December 10, 2015
Of course Philadelphia Eagles running back DeMarco Murray wants more carries.
I bet if you ask Ryan Mathews, Darren Sproles and Kenjon Barner, they would all say they want the ball more as well. To say otherwise would be to deny their own human nature.
But so far this season, Murray has been the least productive back on the roster in terms of yards per carry, and against the New England Patriots, the 2014 rushing champion was on the field for a season-low 14 snaps, despite the fact that Mathews was out with a concussion.
That had to leave Murray at least a little disappointed, right?
“I wouldn’t say I was disappointed," Murray told the throng of reporters camped outside his locker Thursday. "Obviously we won the game, so I was happy about that. Every player wants an opportunity to contribute to the team. Especially me, as a competitor, I want to have a chance to go out there and work out and do whatever I can to help this team. You know, it was a little different, but we won the game and that was the biggest thing.”
And as for the in-flight conversation with owner Jeffrey Lurie on the way back to Philly, Murray refused to elaborate on exactly what two discussed.
“We had a conversation — between Mr. Lurie and myself — and it stays between us two," he said.
The 27-year-old running back also said it wasn't as though he sought his boss out to complain or voice his frustrations following his diminished role in the 35-28 win over Tom Brady and the Patriots. The two just happened to be seated next to each other.
“I’ve had conversations with Jeff Lurie before," Murray added. "I was sitting right next to him. What, I can’t speak with my boss?”
On top of that, the Eagles had just knocked off the defending champs in their own building. And Murray seemed to have few complaints about how they went about doing so, despite his limited snap count.
“Things were working with the game with [Darren] Sproles and Kenjon [Barner]," Murray said. "And the matchups with the linebackers — you saw with the Denver game prior to that game. I think they gave us a good chance to win. Everything was working, you had two special teams touchdowns, an interception. So obviously, we didn’t have quite as many plays as we usually do. I thought the game plan was good going in, and we’ve just got to continue to pound away.”
But there has been frustration on Murray's part. However, he says that has little to do with his touches, and more to do with the final score of the three losses that preceded the Patriots win. And after their performances against the Dolphins, Bucs and Lions, it's hard to disagree with Murray's assessment that "everyone was a little frustrated."
As for his number of carries, Murray is still adjusting.
"I love playing for this team. I love the fans. When I signed on that dotted line, I knew I was going to be here for a long time and I’m committed to winning a lot of games here."
“Obviously it’s hard," the former Cowboy said when asked about adjusting to his new role. "I’ve never been in this situation before, and you’ve got to deal with it as best you can. But like I’ve said, every guy in this locker room wants the ball; it’s not just me. Everyone loves the football, everyone loves to make plays. The biggest thing for me is that I just want to contribute to this team."
This offseason, the Eagles signed Murray to a five-year, $40 million deal with $20 million guaranteed. That, for obvious reasons, makes this whole situation slightly more complicated. And on Thursday, Murray refused to comment on whether there were promises made when he was signed -- how he'd be used, number of carries, etc. -- that have gone unfulfilled.
He did, however, say several times that he was happy to be in Philadelphia
“Not at all," Murray said when asked if he had second thoughts about choosing the Eagles over the Cowboys. "I made a commitment to Jeff [Lurie] and Chip [Kelly] and these guys in the locker room. I love playing for this team. I love the fans. When I signed on that dotted line, I knew I was going to be here for a long time and I’m committed to winning a lot of games here.
"Obviously it’s a tough year for myself and the team so far. But we’ve still got a chance; we’re tied for first place in the division. We still have a chance to do some special things. I’m committed here for the long run.”
But if his role continues to diminish, the "long run" is not guaranteed. As for Sunday's game against the Bills -- which features the return of Murray's predecessor, LeSean McCoy -- we'll have to wait and see if the last game was an abberation ... or the beginning of the end for Murray.
“We’ll see Sunday," Murray said when asked if he'll return to a more prominent role against Buffalo. "Will you be there? I’ll be there too."
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