DeMarco Murray Says He’s the Same Back, ‘If Not Better’

DeMarco Murray. (Jeff Fusco)

DeMarco Murray. (Jeff Fusco)

While the playing time slips, attention to DeMarco Murray‘s situation only continues to grow.

A sizable media crowd gathered around Murray’s locker stall Tuesday (he moved his availability up from Thursday because of the holiday) to ask slightly different versions of the same question that he’s been fielding for weeks: what the hell is going on?

Murray did his best to respond in kind, but in truth, that’s an answer that he’s struggling to come up with himself.

One thing the reduced role has nothing to do with, he says, is health or a decline in ability. While evidence shows that it can be tough-sledding for backs coming off 300-plus carries, and though it’s been debated whether he looks sluggish out there, Murray feels like he has not fallen off any physically.

“I do,” he said, when asked if he believes he is the same back as he was last year, “if not better. Feel a lot better.” Read more »

Shurmur: ‘Last Year Is Last Year’ For DeMarco Murray

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

DeMarco Murray‘s long, strange winter of discontent continued in the Eagles’ 40-17 loss to the Cardinals, when the $40 million running back saw just eight offensive snaps, and carried the ball twice for three yards.

After attempting to ride Murray through early season struggles, it seems as if the Eagles’ coaches have taken a different approach over the last three games. After averaging 18 carries per game from Weeks 5 to 12, he has averaged seven carries in the team’s last three outings.

Pat Shurmur was asked about Murray’s diminishing workload before Tuesday’s practice, and the offensive coordinator reiterated that the team likes to have a platoon of running backs rather than a single workhorse, citing health as as main reason.

He also tried to distance Murray’s 2014 NFL Offensive Player of the Year status from what the running back has cobbled together this season.

Read more »

Eagles Notes: Shurmur Talks Diminishing DeMarco

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

From Week 5 to Week 12, DeMarco Murray didn’t have a single game with fewer than 13 rush attempts.

In the Eagles’ last two games, both wins, Murray has run eight and 11 times, respectively.

Pat Shurmur was asked Tuesday why Murray’s workload has shifted and the Eagles’ offense has split carries more evenly between its stable of running backs.

“I think we had a good flow, I think every one of those guys contributed, and we won the game,” Shurmur said.

When pressed on the issue, Shurmur went into a little more detail on the virtues of having a balanced rushing attack.

Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: A Closer Look At the Ertz Play

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

Photo by: Jeff Fusco

It was the longest play of Zach Ertz‘s young career and in his mind, the biggest.

The game was knotted at 20-20 with five minutes remaining, and the Eagles were facing a 3rd-and-3 from their own 41 when Ertz pulled off the big catch-and-run down the left sideline that set up the eventual game-deciding Caleb Sturgis field goal. Read more »

Chip Kelly Talks Malcolm Jenkins And Accountability

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Photo by Jeff Fusco

After practice Tuesday, Malcolm Jenkins clarified comments he had made on WIP 94.1 about the way the Eagles hold each other accountable for mistakes.

“From a coaching style, I was brought up a little bit different where most mistakes that teammates or players make were brought up more in a team setting,” Jenkins said Tuesday.

On Wednesday, Chip Kelly was asked about his response to Jenkins’ comments, and why he chooses not to address glaring mistakes in front of the entire team for the sake of time.

Read more »

All-22: Sanchez’s Interceptions, Receiver Rotation

Mark Sanchez. (Jeff Fusco)

Mark Sanchez. (Jeff Fusco)

It felt like the aftermath of the Dallas game all over again. Lavonte David, who had just intercepted Mark Sanchez twice on Sunday, explained that his pick-six was a result of the Eagles predictability problem.

“It was just play recognition,” David told NJ Advance Media in the Buccaneers locker room. “I knew exactly what they wanted to do. It’s the same thing they were doing all game. I knew that on the drive before they were hitting us a lot with screen passes. So, knowing that, all I needed to do was read and react.

“When I saw the alignment coming out … [Darren] Sproles came out earlier and the alignment came out after. I was able to get a beat on the ball and was able to jump the route.” Read more »

The Astounding Arrogance of Chip Kelly and Pat Shurmur

Photos | Jeff Fusco

Pat Shurmur and Chip Kelly. Photos | Jeff Fusco

The hold Chip Kelly had on the sports fans of Philadelphia has become weaker than the grip of a grandmother.

Part of it is Chip’s arrogance in press conferences, which he apparently doesn’t understand projects mightily to his fan base. But most of it is the coaching. Kelly’s team going into Sunday’s home game with Tampa Bay is 4-5. With a win over the Buccaneers on Sunday, the Birds would actually be leading the NFC East (tied with the Giants but ahead on the tiebreaker protocol). But the fan base here has abandoned this coach like the GOP abandoned Bobby Jindal.

Face it, his coaching hasn’t been stellar, to say nothing of his personnel management. His press conference comments are insulting to any fan with half a brain. Riley Cooper has been open? Our outside receivers haven’t been a detriment and we have enough talent there to win? Read more »

All-22: Why Sam Bradford Isn’t Playing Well

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

Photo by: Jeff Fusco.

After struggling in his first three games while throwing more interceptions than touchdown passes, Sam Bradford finally showed why Chip Kelly traded for him. Against Washington, he tallied three touchdowns, 270 yards and a 122.6 passer rating.

Since then, however, his performance has declined each week, bottoming out with three interceptions against the Giants. After the game Monday night, Bradford was asked if he was happy with his performance.

“No, no. It’s not even a question,” he said. “It was just inconsistent, missing throws. There was some good, there was some bad. But I know for us to be where we want to be, I have to play much better.” Read more »

Eagles Wake-Up Call: Evaluating Agholor

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Asked about Nelson Agholor‘s slow start, offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur pointed to the early portion of Jordan Matthews‘ rookie campaign to help explain why it’s premature to be overly concerned.

“I think there’s a lot of similarities to his game if you compare it to Jordan Matthews a year ago,” he said. “You know, he was kind of grinding it out and we were all asking questions, ‘When is it going to happen? When is it going to happen?’ And boom, he had a game where he had a good bunch of production.”

To Shurmur’s point, Matthews was held to three catches on eight targets in his first two games. The breakout occurred in Week 3 against Washington — this week’s opponent. Matthews had eight catches for 59 yards and a pair of touchdowns to kickstart what proved to be a very productive rookie year.

“I think Nelson can do even better than me,” said Matthews. Read more »

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