The first hole in the dam of the Philadelphia Eagles just spouted off with DeMarco Murray openly saying he is not getting enough touches in Chip Kelly’s offense. Murray didn’t go on a big T.O. type rant. He simply answered a reporter’s question after the Redskins game, which was another loss for his Eagles.
Philly is now 2-3 and headed nowhere. Even quarterback Sam Bradford said as much when asked about lofty preseason expectations, “I think, at this point, when you’re 2-3, those expectations are gone.”
Yes, those expectations are gone indeed Mr. Bradford. Nobody expects much from Philly the rest of the way. Not me. Not you. And not even that genius coach of yours, Chip Kelly.
Kelly has turned the top running back from last year into a disgruntled afterthought. Even fantasy players won’t touch DeMarco Murray now that they have seen how many touches he gets week to week. Even if Murray were getting more carries per game, his numbers against Dallas in week two would deter most sane fantasy owners from taking him on.
13 carries for two yards is not a recipe for a winning lineup.
We all know running backs have little leverage in the NFL today so it is not surprising that DeMarco Murray voiced his frustrations to the media. He gave an honest answer to a relevant question. Obviously he thinks he can help his team if he gets more carries. By airing his grievances with Kelly’s offense, maybe things will get shaken up to the point where Murray can get the ball more. It sure couldn’t hurt at this point.
As we know by now, Chip Kelly is not exactly a player’s coach. The former Oregon Duck has sent major players packing that once were a staple of the Eagles team.
He believes that he can plug most any athlete into his system and have successful results. That may have been true in college. Not true in the NFL….unless you have Tom Brady at QB1. Sam Bradford is not that.
Kelly does not care about how many touches Murray gets or any back for that matter. He doesn’t stay up at night thinking about Sam Bradford’s contentment with his yards per attempt. Chip Kelly just wants his offense ran the way he designed it. To hell with the players who may not like how the box score looks, as long as his team winds up in the win column.
That’s part of the issue here. Murray’s complaints would be unwarranted if the Eagles had a good record at this point in the season. But at 1-3, Kelly’s system is not working. If it were the team would at least have a winning record.
If DeMarco Murray had stuck with the Cowboys for a little less money, he would have over 400 yards already. With Romo and Dez injured, he may even be on pace to duplicate his 2014 season.
So he made his own bed when he chose the cash over a dominant offensive line.
Many will question whether Murray should just be the good team player and go with the flow. I’m not in that camp. I don’t like it when players act selfish to the detriment of the team. I don’t however mind guys like Murray speaking up when there is a problem that is costing the team some wins.
DeMarco Murray could be content to sit back and collect his game checks while contributing little to his team. By questioning his carries per game, that just proves he wants to be great, wants to play a role in his team’s success. A lazy unmotivated player would be glad to have his role reduced while still getting paid the same as if he were leading the NFL in rushing.
I don’t know if any running back can impress behind the offensive line that Philadelphia is trotting out there on a weekly basis. But at least DeMarco Murray is motivated enough to speak out when it has become crystal clear the team needs a change.
If things don’t improve, Chip Kelly is going to find out that players are not the only ones who can be run out of town like Shady McCoy and Nick Foles.