It’s obvious: The DeMarco Murray Experiment in Philadelphia isn’t working.
Just demeanour during a numbers.
Through 13 games with a Eagles this season, Murray has rushed for a small 606 yards and 4 touchdowns. Last year with a Dallas Cowboys, Murray led a joining in both rushing yards (1,845) and rushing touchdowns (13). He’s now on line to finish with 699 yards — creation him about a third as prolific as he was in 2014.
The problem lies in his fit with Philadelphia’s descent scheme, and as a result, his purpose is smaller than it was in Dallas.
Chip Kelly’s high-powered widespread offense revolves around spacing. The infancy of snaps take place out of a shotgun formation, with a idea of capitalizing on a gaps combined by that alignment. To be successful, Murray contingency rest on his marginal prophesy and conflict to open lanes via a whole line of scrimmage. So if a hole opens adult on a behind side, he needs to see it immediately and take advantage.
Unfortunately, he’s never had to do that before.
As a Cowboys’ workhorse final year, a lion’s share of his carries came when a quarterback was underneath center, as opposite to a shotgun formation. Playing behind a vigourous descent front, he usually indispensable to brand a slight line a line combined (i.e., a hole) — he didn’t need to weigh a whole line of scrimmage. In essence, to adjust to a Eagles’ character of play, Murray contingency rise an wholly new ability set and adjust how he views a field.
This is probably impossible.
Only a handful of backs can be personal as underline backs, that is to say, someone who does all well. Most runners tumble into one of 3 categories: one-cut, open-field or third-down.
Murray is a one-cut guy. He has a singular multiple of strength and balance, with an well-developed ability for aggressive downhill. He can totally indenture hostile defenses between a tackles and get a tough yards. Changing his character would need time and, many importantly, reps, that Murray only isn’t getting.
Over a final 3 games, Murray has carried a round a sum of 21 times, frequency adequate for an chosen behind to get into a rhythm, most rebate learn a new skill. It’s loyal that other players like Darren Sproles and Ryan Mathews fit a element better, though Murray’s character creates him a behind with extensive upside. That’s because a Eagles invested $40 million in him.
In Week 5 opposite New Orleans, a Eagles incorporated some-more runs from underneath center. The outcome was one of Murray’s improved outings of a deteriorate (83 rushing yards and a touchdown). In sequence for Murray to be successful, and for a Eagles to precedence their investment, Kelly would have to totally change a descent approach.
The existence is that Kelly’s up-tempo offense is tailored for a some-more fugitive runners, those who can feat gaps in a invulnerability and intrigue around defenders to emanate opportunities on their own. It’s not a fluke that LeSean McCoy was successful in Kelly’s system.
Ultimately, that’s not who Murray is — and it doesn’t seem that Kelly is peaceful to change his descent scheme. As a result, there isn’t a apocalyptic need for him in a Eagles’ system. So notwithstanding a guaranteed income (more than $20 million) they gave him this offseason, a Eagles should partial ways and find a improved element to their backfield.
Despite being 6-8, a Eagles’ playoff hopes rest in their possess hands. If they can kick a Redskins on Saturday, and a Giants in Week 17, they’ll take a multiplication and horde a wild-card playoff game.
No matter what happens, Murray’s destiny with a Eagles is uncertain. Should a trends we illustrated above continue, we can take his purpose rebate as a vigilance that his time in Philadelphia might be short-lived. Then again, are we certain Chip Kelly will even be behind subsequent season?
Follow Darius Walker on Twitter @dariusawalker.