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|The flu kept Pittsburgh RB LeSean McCoy from working out at the combine, so his March 17 pro day will be key.|
INDIANAPOLIS -- He flew from here to Los Angeles on Sunday night having not lifted a weight, run a sprint or spun through a cone drill. And what happened on the flight occurred much of his time here last week.
He threw up.
LeSean McCoy arrived at the combine battling a nasty flu and left fighting mild depression, major frustration.
"It was definitely tough," McCoy said. "You want to compete with the other running backs. You want to show the scouts your skills. If I had made the decision alone, I probably would have participated, anyway. But I'm glad I have good advisors who helped me see that I couldn't let my competitive edge get to me. It just wasn't smart to do that. This is life and career at stake. I will get my shot."
It comes on March 17 at his pro-day workout at the University of Pittsburgh, where McCoy for two seasons averaged nearly five yards per carry and scored 36 total touchdowns. He will train in Los Angeles until then, looking to build endurance and to return his weight, down to 198 pounds, back up to 208.
After flip-flopping over whether he would turn pro or not, McCoy is all in, though he had three years left to complete two more seasons at Pittsburgh. Ohio State's Chris "Beanie" Wells is considered by many scouts as the elite back in this class, and Georgia's Knowshon Moreno is in the discussion.
But what NFL scouts say about McCoy certainly sounds like this back is as good as it gets: Power, speed, a runner and pass-catcher. Superior inside quickness. Super acceleration. Elusive in space. Ultra competitive.
An NFL scout at the combine described McCoy in three words -- "a fabulous player."
Think he will attract a crowd at his campus next month?
"I'd say I am a young kid who handles his own," McCoy said. "A focused young man. Determined. Very mature for his age. A hard worker and competitor. Tough kid. Fast and elusive. Quick feet. Really good vision. No quit, no matter the score. A playmaker. I ask myself all the time, who in the NFL do I think my game can become like? I'd say LT (San Diego's LaDainian Tomlinson). I know that blocking is the thing I have to work on most. I know that with coaching that part of my game will reach the NFL level."
No lack of confidence with this player, and for good reason. The fastest 40-yard dash by a running back at the combine was Virginia's Cedric Peerman at 4.45. Wells ran 4.59. McCoy said his fastest time ever is 4.33 and 4.35.
He is confident that at his pro day he will top the best combine effort.
"Definitely," McCoy said. "I was surprised at some of the times. I know I can do better. I watched at the combine how the workouts were for the running backs. It was a totally different tempo than a regular workout. Scouts mark down everything and want to see you do things the right way. Seeing that will help me prepare for my pro day.
"My interviews were cool. The teams I remember were the Patriots, Colts, Eagles, Bears, Browns, Bengals, Giants, Cardinals, Packers and Chargers. You see these coaches on the sidelines in NFL games, and it was interesting watching them work in a business fashion with me. It seemed like they wanted to know me more as a person than a player."
That is in part because the player is on film for all to see.
"A fabulous player."
Doctors told McCoy during a visit on Monday morning that he should be 100 percent by late next week. He has begun to train now, anyway, as much as he can do, he said. The glands in his throat are swollen, and eating and maintaining food is still a problem. But he knows that will not last.
He knows his pro-day results will.
"I think I'm in a pretty good situation," McCoy said. "I'm going to go in there and give it my all. Give the scouts something to think about. They probably have a good idea. I want to surpass their expectations and give them more to think about. I'm going to build myself back."