PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Chip Kelly insists DeMarco Murray’s role hasn’t changed with the Eagles offense. For one half in New England, it did.
After starting the game with two yards on six carries, Murray became a spectator throughout much of the second half. Chip Kelly elected to go with Darren Sproles and Kenjon Barner as his primary backs as the Eagles finished off their shocking upset victory over the Patriots. It was not the first game this season in which Murray has struggled, and some wonder if the man who led the NFL in rushing last year will find a permanent seat on the bench.READ MORE: OSHA Urges Businesses To Shore Up COVID-19 Safety Protocols During Expected Record-Breaking Holiday Shopping Season
Kelly insists Murray will still be a key contributor to the Eagles rushing attack.
“DeMarco fits in the same way,” said Kelly. “We have three running backs right now that we felt were productive. We had a couple of game plans. There were some things we were trying to do with the big linebackers and with Darren Sproles and Kenjon, but he fits in.”
The Eagles were once again shorthanded in their backfield, as Ryan Mathews remains sidelined with a concussion. Many expected Murray’s opportunities to increase with Mathews out of the lineup, but Murray’s carries went in the opposite direction against the Patriots. Kelly says it was the game plan and not Murray’s early struggles which affected the running back rotation.
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” I think everything is a weekly basis depending on who we are matched up with,” Kelly said. “Who is healthy has a lot to do with it. Where does Ryan fit in when Ryan gets back healthy? But it’s a good problem to have when you have some backs that when you used all three of them, all three of them are productive for you. Again, it’s always, as you figure out the week.”
Kelly entrusts the rotation of his runners to Running Backs Coach Duce Staley. Kelly believes Staley has a strong read on what is working in the backfield, and thinks the running back rotation is in good hands with the former Eagles back.
“All of our running backs knew our game plan going into that game,” said Kelly. “It wasn’t a surprise to anybody in terms of what we were doing, and I think Duce does a great job of handling those guys. We have to do what’s the best thing for the Philadelphia Eagles, so we are not trying to win a rushing championship or a passing championship or a receiving championship or anything from that stretch of the imagination. We are just trying to win football games.”
Whoever is in the backfield next week will try to build off the momentum of the team’s victory in New England. Next up are the Buffalo Bills, featuring former Eagles Running Back LeSean McCoy. Kelly doesn’t believe that one game can tun the season around, and knows all that was accomplished in New England could be wiped out with a loss to the Bills.
“We take each week as an individual season,” Kelly said. “We had the same exact question after the Dallas game. What will that do for you? We went out and lost to Miami. Our total focus and concentration is just on Buffalo. We’ll highlight what we did well, but we also have a lot of mistakes that we have to still continue to correct and that’s part of what the weekly process is about.MORE NEWS: Remembering Pearl Harbor: Camden County Holds 80th Anniversary Ceremony On Battleship New Jersey
“Our focus is lasered in on the Bills right now.”