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Eagles News: DeMarco Murray doesn't deserve more carries

Philadelphia Eagles news and links for 12/9/15.

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Let's get to the Philadelphia Eagles links ...

Eagles using Murray for what he is: Fourth-best runner on team - Inquirer
Mathews - who plans to play Sunday after missing two games with a concussion - Sproles, and Barner haven't struggled in this system to the same degree that Murray has. They don't run as if they're surrounded by a bed of tulips, as Murray does on carry after carry. They've been better, full stop, and at 5-7 and somehow still alive for a playoff spot, the Eagles are past the point of assuaging Murray's ego or fiddling with their offense to better suit his strengths or preferences. For instance, Murray didn't often accept a handoff from a quarterback while the quarterback was in the shotgun and while Murray was flatfooted. He does it routinely with the Eagles. It's like watching an '84 Datsun try to kick over in the winter.

ESPN's Ed Werder explains DeMarco Murray's plight - PhillyVoice
"So I wouldn’t assume that DeMarco Murray was the one who went whining and complaining to the owner about this. He may have had a very honest reaction to something Jeffrey Lurie asked him, and I would assume that he has spoken to (Eagles RB coach) Duce Staley and Chip Kelly about the concerns because they’ve been season-long issues. It’s not like it just happened in this one game. His skill set has not been accommodated in Chip Kelly’s offense. He’s a downhill runner and we saw that with Dallas last year. That’s the way he played at Oklahoma. I think he assumed that the Eagles offense was going to be a good fit for him in that same way, and yet we see him running laterally parallel to the line of scrimmage an awful lot of the time and it hasn’t been successful."

More On Murray’s Plane Ride With Lurie - Birds 24/7
DeMarco Murray had been wanting to speak with Jeffrey Lurie for the last several weeks, per a league source, and that conversation ended up taking place on the plane ride back from New England following a win over the Patriots in which Murray played just 14 snaps. The 27-year-old back apparently struck up a good rapport with the owner from the jump. Shortly after signing his five-year, $40 million deal with the Eagles this offseason, Lurie invited him to his private residence in Florida (an invitation he has extended to many players over the years, including others in this most recent free-agent class), and they have maintained a relationship in the months since. So Murray felt comfortable expressing his frustrations to Lurie about his role in the offense, as Ed Werder reported. The issue seems to be two-fold. Part one is comfort in the scheme, from some of the run designs to operating with the quarterback in shotgun.

Pat Shurmur evasive when asked about DeMarco Murray's role - CSN Philly
Not surprisingly, Shurmur was asked several questions Tuesday about DeMarco Murray, who got a season-low 14 snaps and just eight of the running backs' 32 carries in the win over the Patriots Sunday. As much as he tried to be guarded, Shurmur’s responses are fascinating and actually quite revealing. He didn’t give any indication that Murray’s role as the team’s lead ball carrier will be restored and spoke in much more glowing terms about Kenjon Barner, a Panthers castoff who began this season on the practice squad, than Murray, a former NFL rushing leader and Pro Bowler. Murray’s role appears to have diminished, from a guy who led the NFL in rushing last year and got $21 million guaranteed from the Eagles as part of a $40 million contract to a guy who played only 23 percent of the Eagles’ offensive snaps Sunday.

Murray Mania - Iggles Blitz
Instead, Kelly has run more laterally this year than ever. He doesn’t have an OL that can just drive defenders off the ball, but he does have athletic blockers who can get outside and block on the move. If you watch the Giants game, I can think you see what Chip had in mind. Run wide. Wear down the defense. Then attack N-S. Murray ran for 109 yards in that game and was very physical. Murray has not adjusted well to the new offense. Re-watch any game and you will see holes or running lanes. Murray finds some, but looks lost on other plays. He hasn’t looked comfortable in the offense with any regularity. It would be easy to fault Kelly, but other RBs have adapted and fit in well. LeSean McCoy went from Andy Reid’s offense to Chip’s and got better. Darren Sproles has had success after playing in multiple "conventional" NFL offenses. Ryan Mathews has thrived this year. Chris Polk had success last year.

Why DeMarco Murray may be the biggest free agent bust this season - PFF
DeMarco Murray finished as our fifth-overall running back in 2014; his rushing grade was second behind only Marshawn Lynch. This year, Murray is way down at 63rd out of 67 qualifying running backs. The Eagles’ line is not as good as the one he played behind in Dallas, which has played a role in his regression, but Murray hasn’t looked nearly as decisive as he did in 2014, and is struggling to pick lanes when running outside zone, in particular. He’s only breaking a tackle every eight rushes, compared to every five rushes a year ago, and isn’t gaining as much yardage after contact, either. It’s no surprise Kelly decided to reduce his workload in Week 13.

Eagle Eye: Bradford In The Clutch -
Sam Bradford’s return was big for this offense as well. I think he’s really started to settle in as the starter in this system. His numbers aren’t eye-popping, but he has consistently made good decisions with the football as a passer, something that didn’t change on Sunday.

Three reasons the Philadelphia Eagles can win the NFC East - ESPN
The Eagles do not have to get on an airplane the rest of the regular season, and their next three games are at home. Although the Eagles have gone 2-3 at home this season -- prompting right tackle Lane Johnson’s comments about the team lacking a home-field advantage -- playing at Lincoln Financial Field still should help. Fans will be excited by the arrival of LeSean McCoy and the Buffalo Bills this weekend, especially coming off that 35-28 upset of the New England Patriots. After that, Arizona comes to town. While they are 10-2, the Cardinals are not accustomed to playing football in the Northeast at night. Conditions could very well favor the Eagles’ run-based offensive approach. Finally, Washington comes to town. The Eagles haven’t lost to Washington at home since 2012, Andy Reid’s final 4-12 season.

Eagles' Bill Davis says 'Players, not scheme' led to win over New England Patriots -
"That was about the players," Davis said Tuesday prior to practice at the NovaCare Complex. "The New England game was not about scheme. It was players stepping up. Making tackles. Pressuring the quarterback. Covering guys downfield. Making interceptions. It was fun to watch those guys play the way that they did."

Any Given Sunday: Eagles Over Patriots - Football Outsiders
Then on Sunday, the Patriots' dominant special teams didn't just have their worst day of the season. They had the worst day any team has had this season. Their -44.9% special teams DVOA, fueled by Darren Sproles' 83-yard punt return touchdown and Chris Maragos' punt block that led to a 24-yard touchdown return, was also the worst special teams day that Bill Belichick has had as a head coach, and that includes his time leading a cursed franchise.

The NFC East is garbage and we can't stop watching it - SB Nation
The NFC East is the NFL's worst division, and yet its teams play on Sunday Night Football and Monday Night Football seemingly every week. That's our fault.

Eagles and NRG are working together to give away tickets, prize packs, and more
Check this out, Eagles fans! And stay tuned to BGN for more info on contests involving free tickets.

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