DeMarco Murray: ‘It’s A Fresh Start For Everyone’
DeMarco Murray found out the man who brought him to Philadelphia in March had been fired when the news came across his television screen.
Murray, who failed to produce the way former Eagles head coach Chip Kelly expected when he signed Murray to a five-year, $40 million contract in the offseason, talked at his locker Thursday, two days after Kelly was fired before the end of his third season.
Murray said he had spoken with Kelly since the move, but wouldn’t disclose the sentiments on their conversation.
The 27-year-old running back seemed to have mixed feelings on Kelly’s departure; he said he would never wish losing a job on anyone, and placed blame on the team’s performance, but also said there were things that could’ve been done differently.
Rather than defending Kelly’s methods and practices during the time the two shared a sideline, Murray referred early and often to Kelly’s past successes when discussing what may have gone wrong this year.
“He’s had lots of success in things he’s done on offense, so he was an offensive guy,” Murray said. “He’s had lots of success with different types of running backs, things of that nature. I just think schematically, there were things we could’ve done differently. We could’ve played better. And it’s not just one guy, it’s a collective effort when we have the season we’ve had.”
There are plenty of people who believe Murray’s underwhelming season stemmed from Kelly’s inability to effectively use the former rushing champion, and Kelly’s unwillingness to meld his system to fit Murray’s strengths.
Murray said Thursday, as he has in the past, that he knew the kind of offense he would be operating in before he signed with the Eagles.
“This is the offense we ran, and I tried to do my best at it, and I think every guy did that as well,” he said.
“You’re dealing with new people, and different plays on different scenarios, whatnot. He was the head coach, and he was making the choices he wanted to make.”
But he also discussed, however briefly, the kind of running schemes he would like to see in the team’s next head coach.
“Obviously, I would love a guy who runs zone scheme, outside stretch, and things of that nature,” Murray said. “Whatever [the front office] decide to bring in, I think we’ve got a lot of weapons on this team, so I think it’s going to fit well.”
Much was made of a midseason conversation Murray and Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie had on an airplane after the Eagles’ 35-28 win over the Patriots, in which Murray expressed a desire for more involvement in Kelly’s offense.
Murray said Thursday that despite the frustrations of this season, he had a good relationship with Kelly.
“I thought we had a good relationship,” Murray said. “Obviously, I was only here for a short amount of time, so I think the relationship was constantly growing, and growing, and I think it was headed in the right direction. But I wasn’t here that long. I thought it was good.”
That said, could a new head coach be positive? A blank slate for a frustrated Murray?
“I think it’s a fresh start for everyone,” Murray said. “You get a fresh breath of air, and you’ve got to make the most of the opportunity.”