Chip Kelly: “A lot of validity” to concern about DeMarco Murray’s 2014 workload


The Eagles haven’t given running back DeMarco Murray all that much to do during training camp and his light workload shifted to non-existent during Sunday’s preseason opener against the Colts.

Murray sat out the game as the Eagles continued to tread lightly with a player who had 497 touches by the time the Cowboys were eliminated from the playoffs by the Packers. In an interview with Peter King of, coach Chip Kelly admitted that his approach to Murray this offseason has been fueled by concerns raised by the history of backs returning from a heavy workload in the previous season.

“I think there is a lot of validity to it,” Kelly said. “But how do you manage him going into a season? Our plan all along was to get another running back with him. I wanted to have two running backs, and that’s why we got Ryan [Mathews]. I don’t think you can have a guy carry it 370 to 400 times per season and be successful. We’re going to run it a lot — we always do — but we’ll have more than one guy doing it.”

Sussing out which back will get the lion’s share of the work from week to week will probably join fantasy football players up the wall, but the actual football results should be good for the Eagles as long as both backs stay healthy. That’s been a problem for both backs in the past, but splitting the load might prove to be the right thing on that front.

33 responses to “Chip Kelly: “A lot of validity” to concern about DeMarco Murray’s 2014 workload

  1. Uh oh, but Eagle fans said it doesn’t matter even though just about every person with that many touches had their careers over shortly thereafter. I’m sure sitting out the preseason will fix all this for a player who is injury prone to begin with, lol.

  2. Injury prone quarterback
    Injury prone running backs
    Suspect offenesive line
    Unproven wide outs
    Sanchez waiting in the wing
    Popcorn in microwave………

  3. I don’t think you can have a guy carry it 370 to 400 times per season and be successful.”

    Well….. how successful were the Cowboys..?

    To add to his point, Demarco wanted all those touches to prove he could maintain the workload be productive and get his pay… The Cowboys tried to institute a committee approach and he would not allow it….

  4. Thesmartestmanever, it may only be one game but it was easy to see the talent the Eagles have at receiver. Agholor and Matthews will not only be fine, they’ll be dynamic. The offensive also looked good in the limited time they played. Both Herremans and Mathis were on the backside of their careers and their replacements have been good through camp. Plus there are still pillars like Peters, Kelce and Johnson. Bradford and Murray may be question marks but the Eagles are clearly a good team. Their front 7 looked like their usual dominant selves against the run and they’ve upgraded the secondary. Ryan Mathews has been dynamic all training camp and he flashed in the short time he played against the Colts yesterday. Now it may be a stretch to take so much from one preseason game but the biggest thing anyone could see from the Eagles yesterday is their depth. It is obviously the deepest roster Chip has had. While the Colts backups struggled to get anything going the Eagles had guys making plays into the 4th quarter. I know everybody loves to hate the Birds but to predict failure simply bc you don’t like them is silly. We all saw what Chip has been able to do with less talent his first two seasons and I trust him to handle this roster properly.

    10-6 or 11-5. Again.

  5. just goes to prove that gore was the first choice but he didn’t want to play with bradford whom he got to see every year when he played since the rams were division rivals. once the chance to play with luck opened up gore knew which team was & is closer to that championship. so chip went after demarco once gore was lost.

  6. Smart coach. Save him up for when the games actually matter. He could use the extra rest after the Cowboys used him like a rented mule last year.

  7. The plan all along has been to spread the touches around and if you look at the Eagles depth chart, that’s exactly what the offense is built to do.

    I would not be surprised if, outside of quarterback and Jordan Matthews, none of the Eagles “skill position” starters log much more than 55% of the snaps. This is going to be an offense that is heavy on rotation even more so than in the past and is designed to keep fresh legs out there.

    It’s not going to be great for fantasy owners, but it’s going to be fun to watch.

  8. This is smart. Murray will not make it carrying the ball a lot. He will get injured. Using him with other running backs is the way to go in the NFL nowadays. It’s what most teams will be doing.

  9. As a close friend to the guy that’s a close friend to the organization, I have to say I’m sort of not surprised about seeing yet another article featuring Chip Kelly.

    Not sure why the sports media goes crazy about him and just about hangs on his every word he utters as if they are coming down from the NFL gods themselves. Nothing personal against Kelly, but can we see him win a playoff game first before we conclude he’s the go-to guy an all things NFL?

  10. Is there still any doubt that Murray has some sort of nagging injury?

    You don’t hold out a healthy RB from even light drills as much as Chip has, unless the RB has something wrong.

  11. I don’t think you can have a guy carry it 370 to 400 times per season and be successful.
    This confuses me. The whole article is about Murrays workload last year being 497 carries, yet the Cowboys were successful. Not SB successful but win the division successful, so…..

  12. Chip Kelly knows what he’s doing.
    Maybe. Maybe not. You can’t just say he knows what he’s doing just because he’s the coach of your team. Personally, I think running backs by committee is a mistake, but then again I’m not Chip Kelly.

    Btw, the Chargers (my team) are likely to employ the same running back by committee strategy with Gordon, Woodhead, Oliver and Brown, although I personally think they should go strictly with Gordon as the feature back (gotta see what the kid can do) with Woodhead coming in on key situations.

  13. I’ve never seen a coach who cares more about players health than Chip Kelly. Even to the point of checking hydration levels every morning, and making them wear monitors to make sure they’re not being pushed to the point of injury in practice.

    If I was a player, this is the guy I’d want to play for. A coach like that could easily extend your career by 4 or 5 years by reducing unnecessary wear and tear.

  14. The NFL avg. life of a runningback is 3.5 years. Resting him makes perfectly good sense. Adrian Peterson plays “0” preseason plays for that reason. For me he and Mathews are the same guy. With Sproles, Barner and Mosert in the wings runningback is 0.023% of my Eagle concerns.

  15. Cowboy fans should be the first to realize that being successful in the NFL means winning the Super Bowl.
    Yup, only one team is successful in the NFL each season.

  16. Philly fans crack me up. You paid top dollar for the rushing champion but you’re happy to have him be just another member of the committee because Kelly says so.

    Murray’s always been the type of runner that needs a lot of carries to get in a groove. Good luck with him in a rotation.

  17. Murray should have a better season this year than McCoy , which is the best way to evaluate Chip’s trade.

    McCoy should have the better numbers this season. He’s going to be the workhorse back in Buffalo that gets a ton of carries. Murray will be sharing the load with Matthews and Sproles.

  18. @greg3117 says:

    Because you leave your expensive amazing race car in the garage until it’s time to race and money is on the line. I’m not bringing out the expensive race car and chance wrecking it during a race that statistically means nothing. The expensive race car will get its practice laps… calm down.

  19. Its the preseason. Starters only play to get some rust off. This time of year is about evaluating the players who arent a lock to make the roster.

  20. It makes no sense. You will be paying Murray 8 million dollars to be in a rotation with two other rbs.
    I believe one of the commenters earlier said that it appears that Murray has an injury they aren’t exactly declaring. Running backs need to practice to get their timing down.

  21. That is why you never give one guy, the power over all personnel decisions

    Funny how the only other two teams who give their coaches complete control were the last two teams to win the Super Bowl. Seems to be a model that has worked out really well for them.

    The Jets went from Super Bowl contenders under Rex Ryan to laughing stock almost overnight because Rex and the GM couldn’t agree on which direction the team should go. As a result, you had competing factions in the organization pulling in different directions while the team fell apart around them.

    Yes, it’s potentially dangerous to give one guy all the power. But there’s also something to be said for having like-minded people in the organization all pulling in the same direction for a common goal.

  22. Chip Kelly is looking and sounding more and more like the smartest guy in the league. He’s only been in charge of personnel for a short while, but every move he’s made has been a good move. I guess time will tell. On one hand, he hasn’t won a game since he’s been put in charge. On the other hand, he’s unbeaten. I’m not expecting a super bowl during his first year, but I’m expecting Kelly to be competing for a super bowl within a couple years.

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