Eagles Wake-Up Call: First Impressions Of Murray
DeMarco Murray was first asked about LeSean McCoy’s comments regarding Chip Kelly getting rid of all the black players on the Eagles.
“Look around,” Murray said calmly. “There’s a lot of us out here, so I’m not sure about that.”
Later during the interview, a reporter asked about Joseph Randle. The Cowboys running back said recently that Murray left a lot of meat on the bone last season, despite leading the NFL in rushing yards.
“I’m not worried about it,” Murray said. “[He’s] a good kid, and we’ll see what they can do this year.”
It’s been less than three months since Murray signed with the Eagles, but he’s had several opportunities to stir up controversy. He could have taken aim at Jerry Jones and the Cowboys’ brass for not re-signing him. He could have taken issue with McCoy. And he could have put Randle in his place.
But instead, Murray seems to prefer a measured, quiet approach. And that seems to be working just fine with his teammates.
“The first day we were out here, the team run [period] didn’t go as well as we wanted it to,” said Jason Kelce. “And he was out here the next day saying, ‘Hey, that was my bad yesterday, guys. I didn’t hit the hole the way I should have. I didn’t do this the right way.’ And that’s the type of guy you want. Those are the type of people that take it upon themselves to make an actual difference. It’s not this guy, it’s not that guy, it’s not on the superstar doing it one way. He’s the guy that’s taking accountability.
“I think we have three tremendous backs. I’m excited to work with each and every one of them. But so far, DeMarco’s been absolutely great. He’s been motivated to learn, motivated to be a part of this offense and a part of this team.”
Regular readers know I questioned Kelly’s decision to bring on both Murray and Ryan Mathews, especially after Murray carried the ball 392 times during the regular season in 2014.
But the idea that Murray was a product of the Cowboys offensive line is silly. He averaged 5.5 YPC in 2011; 4.2 in 2012; and 5.2 in 2013. Production has never been an issue. Only three active running backs have carried at least 900 times and averaged 4.8 YPC or better: Jamaal Charles, Adrian Peterson and Murray.
Time will tell what kind of effect last year’s workload will have on him, but so far Murray appears to be just the kind of worker and personality that Kelly covets.
WHAT YOU MISSED
NFC East roundup: Dez Bryant reports; DeSean Jackson does not.
Scroll through photos from OTAs.
Three Eagles leftovers: Kelly no fan of the PAT/two-point rule change; catching up with Kiko Alonso; and Kelce’s take on the offseason.
Weekend reading: Darren Sproles’ role, how the Eagles’ talent stacks up and more.
“You can take that as a guarantee.” Byron Maxwell has high expectations for the Eagles.
WHAT THEY’RE SAYING
Tommy Lawlor of Iggles Blitz weighs in on the Evan Mathis situation:
I don’t think Chester is the kid of player you sign for depth. He is 32. This is a guy you sign to be a starting OG for you.
I guess it is possible the Eagles could have signed him with the thought of he and Mathis being the starters, keeping Allen Barbre and Matt Tobin as the backups at OG/OT. I’m just not so sure what’s going on with Mathis and the Eagles. I am starting to think Mathis has played his last game as an Eagle. That’s just the vibe I’m getting. I don’t know anything for a fact.
I like Mathis as a player and as a person. I’d love to see things work out where he could finish his career as an Eagle. It doesn’t feel like that is going to happen.
Jimmy Kempski of the Philly Voice thinks the Eagles have the third-best QB situation in the division, ahead of Washington:
Eli Manning has had more playoff success than Tony Romo, obviously, but Romo is the better quarterback at this point in their careers. Sam Bradford is a complete mystery with the Eagles, both in terms of his availability and his effectiveness even if he is fully healthy. Robert Griffin III was a rookie phenom, but has been an enormous disappointment ever since.
This is the only practice open to the media all week. We’ll have observations, news and more later this afternoon.