After underachieving in his first season in Philadelphia, DeMarco Murray could benefit from a fresh start. The Eagles' coaching change would seem to offer one for the high-priced running back who was demoted this month.
"I think it's a fresh start for everyone," Murray said Thursday. "Obviously, you have a fresh breath of air. You have to make the most of the opportunity."
Murray said that he would "never wish anything bad on anyone" and that one must consider the effect that coaching changes have on coaches' families, but he also acknowledged it's "the nature of the business." He said owner Jeffrey Lurie did not speak with him before making the decision to fire Chip Kelly, and he talked up his relationship with the former coach.
"I thought we had a good relationship," Murray said. "Obviously, I was only here for a short amount of time. I think the relationship was constantly growing and growing, and I think it was headed in the right direction. I wasn't here that long. I thought it was good."
Murray called himself a "quiet guy" and said Kelly was the same. Murray's past coaches have been "a little more outspoken," but he did not want to compare them. He also remained diplomatic about Kelly's offense, in which Murray has rushed for only 633 yards this season.
"He's had a lot of success with the things he's done on offense," Murray said. "I just think schematically, there were things we could have done different, obviously. We all could have played better. It's not just one guy."
Murray said he wants a new coach who has a connection with the players "mentally and emotionally as well." Asked if he expects to be consulted, Murray said it's "above my pay grade." He would like a "zone scheme, outside stretch," but he said the Eagles have enough talent that a new system will "fit everyone."
He said he has spoken to Kelly since the firing. Murray said he wanted to keep the conversation private and would not divulge who initiated it. He also did not speculate about whether Kelly's ouster would help his chances of staying with the team.
"I signed a four, five-year deal, and I think this is where I'll be," Murray said. "As long as they want to keep me, this is where I'll stay."
New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick called Kelly's firing "really disappointing." Belichick and Kelly have a relationship that predates Kelly's time in the NFL.
"Chip Kelly to me is a really good football coach," Belichick told New England reporters. "I think he does a great job. I think he's done a good job with that team. It's disappointing to see. . . . I don't know how you build a program in one year. Chip is a great coach. He'll end up somewhere and he'll do a great job there. I'd say a lot of the players that were on the Eagles that are no longer on the Eagles aren't really doing too much for anybody else, either."
Cornerback Byron Maxwell (shoulder) defensive lineman Bennie Logan (calf), and wide receiver Seyi Ajirotutu (ankle) did not practice. Maxwell does not expect to play Sunday against the Giants. Cornerback Jaylen Watkins (shin) was limited in practice. . . . Safety Malcolm Jenkins addressed Kelly's communication with players. He said that the perception was not the reality and that Kelly had an open-door policy and cared about his players. But there was a perception that Kelly was unapproachable. "I think the biggest thing is, I think the communication between players and Chip probably wasn't the best," Jenkins said. "It's probably the fault of both parties."