Kelly: Despite Decreased Snaps, Murray “Fits In”
Because of the production the Eagles had in yesterday’s win over the Patriots on defense and special teams, the offense wasn’t on the field much. But when they were, Darren Sproles played more than twice as many snaps as DeMarco Murray (35 vs. 14).
“It just depends on how people are defending you,” Kelly said. “There was no doubles on Darren the other day. We also hadn’t used him a lot before that, so I don’t think that was part of their game plan going in that we’re going to get him the ball in different manners that way. But it was a conscience decision by our staff that we need to get Darren more involved. When Darren has the ball in his hands, good things happen.”
Murray also played just two more snaps than Kenjon Barner (12), although both Barner and Sproles averaged at least 4.3 yards per carry while Murray picked up just three yards per rush. Barner, however, fumbled the ball with 1:02 left in the fourth quarter, giving the Patriots a chance to tie the game.
Kelly insisted Murray’s decreased workload had nothing to do with his lack of productivity compared to the other running backs.
“Everything is a weekly basis, depending on who we’re matched up with,” Kelly said. “Who’s healthy has a lot to do with it. Where does Ryan [Mathews] fit in when Ryan gets back healthy? It’s a good problem to have when you have some backs where when you used all three of them, all three of them are productive for you.
“DeMarco fits in the same way. We have three running backs right now we felt that were productive. We had a couple game plans — there was some things we were trying to do with the big linebackers and with Darren and Kenjon. But he fits in.”
Kelly also noted the unusual way in which the game unfolded. The Eagles ran just 58 plays — while the Patriots totaled 86 — including just seven in the third quarter
“It was a strange game offensively from the aspect of we weren’t on the field [much] in the third quarter. It’s very rarely are you not on the field, but yet you’re up two scores,” Kelly said. “It was a different game from that standpoint so we had 50-some-odd snaps total. Hopefully we get back up to where we normally are in the 70s, and I think that gets expanded a little bit, especially in the run game.”
Here are a few other highlights from Chip’s press conference:
— He spoke about LeSean McCoy, who will return to The Linc on Sunday as the Eagles play the Bills.
“I know he’s having a good year, but I haven’t really broken down film or looked at anything like that. I know that he’s the focal point of that offense and we have to do a good job of team tackling against him, because obviously seeing him in person and knowing him, he’s going make the first guy miss, sometimes the second guy miss.
“We got to stop the run against Buffalo. I think Greg Roman does a great job as an offensive coordinator, and he’s always been a run guy. He did a great job when he was at San Francisco and it starts with LeSean, so our defense better be ready to play this week because we’re playing against a really good back.”
— Kelly also touched on his philosophy of staying positive with players, despite negativity that may surround the team.
“You talking about this town being negative? That’s the first I’ve ever heard of that [laughing]. That’s always been our approach no matter where I’ve been. It’s like raising your kids, are you going to beat them down every single time or you going to — when they make mistakes, you talk about they did wrong, but you also praise them when they do things right? And I think it’s the same thing; I think everybody works that way no matter what environment you’re in.”
— Miles Austin was inactive for the first time this season, and Kelly was asked how the receiver took the news.
“I think, like anybody, he was disappointed. But he understood. Miles is a real team player and knows what we’re trying to get accomplished here.”
— Kelly also discussed how the Eagles’ special teams, which scored two touchdowns in New England, has improved recently.
“Yeah, I’ve seen our [special] teams play really well and been surprised that we hadn’t had as much success as we had the other night. Obviously, what we did was outstanding, but I think our [special] teams have played well at times.
“I think our gunners have done a really good job; I think our punt group in terms of covering kicks has done a really good job. Did I think we were going to block a kick for a touchdown and return a punt for a touchdown against a really good special teams [unit]? We don’t go that far, but I think our group as a whole … they take a lot of pride in what they’re doing out there and have trained at a really high level and are playing at a really high level.”