The Chiefs running back hasn’t touched the pigskin since Week 15, and was inactive in the AFC Championship Game win over the Tennessee Titans. Despite the reduced role, the 31-year-old McCoy said during Monday’s Opening Night festivities for Super Bowl LIV that he’s not ready to ride off into the sunset.
“Nah, I’m not ready to retire, yet,” McCoy said. “I still can play. So, I’m not going to retire yet, but that day is coming. That day is definitely coming.”
Monday, McCoy didn’t sound frustrated with his diminished role, or envious of younger backs garnering the spotlight that once belonged to him. When asked about his function on this Super Bowl team, the veteran seemed confident in his place in K.C., comfortable as a leader in a young RB room alongside Damien Williams and rookie Darwin Thompson.
“It’s been up and down (this year),” McCoy said of his role. “Early in the year I got to play more, then I got hurt, I got sick. The other backs stepped up and played really, really good, so my role kind of backtracked a little bit. But to be honest, man, like whenever my name is called, my number is called, I’m out there giving 110 percent. Whatever it is. Now we throw the ball a lot, so, we (running backs) can only do so much, but I’m ready to compete and help out.”
Whether or not he’s active for his Super Bowl remains to be seen. After a decade in the NFL falling short of playing in the final game of the year, McCoy is just basking in being on this stage.
“This is a dream come true,” he said. “I always thought of it, but I never thought it could come true. It’s the biggest stage. There are so many great players who have played this game that haven’t been to the Super Bowl. Tons of them. I’m just happy to be part of it.”
For a man who has gone from the limelight to the shadow in K.C. this year, McCoy sounded happy being a mentor. Instead of toting pigskin, the man known as Shady carries wisdom from years of lessons.
“For sure, that’s another big thing, I kind of help dudes out,” he said of his mentor role. “Anything they need. Anytime they come to the sideline, they come right to me and ask me different questions. I’m there to support them, give them the game, because at the end of the day, we’re a team, and we’ve got one goal, and that’s to get a Super Bowl.”
Back in 2009 it was McCoy the young buck taking over for longtime stalwart Brian Westbrook in Philadelphia. Heading to his first Super Bowl, McCoy thought back on how Westbrook took him under his wing and taught him how to be a professional running back.
“I think about a lot of stuff I know now, he’s taught me,” McCoy said. “Brian was a great leader, showing me the ups and downs, what to do, what not to do. Teach me how to block. Teach me what to look for in the line of scrimmage. He was a class act.”
Flashforward to 2020, now Shady is the one with the lessons to teach.
“It’s definitely like that, it’s weird,” McCoy said. “I remember going to the meeting rooms in ’09 and trying to get the answers from Brian. Coach would ask me a question, and I would be like, ‘Brian, what is it?’ but he would never tell me. But after he would always teach me it. So now, when I’m with some of the young guys, they ask me questions, I’m looking at them like ‘I can’t tell you, but I can teach you, so you know for next time. The roles have reversed.”
It’s a role no one would have pegged for McCoy when the season started with him being cut in Buffalo and signed with Andy Reid in Kansas City. But it’s a role that the veteran embraced, and it’s helped get him all the way to the Super Bowl.
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