This time, Chris McCoy is ready for the NFL

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This time, Chris McCoy is ready for the NFL

July 24, 2013, 7:00 pm
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Linebacker Chris McCoy has been in this situation before. Except that was a few years ago, and this time he’s more prepared. Much more prepared.

He's spent the last two seasons in the CFL and has no plans on going back.

“I’m gonna make the team,” McCoy said emphatically after Wednesday's practice.

McCoy, a 6-foot-4, 261-pound outside linebacker who will turn 27 in November, signed a one-year deal with the Eagles in February. Taken in the seventh round of the 2010 draft by the Miami Dolphins, he has never played a down in an NFL regular season game.    

McCoy was one of Miami’s final cuts following the 2010 preseason, roughly four months after they had taken him with their final selection. McCoy then re-signed with Miami’s practice squad but was subsequently released from that, too.

“Honestly, man, I was lost coming in,” McCoy said. “It was going too fast for me. I’ve been in the game for a while now.”

McCoy’s been around the professional level for four years, to be exact. Following his release from Miami, he sat out the 2010-11 season before signing with Pittsburgh, only to be cut by the Steelers after playing every game in the 2011 preseason. He then had brief stints with both the Seahawks’ and Texans’ practice squads.

He eventually found a home in the CFL, playing two years for the Calgary Stampeders, recording 29 tackles and five sacks during his time in Calgary, all the while working to develop his game and get another chance in the NFL.

Several CFL products have had success in the NFL, including Dolphins defensive end Cameron Wake and Seattle cornerback Brandon Browner, both of whom have made the Pro Bowl.

Coincidently, among McCoy's competition at linebacker is another former CFL product, Phillip Hunt, but McCoy's exposure to the 3-4 scheme gives him an edge.

“There’s a lot more players here, as far as talent-wise,” McCoy said, comparing the CFL and the NFL. “But there are some good players there too. That’s pretty much [the only difference].”

Despite his professional struggles, McCoy has reason to be confident. He experienced significant success at the collegiate level. He was a four-year letter winner at Middle Tennessee State, earning Sun Belt Conference Co-Defensive Player of the Year honors after tallying a conference-high 20 tackles for a loss and seven sacks as a senior.

Then, McCoy admittedly wasn't ready for the NFL. Now? We'll see.

“I’m coming out here every day and getting better,” McCoy said.

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