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Why LeSean McCoy didn't think Jason Kelce was any good at first

McCoy had his doubts about Kelce when the two first became Eagles teammates back in 2011.

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After the Eagles cut ties with Brian Westbrook following the 2009 season, LeSean McCoy became the featured back, and he responded with nearly 1,700 scrimmage yards, a 5.2 rushing average and 78 receptions in his first year as a starter.

That April, the Eagles drafted Jason Kelce and word got around the NovaCare Complex that the undersized 6th-round rookie from Cincinnati would likely be the opening-day starting center in 2011.

On the latest edition of John Clark’s Takeoff podcast, McCoy revealed his initial doubts that Kelce could play in the NFL.

“So Andy Reid, we drafted him, we already had a center named Jamaal Jackson, played for a long time, Delaware State, did good, he was really good,” McCoy said. “But that’s when we were shifting and going to Kelce. 

“I’m like, ‘Coach this dude little, man! You think he can block? In the league?’ I mean, I’m the running back, what are we doing?’

“He said, 'Just give him time, he’s young. Give him time.'

"All right. Cool coach.’”

Shady was skeptical.

Until training camp began.

“We get into camp, I remember going to coach, ‘Yo, this center we got? He’s the real effing deal," McCoy said. "He’s tough, he’s super smart and the best thing about him is he’s super athletic. You’re talking about pulling a center. All the way around. 

“So when you ask me (about) some of the best players (I ever played with), Kelce is for sure up there. And I saw it happen. A lot of people jumped on the wave because of the speech he did (after the Super Bowl parade), and he’s been playing for a long time. They don’t know how good he really is. 

“I played with him. I know how good he is. He's one of the best players I ever played with. Him retiring, I don’t think people know how big of an impact it’s going to have. He takes the pressure off the quarterback because he knows everything.”

Shady of course went on to enjoy four seasons playing with Kelce, making three Pro Bowls and 1st-team all-pro twice. During that four-year span, only Marshawn Lynch had more rushing yards than McCoy.

McCoy and DeSean Jackson, who are now doing their own “2510 Show” podcast, both appeared with Clark and addressed a bunch of topics with their usual honesty and humor.

They were reluctant to talk about Chip Kelly because they’re devoting an entire upcoming 2510 podcast to the head coach who released Jackson after the 2013 season and traded McCoy to the Bills after the 2014 season.

But McCoy couldn't resist explaining why he didn’t respect Kelly and that morphed into a commentary about Bill Belichick.

“Chip was scary,” McCoy said. “That type of dude, DeSean might come in there and do something or I might do something, but instead of him checking on me like coach Reid would, he would have people do it for him, the assistant coaches. I never respected guys like that. 

“The guys that get respected are guys like Mike Tomlin, who can cuss you out but also give you hugs and respect you. Andy Reid, Sean McVay. Bruce Arians was another great coach I played for who would get on you – I watched him get on Tom Brady but also give love to Tom Brady.

“When you start getting into guys like Chip Kelly, one way or the highway? Dudes like Belichick? People hate to say it but it’s the truth. … As soon as Tom left, you could see it, ‘I don’t want to go play for the Patriots. Unless they overpay like they’ve been doing.’

“You don’t want to play for a coach that can’t understand you, can’t relate to you, and that’s Bill Belichick. That’s why he ran himself out of the league. Because he’s over-rated as a coach. For real. And then you can’t relate. Why do we need you?’”

To watch or listen to the entire podcast, click here:

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