Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

Kelly insists frustrated Murray didn't go running to Lurie

While acknowledging that DeMarco Murray is frustrated with the way he has been used this season, Chip Kelly painted a very different picture Wednesday of his running back’s much-publicized little chat with owner Jeff Lurie after Sunday's game.

While acknowledging that DeMarco Murray is frustrated with the way he has been used this season, Chip Kelly painted a very different picture Wednesday of his running back's much-publicized little chat with owner Jeff Lurie after Sunday's game.

"That's not what happened,'' Kelly said of reports that Murray went to Lurie and complained about playing only 14 snaps and getting only eight carries in the Eagles' 35-28 win over New England.

"He did not go to the owner (to complain). He was sitting next to Mr. Lurie on the plane ride home. They both were in first class. They talked about the game and what happened.

"He didn't go and request a meeting with the owner. I don't know where that came from. He was sitting next to him. All of our players sit in first class when we travel. When Mr. Lurie travels with us, he sits in first class. So they were sitting next to each other.''

Kelly said he has met with Murray since the New England game.

"He's frustrated because he didn't get the ball a lot on Sunday,'' Kelly said. "Most running backs are frustrated from that aspect. I think everybody's that way. Every receiver wants the ball. Every running back wants the ball. Every quarterback would like to throw the ball every single time they have an opportunity.

"The one thing I know about DeMarco is he's about winning.''

Kelly acknowledged that Murray had previously expressed disappointment to him about the way he has been used this season. Murray had a league-high 392 rushing attempts last year with the Cowboys. He has just 163 in 11 games this season with the Eagles. He has had 20 or more carries in just three games.

Murray is averaging just 3.5 yards per carry. He is averaging just 2.9 yards per carry on first down -- lowest in the league among running backs with at least 70 first-down carries.

"He wasn't happy with his amount of carries,'' Kelly said.

Kelly said Murray knew going into the New England game that Darren Sproles and Kenjon Barner were going to get the lion's share of the carries. The Eagles had 33 rushing attempts in the game. Sproles and Barner had 24 of them.

"We had a plan. We knew exactly what we were going to do" with the running backs, Kelly said. "We were going to have Darren and Kenjon play more. He knew that going into the game.

"Duce does a great job with our guys. Every one of our position coaches explains our rotation (to their players) in terms of where we are at the end of the week, based on who's healthy, who's up, who's going to be part of the 46 (man active roster on game day), if the game goes the way it goes.

"The game didn't go the way we expected it to go from an offensive standpoint. We didn't have any snaps in the third quarter because of the way things played out. It was a limited number of snaps. We had 50 snaps on the offensive side of the ball.''

Kelly said he sought out Murray after the game and talked to him about his use in the game.

"I knew he was frustrated,'' he said. "When you win a big game like that, you want to make sure everybody is on the same page. So I wanted to talk to him.''

Asked whether Murray is the player he thought he was when he signed him to a five-year, $40 million contract in March, Kelly said, "Yeah, he is.''

Kelly said there are a number of reasons that Murray hasn't been as productive as he was in Dallas last year when he won the league rushing title.

"We've had different moving parts,'' he said. "Jason Peters has been out for parts of three games. (Andrew) Gardner started the year for us (at right guard). He's out.

"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.

"We're not exactly where we want to be offensively from any aspect. We're not where we've been offensively (in the past). I'm frustrated.''

That said, the Eagles' other running backs have had more success than Murray. Ryan Mathews was averaging 5.7 yards per carry before missing the last three games because of a concussion. Sproles and Barner are averaging more per carry than Murray.

"There have been times where DeMarco has played really well for us,'' Kelly said.

Asked about Murray's success last year with the Cowboys compared to his struggles this year, Kelly said, "They were a good football team last year and did a good job in terms of what they did offensively.

"It was a different dynamic. You had a wide receiver outside (Dez Bryant) who is going to get doubled on every play because he might be the best receiver in the game. You got a Hall of Fame tight end (Jason Witten). It's a different dynamic in terms of how people defended Dallas and how they 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 way.''