapers, magazines and national TV. His passion is baseball, the culturing of baseball and preserving and documenting the historically-impactful accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in baseball.