LeSean McCoy took to the field as a Tampa Bay Buccaneer on Tuesday morning, not long after finalizing a deal that had been in the works over the weekend. Heading into his 12th NFL season for his fourth NFL team, McCoy is joining forces for the first time with the likes of Tom Brady and Mike Evans. On Tuesday, he admired Brady's leadership on the practice field and was impressed with how Evans has grown as a player over his six pro seasons.
McCoy said he was already friendly with Brady and Evans before coming to Tampa but he will obviously be getting to know dozens of unfamiliar new teammates in the coming weeks. He doesn't need any time to understand their motivation, though. McCoy already knows why everyone is putting in the work as the Buccaneers begin their ramp-up to full training camp practices.
"At the end of the day, we're all playing for one goal and that's the Super Bowl," said McCoy a couple hours after that introductory workout. "So, it was good to see everybody today."
If the Buccaneers succeed in chasing down a second championship and McCoy is a part of it, he will join an exclusive club that currently only has six members. That's how many NFL players have won a Super Bowl with one team and then won another one the very next season for another club. In 2019, McCoy earned a Super Bowl LIV championship ring with Patrick Mahomes, Andy Reid and the Kansas City Chiefs. The six players on the list that McCoy hopes to expand to seven: LeGarrette Blount, Chris Long, Brandon Browner, Derrick Martin, Deion Sanders and the first man to do it, Ken Norton, Jr.
McCoy can't do it by himself, of course, and thus choosing the right team to sign with in 2020 was a critical part of achieving that rare feat. He said on Tuesday that he had several other teams interested in his services but that in most cases it didn't feel like the right fit. Clearly, he feels that the Buccaneers have the potential to go all the way, and Brady's presence is no small part of it. After playing alongside Mahomes last year, McCoy saw how critical a quarterback's leadership is to a team's success.
View photos from running back LeSean McCoy's NFL career thus far.
"You need a couple of things," he said, when asked what a Super Bowl team looks like. "I think, one, you do need talent. Some coaches or people may not believe that – I believe that you need talent and I do think you need a solid quarterback. Then other things – it comes down to just being a great team. All the small things, being disciplined, that really carries over to tight games where you need to win – being disciplined, being smart. Last year with the Chiefs, they had a lot of talent, but they have a lot of good coaching. To bottle up all [those] young guys with their personalities and the obvious egos that come with success – to kind of manage all that – that's tough to do.
"I give a lot of credit to Coach Reid, but a lot of that has to do with the quarterback. It's not all just the physical attributes, but there's things that go miles and miles away for the team when the quarterback is just being a leader. You talk about Patrick Mahomes – he's young, but he's one of the first guys in that building. He's leading by example, not only just by throwing the ball, but by the vocal things and making the guys believe. A lot of that stuff has to play a big role. I think building a team with talent, you need all those extra things to be a successful group and win a championship."
McCoy was a part of some very talented teams in Philadelphia, too, including four that were coached by Reid. He was obviously a big part of that talent, making three Pro Bowls and earning two first team Associated Press All-Pro placements over six seasons as an Eagle. Those Philly teams made three postseason trips, had Reid at the helm for four campaigns and featured such quarterbacks as Donovan McNabb, Michael Vick and Nick Foles. They had a lot of the ingredients McCoy mentions but never made it out of the Wild Card round. It wasn't until he landed with the Chiefs in more of a reserve role that McCoy finally got his ring. Even with all the right people in place, no Super Bowl is ever guaranteed.
McCoy knows that, but he wants to be where the odds are as good as they can be.
"Some things you can't control," said McCoy. "If you do everything right and you have the leadership and talent, the desire, guys want to win – anything can happen in this game. But, if you have those things, I think the chances that you will succeed are very high. At the end of the day, you can't control everything. Sometimes the ball may roll this way or that way – not in your favor. But, the ultimate goal is just to play together, help each other out and potentially you get that championship.
"I want to be with a group of guys that want to win and I think this is a perfect place."