“I was telling the guys in the huddle, ‘It’s amazing to see you guys move so fast up and down the field with big plays,'” the 11-year veteran running back said. “Sometimes you might get a big play but then some time goes by before there’s another one. These guys, they get a second one right away.
“It was nice just watching it how fast they were going up and down the field, how much space they had, how many opportunities they had and the gains they were getting each play. At one point in the game we were averaging 15 yards per touch. That’s not normal. To see it firsthand is pretty cool.”
McCoy is the newest piece in the Chiefs’ offense, having arrived only days before the season opener against the Jacksonville Jaguars. He was more than a bystander, though, playing 20 snaps compared to 45 for starter Damien Williams.
He was more effective rushing the ball against the Jaguars than Williams, gaining 81 yards on 10 carries compared to 26 on 13 for Williams. The Chiefs were also better when passing while McCoy was in the game. They averaged 15.9 yards per pass attempt when McCoy was in the lineup and 10.1 yards when Williams played. Williams did have six catches for 39 yards compared to one catch for 12 yards for McCoy.
Add it all up and it feels like a bigger role for McCoy is on the horizon this Sunday when the Chiefs travel to play the Oakland Raiders. But Reid said the Chiefs hadn’t figured out how much they would use their backs, including rookie Darwin Thompson.
“I can’t tell you one way or another,” Reid said. “But I would tell you we’re comfortable with both guys. Thompson, the same thing. He can get in there and do this thing, too. We’re going to roll all three of those guys.”
In fairness to Williams, McCoy had a couple of runs that were blocked well and were plays Williams also would have succeeded on. Reid said other factors, such as the defensive fronts Jacksonville showed, played into the success of each player.
But the gap in production between the two backs was large. McCoy showed that even at 31 he still has considerable skills and wasted little time scooting through available holes.
“He hit it whenever he got in there,” quarterback Patrick Mahomes said. “I thought Damien did a good job as well of catching the ball out of the backfield and running the ball. That’s how we have it as an offense. Whoever gets the opportunity, they’re going to make the plays no matter who’s in there.”
McCoy was given only a limited amount of plays to learn for last week’s game, and he has expanded that list this week.
“I probably had one mess-up mentally, but other than that I was locked in,” he said. “I want to earn my [place] on this team. I don’t want it just because of my name or what I’ve done in the past. I want to earn it. These guys are already established. It’s been a great offense before I got here, and if I wasn’t even here it would still be a great offense. I just want to be a part of it, earn every play I get and every possession.
“I’m a little rusty still. I didn’t play a lot, even in Buffalo. They would monitor my reps. I only had one preseason game where I really played. Everything is different here, from practice tempo to the amount of reps. I still have to get used to that.”
Because of McCoy’s age and Williams’ inexperience — he was a career backup until late last season — the Chiefs will lean on both players. Thompson also should get some work, but the Chiefs, at least for now, are comfortable with both of their veteran backs.
“You’ve got two veteran players there that love to play and they give you different flavors,” Reid said.
“[McCoy] looked like he still had the vision and the quickness. He has good feet and he has that vision, that patience. You’re talking about a future Hall of Fame guy who is at the end of his career. He’s getting there. He’s 31 years old. … He is really staying on top of his game the older he has gotten. It paid off for him [in Jacksonville].”