Chip Kelly addressed the media on Wednesday for the first time since Ed Werder's ESPN report about DeMarco Murray expressing frustration with his lack of playing time to Eagles CEO and Chairman Jeffrey Lurie. To no surprise, Kelly downplayed the report. Below is an entire transcript from Kelly's press conference including all questions where Murray was discussed.
"He sat next to Mr. Lurie on the plane on the ride home. They were both sitting in first class, and talked about the game, and what happened with it. I’ve talked to DeMarco since then.”
Q: Did he talk to you before he talked to [Lurie]?
“No. He was sitting next to Mr. Lurie on the plane. He didn’t go and request a meeting with the owner. I don’t know where that came from or how it was, but all of our players sit in first class when we travel. And when Mr. Lurie travels with us, he sits in first class. So they were sitting next to each other.”
Q: Be that is it may, it went to ESPN and Ed Werder. Why do you think that occurred and what was the desired result?
“Why do I think stories go to the media? I don’t know that.
Q: Why do you think someone in Dallas got the upbeat?
“I have no idea. That’s a great question. I don’t have an answer for that. “
Q: Has DeMarco told you he’s frustrated?
“I’ve had a meeting with DeMarco, yeah. I mean, he’s frustrated because he didn’t get the ball a lot on Sunday, which most running backs are frustrated from that aspect. But he’s not frustrated that we beat the New England Patriots and we had a big win in New England. I think everybody’s that way. Every receiver wants the ball. Every running back wants the ball. Every quarterback would like to throw every single time we have an opportunity. But the one thing I know about DeMarco is he’s about winning.”
Q: Has he expressed concern prior to this week? And shared his frustrations with you?
Q: Are you disappointed he went to the owner first?
"He did not go to the owner. He sat next to the owner on the plane. All players always sit in first class. And when Mr. Lurie travels with us, he sits there next to him. They sat next to each other on the plane. He didn’t specifically go to Mr. Lurie and say “I need to request a meeting with you.”
Q: But just the fact that he expressed disappointment, however it came out, to the owner before he did to you?
“He expressed disappointment to me about that. He wasn’t happy with his amount of carries, and rightly so. I think everybody wants to carry the ball in every game.
Q: Have you told him anything about his carries going forward?
No, we said the same thing. He knew going into the game that we were going to play, and we had a plan, we knew exactly what we were going to do. We were going to have Darren [Sproles] and Kenjon [Barner] play more and he knew that going in to the game. I think [Eagles running back coach Duce Staley] does a great job with those guys. Every one of our position coaches explains our rotation in terms of where we are based at the end of the week when we understand who’s healthy, who’s up, who’s going to be part of the 46 [active game day roster], if the game goes the way it goes. The game didn’t go the way from an offensive standpoint that we wanted it to go. It was an outstanding third quarter but we didn’t really have any snaps in the third quarter. It was a different game from that aspect. We had an interception returned for a touchdown, so our defense goes back out on the field. We had a punt return for a touchdown, so our defense goes back out on the field. So there was a limited number of reps within the 50 snaps on the offensive side of the ball.
Q: Did you feel the need to meet with DeMarco?
I knew he was frustrated, yeah. I wanted to talk to him after the game. When you win a big game like that, we want to make sure everybody’s on the same page. But yeah, I wanted to talk to him.
Q: So you sought him out? Or did he talk to you?
Yeah. I sought him out.
Q: Is he the player you expected when you signed?
Yeah, he is.
Q: Is he the person you expected when you signed?
Yeah, he is.
Q: Why do you think he’s been struggling this season?
I think we’ve had different moving parts. Jason Peters has been out for part of three games and missed a game. We’ve had some moving parts. [Andrew] Gardner started the year for us, he was out. We’ve had some [injuries] there. Sam [Bradford] has missed some games. We haven’t had everybody on the offensive side of the ball in there. We’ve had some drops at the receiver spot. I think everybody has contributed. We’re not exactly where we want to be offensively from any aspect. I don’t think we’re running the ball … I don’t think anybody offensively, we’re not where we’ve been offensively. I’m frustrated. Alright? But when you look at that game, it was a unique football game. You score 14 points in the third quarter on an interception return and a punt return, we’re not having success on the offensive side of the ball, but so be it. I’m pretty jacked up about that because we just scored 14 points against the New England Patriots in New England after being down 14. So sometimes a game expresses itself in a lot of different manners.
[Question about why other Eagles running backs aren’t struggling like Murray is]
It’s all by game. So you kind of look at it where we had success as a group in the Jets game, DeMarco didn’t play in the Jets game. But there has been times where DeMarco has played really well for us. So it’s the same thing, it’s the same message I’ve told our team. There’s been times where we haven’t played very well this year. There’s also been times where we’ve played really well this year. And that’s why I’ve always believed we have a good football team. When we all play well we’re a pretty good operation. So I’ve got confidence in all those guys. You’ll see all those backs again this week. If Ryan [Mathews] makes it through the week and can play, he merits playing time. Darren merits playing time. Kenjon merits playing time. They all merit playing time.
Q: If he’s the player when you signed, then why give that contract to a player who was playing 14 snaps a game?
He played 14 snaps in this last game. Because, again, we had 50 snaps overall. We didn’t have the third quarter that we normally have. When we go in every other game we’ve had, he’s been the leading ball carrier. We’re going to make game plans this week that help us win the Buffalo Bills game. Not much else I can say about that.”
Q: I believe with a player that has 150 or more carries in this season, he is last in average yards per run. Why is that the case?
Because we haven’t been successful overall offensively the way we’d like to be.
Q: What kind of runs plays did DeMarco have success with in Dallas and have any been implemented here in Philly?
"They were stretch, they ran some counter, counter sweep, which we run some of that. I know he had 42 carries from the gun for 206 yards, for a 4.8 yard average, so he had success running out of the gun. He had success running from under. The [Cowboys] were a good football team last year and they did a really nice job in terms of what they were doing offensively. But it’s a different dynamic. You’ve got a wide receiver that’s going to get doubled on every play because he may be the best receiver in the game in Dez Bryant. You got a Hall of Fame tight end [Jason Witten]. It’s a different dynamic in terms of how people defended Dallas than how they can defend us. To compare what he was like in [Dallas] to where he is now, you have so many different moving parts. I don’t think the comparison fits in any aspect of the matter."
Q: When you have a quarterback under center as opposed to being in the shotgun, though, I think the stat was he ran from 91% from when the quarterback was under center as compared to 17% from the gun. And he seems to be more comfortable with the quarterback under center?
"Yeah, but in college he ran from the gun every single snap. So, how many snaps did he have there? And he knew coming in, just like we knew coming in, what we were going to do. We never had any discussion that we were going to change our system. The only discussions we had … “This is why I like DeMarco.” We all talked about winning when he came here on his visit. And Ryan Mathews was here on his visit when DeMarco came. They both knew exactly what we were trying to get accomplished here."