For Peterson, respect for McCoy is mutual

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For Peterson, respect for McCoy is mutual

Eagle Eye: Who's the better back: McCoy or Peterson

December 15, 2013, 1:15 pm
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Adrian Peterson (1,221 yards) and LeSean McCoy (1,305) entered Sunday as the league leaders in rushing yards. (AP)

MINNEAPOLIS -- LeSean McCoy said in the days leading up to the Eagles-Vikings game that he loves watching Adrian Peterson play football.
The feeling is mutual.
“I like him, man,” Peterson said before Sunday’s game. “He represents the position very well. Quick, fast, explosive.
“It’s really exciting to watch him because you know something exciting and spectacular can come. And he’s got this deception about him because you look at him, he doesn’t look like he’s able to do the stuff that he does. That comes from hard work and willpower.”
Peterson is inactive for Sunday’s game (see story), but he was in the Metrodome press box prior to the game and said that even after everything he’s accomplished in the NFL -- leading the league in rushing twice and TDs twice, three all-pro honors, five Pro Bowls, falling eight yards shy of Eric Dickerson’s NFL single-season rushing record last year -- he does measure himself against the other top backs in the league.
Guys like McCoy.
“We might say we don’t do it, but we do it sometimes,” Peterson said. “I was anxious to get out there today and go head to head with him, but unfortunately it wasn’t able to happen.”
Peterson is inactive for the Eagles-Vikings game with a sprained foot suffered in the Vikings’ loss to the Ravens last Sunday.
McCoy, a first-team all-pro and Pro Bowl pick in 2011, said in the days leading up to Sunday that he hoped Peterson would be able to play because he likes to measure himself against the best in the NFL.
“When we saw Minnesota on the schedule, my eyes got big,” McCoy said. “I thought it was a chance to go 1-on-1 with one of the best backs. You always love to compete and go against one of the elite guys in the NFL.”
McCoy and Peterson rank No. 1 and No. 2 in the NFL in rushing yards with 1,305 and 1,221, respectively. McCoy also leads the NFL in yards from scrimmage with 1,744 -- 354 ahead of Peterson, who is sixth.
Over the past four seasons, Peterson has an NFL-best 5,586 rushing yards, most in the NFL, and McCoy is third with 4,534. Arian Foster is second with 4,806.
Peterson smiled when told how much McCoy wanted him to play Sunday so he could measure himself against the back he considers the best in the NFL.
“It means a lot,” he said. “It just shows how blessed I am and what type of effect I have on the young guys and running backs and just young players in general.
“I’m always trying to tell the youngsters to reach for the stars and to accept competition. And for him to want to go up against me head to head, man, that’s what it’s all about. You’ve got to love it.
“I know it wasn’t in a want-to-show-you-up way, just as a player he wants to be the best and I respect that.”
McCoy needs just five rushing yards Sunday to set a new career high, and he needs only 213 over the last three weeks to break Wilbert Montgomery’s franchise-record 1,512 set in 1979.
Despite being only 25 years old and in his fifth NFL season, McCoy is only 1,367 yards shy of Montgomery’s career franchise rushing record of 6,538 yards.
“He’s very impressive and exciting to watch,” Peterson said. “I would buy a ticket to see him play.”