LeSean McCoy admits he’s probably one of the guys Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers was referring to when he called out NFC players for not giving maximum effort during the Pro Bowl. McCoy’s not really apologizing. Instead, he’s asking Rodgers to let the rest of the team know how he’d like them to play before the game.
McCoy will watch this weekend as two teams he faced this year square off in Super Bowl XLVI. Find out why he’s rooting for the New England Patriots, but believes the New York Giants will win in the following interview.
LeSean McCoy joined ESPN New York with Michael Kay to discuss his play this year, why he’s not surprised by the Super Bowl matchup, his least favorite NFC East rival, his rivalry with Osi Umenyiora, what happened with the Eagles this year, if DeSean Jackson’s contract situation was a distraction his pick for the Super Bowl, and not playing hard in the Pro Bowl.
You seem to be one of the best players when a play breaks down. Why is that?:
“It’s tough, man, because it’s weird that I have so much success when a play breaks down. The way you practice things, you want it to go like that. So it’s one of those tough things to really choose from. I would obviously say that I would rather have the ball knowing where I’m going, the plays blocked up, you’ve got one guy to make miss. That’s probably better, but it’s weird how things work out sometimes.”
The Eagles played the Giants, twice, and the Patriots this year. Are you surprised these teams made it to the Super Bowl?:
“I’m not surprised, especially with the Patriots. They’re a good team. They always find a way to kind of get it done and get wins when they need to. The Giants, I’m not really surprised, either, because the way they kind of put it together. Struggling a little bit up and down … and still find a way to get it done with injuries, different players not playing. I’m happy for them, as far as battling and getting the job done. I’m not happy for them because they’re in our division.”
Which NFC East team do you hate the most?:
“I’ve gotta say the Giants. They’re one of them teams where they can kind of get under your skin a little bit.”
What’s the deal with you and Osi Umenyiora?:
“Osi was cool, it was just that when I first got in the league, he rubbed me the wrong way. He was talking so much. He was the only guy talking on the field. Each year it got worse and worse. He’s a competitor, he likes to compete, and so do I. We just kind of battled back. We talk trash to each other. We have respect for each other, but on the field, between the lines, it’s every man for themselves.”
What are some of the things that get said out there?:
“Just talking trash. I might say, ‘You’re like the fourth or fifth best lineman on your team.’ He might say I’m a little guy, I’m a little chihuahua. Or he called me Lady Gaga. Things like that. I might say stuff like, ‘I didn’t see you too much in the game today. I saw Jason Pierre-Paul more.’ We battle back and forth, but overall he’s a great player, to be honest with you.”
Why were the Eagles just 8-8 this year?:
“The biggest thing, I think, was turnovers for offense. In this league, it’s way too hard to compete and try to win games turning the ball over. Anytime you’re in the top two, top three teams in the NFL turning the ball over, it’s hard to really win games. The second thing is just missed assignments. So many things we did so well and so many things we did so bad. We have to balance it, more goods than bads. … Toward the end we kind of picked it up. I thought we jelled together late in the year.”
Was DeSean Jackson a distraction?:
“I don’t think it was a distraction. I think that DeSean is a great player. That’s not something easy to battle with, a contract. That’s tough. This is his livelihood. … Everybody handles things differently. People need to understand that. The way he was going through his contract situation, some people might handle it differently. So I don’t want to say he distracted the team, but he was battling with himself.”
Do you have a pick for the Super Bowl?:
“The pick is definitely, for sure, the Patriots. The Giants? Come on.” I’m not asking who you’re rooting for, but who are you picking?: “OK, but to be honest, I feel like the Giants will win the game. They’re too hot right now.”
Aaron Rodgers said some NFC players should be embarrassed by their effort at the Pro Bowl. Your thoughts?:
“Well, I’m one of the guys he’s probably talking about. I mean, it’s the Pro Bowl. It’s more for fun. I’m not sure guys are out there trying to play too hard. … If he wants to go play the Pro Bowl, he can make sure next time he lets everybody know this is how we’re going to play the game.”
Listen to LeSean McCoy on ESPN Radio New York here (Interview begins at 12:25)