PHILADELPHIA — In the Eagles' locker room, running back LeSean McCoy is hard to avoid and easy to hear. He bounces from stall to stall, breaking silences with one-liners and boasts about his hometown.
"He's the class clown," center Mike McGlynn said. "In that aspect, he's pretty annoying."
On the field, McCoy has more quietly become a versatile dynamo in the Eagles offense and a building block in their young foundation. But McCoy, whose 2,617 career yards from scrimmage are a team record for a second-year player, has not earned as many headlines as his more celebrated teammates.
"When you've got Michael Vick and DeSean Jackson in your offense, there's not much spotlight to shine your way," said Ike Reese, a former Eagles linebacker and Philadelphia sports-talk radio host. "But it's not easy to make fans forget about a guy like Brian Westbrook, and he has."
McCoy, 22, could play a big role in today's first-round game against Green Bay.
Since opening with a 27-20 loss to Green Bay — in which McCoy had only seven rushes for 35 yards — the Eagles have installed Vick at quarterback and found more inventive ways to use McCoy, who led the team with 1,080 yards rushing and 78 receptions, the most catches among running backs in the league.
"So far, it's been pretty good," he said of his second season. "I'm just working hard and knowing the playbook. I'm playing confident, not nervous, not unsure. I'm just trusting the game plan."
He grew up about 100 miles west in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania's capital. As a spunky teen, he annoyed older players at Bishop McDevitt High. After starring for two seasons in college at Pittsburgh, McCoy set the Eagles' rookie rushing record with 637 yards last season. But he didn't seem to settle down and often returned home, a regular on the sideline at Bishop McDevitt's games.
In the offseason, McCoy committed to staying closer to the Eagles' headquarters, increased his workload in the weight room, improved his pass blocking and grew more comfortable.
"The best is he's still willing to learn," fifth-year running back Jerome Harrison said while seated at his locker, next to McCoy's. "He's been picking my brain since I got here, and not just football."