Friday, January 22, 2021

What does LeSean McCoy add to Bucs backfield?

Veteran running back LeSean McCoy has become the latest to sign on to the Tom Brady experiment down in Tampa. Sitting 22nd on the all-time rushing yards leader list, McCoy will add experience, consistency, and a little explosiveness to the Tampa running back room.

In 2019 the Bucs gained 1,521 yards rushing at 3.7 yards per carry, and scored 15 touchdowns. LeSean McCoy was on the Kansas City Chiefs roster that would go all the way to the Super Bowl, beating the 49ers down in Miami. He rushed for 465 yards and 4 touchdowns and added 181 yards and a score receiving, but would end up being one of the Chief’s scratches for the big game.

LeSean McCoy scored 5 touchdowns all-in last season © Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports
LeSean McCoy scored 5 touchdowns all-in last season © Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Clearly, on the downside of his career, McCoy will still be the Bucs most consistent back when he takes the field. With 2.48 of his 4.6 yards per carry, McCoy clearly still has a lot left to give on the field. In fact, his current profile is eerily similar to incumbent running back Ronald Jones II if we compare their 2019 campaigns.

LeSean McCoy vs Ronald Jones II

In 2019 Ronald Jones posted easily his best campaign so far, with 172 rushes, 724 yards, and 6 touchdowns. While his receiving game could certainly use some work the only major downside for RoJo in 2019 were his 3 fumbles.

The addition of Ke’Shawn Vaughn seemed a logical, albeit maybe a higher selection than expected, addition to add depth and give the backfield a 1-2 punch. So where does the LeSean McCoy signing leave things?

Ronald Jones IILeSean McCoy
Carries per TD28.725.3
Carries per Fumble57.333.7
Carries per explosive Run8.68.4
Carries per Missed Tackle5.19.1
PFF Grade67.665.1

Clearly the two had very similar 2019’s, with RoJo in just his second year in the league and LeSean McCoy in his 11th. With Vaughn currently on the COVID-reserve list, adding McCoy for a very cap-friendly $1 million is a very smart move.

While LeSean McCoy was on the much better roster last season, and behind a much superior O-Line, his ability to break the explosive runs, make tacklers miss, and to run through tackles was still very much evident.

But don’t be expecting the explosive LeSean McCoy that’s been around the NFL earlier in his career. Long gone are those days in Philly where he posted averages over a thousand yards and 5 per carry. However, he still has a lot to offer the team.

As the Bucs look to make a serious run at their first Super Bowl since 2003, the added experience of LeSean McCoy could prove vital. It’s a smart signing that adds depth, good skills, and a smart head to a roster already primed for a very good season.

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