McCoy, Former Panthers Perform At Pro Day

There were representatives from 30 NFL teams in attendance for Pitt's Pro Day Tuesday afternoon at the UPMC Sports Complex's indoor field, presumably to see tailback LeSean McCoy work out in person for the first time.

However, there were about a dozen former Pittsburgh football players there showing off for the scouts with the hope that they'll either be selected in the upcoming NFL Draft next month or signed on as a free agent.

It was LeSean McCoy, however, who garnered attention from most interested observers since he lost about 15 pounds and didn't work out at last month's NFL Combine in Indianapolis due to flu-like symptoms. McCoy, who declared for the NFL after just two seasons with the Panthers, specifically wanted to show off his improved strength and speed.

"I don't think I blew anybody away today, to be honest with you, but I think I did pretty well,'' McCoy said. "I think, maybe, people were impressed with my strength. The running drills, showing I my cutting ability, my moves and other things like that, I think I did pretty well.

"But I wanted to blow them away with my 40, which I didn't. But it's still early, and I'll get another chance. I ran OK, in the high 4.4s, which I'm kind of disappointed in that. But, other than that, everything else went real well. My bench was pretty good, 17-18 times (225 pounds).''

McCoy also measured at 5-foot-10 and 204 pounds, so he got about 10 pounds back from when he was ill but wanted to be up to 210. He should get there in the next few weeks once he's completely healthy.

"Just getting healthy again and getting back into it was good, (but) it's still early, you know,'' McCoy said. "All it takes is for one team to like me. Since I didn't do anything at the Combine, this definitely was good for me. ... I did pretty well and I got to meet some other coaches and talk to them.

"It definitely set me back, not going at the Combine and not being able to perform at the level that I wanted to. That set me back. So, it was good to get back into it, working out for this, but I'll have some personal workouts to showcase myself.

"I caught the ball well and ran routes well, and I did the bag drill pretty well,'' McCoy added. "So, the football-related things that I did today, I think I did pretty well. But it just felt good to be back in Pittsburgh, seeing a lot of my friends and coaches and he media. So, it was good to be back here.''

McCoy's agent, Drew Rosenhaus, also was in town for the Pro Day. However, agents aren't allowed to watch the workouts because they can't have any contact with college underclassmen. And the former Pitt players at the event were cheered on by some former teammates throughout the day. So, the agents, and media, had to wait outside in the parking lot.

So, Rosenhaus spent the entire afternoon, several hours, on his cell phone -- unless some scouts stepped outside the building for a minute or two -- but he spoke with the media afterward about McCoy.

"What I said to LeSean today was that he's nowhere done from being finished,'' Rosenhaus said. "You have to stay focused up until the draft, because this is a very critical time. Now that he's finished with his Pro Day and the Combine, he's going to have a series of visits, maybe a dozen teams, and he'll probably have another dozen individual workouts and meetings.

"So, he's going to be very busy, but he's going to continue with his training and stay focused. He can celebrate on draft day, but then he's got to get ready for mini-camp. So, it's a process of staying right on track, because the mini-camp and off-season workout program takes place right after the draft.''

Rosenhaus obviously praised McCoy, but he stopped short of projecting where he would be taken in the upcoming NFL Draft.

"I personally think that (McCoy) is the best running back in the draft,'' Rosenhaus said. "I think he should be the first running back drafted, and I told him that I personally don't care what he runs the 40 in or how far he jumps.

"It's all about the film. It's all about the game tape, and he was the best running back in America, in my opinion. And when you look at his film, it shows that. And he's going to be a great running back in the pros. We represent more top runners in the league than any of the other agencies combined.

"So, I think I know how to evaluate running backs,'' Rosenhaus added. "And this guy's the best. He's not only a great player, but a great person with a great family. He's just a super individual ... and dedicated. So, I know he's going to have a great career on and off the field.''

McCoy, who was training in West Lake, Calif. for the Pro Day, has projected as a late first-round pick in the NFL Draft. And Rosenhaus believed that any size or speed issues would not compare to how productive McCoy was at Pitt.

"LeSean is a good person, an outstanding football player, did a lot for his program at a very good school,'' Rosenhaus said. "That says it all. Whether or not you can work out at the Combine is nice, but it's not going to make or break him. Neither will today. What's going to do that is his entire body of work. Everything is a factor. His entire career.

"Every game, every practice, today's workouts, the meetings and even the Combine. No one thing makes or breaks a player of this caliber. People said that he did exactly what they projected, and they were glad to see that he put some weight back on. He was very sick. I don't like to make excuses, and this guy (McCoy) doesn't, either. But I still don't think he's at 100 percent.

"Typically, he weighs closer to 210 than 204, and I believe he'll be at that weight by the time he lines up in the NFL next year,'' Rosenhaus added. "But the scouts were impressed. He did what he would have done and what the tapes have shown that he can do. What I can do for him is network. We represent more players in the NFL than any other group, and it's all about your work ethic and contacts. So, that's what I'm doing now.''

Other former Pitt players who worked out for the scouts included punter Dave Brytus, offensive tackle Chase Clowser, fullback Conredge Collins, offensive guard C.J. Davis, long-snapper Mark Estermyer, wideout Derek Kinder, offensive lineman Frank Kochin, place-kicker Conor Lee, middle linebacker Scott McKillop, outside linebacker Austin Ransom and tailback LaRod Stephens-Howling.

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