By Jack Ryan
So, Chip Kelly, why hasn’t defending NFL rushing leader DeMarco Murray, whom you signed last March from the dreaded Dallas Cowboys, gotten more reps in training camp?
Who is making that decision?
“Me,” Kelly said Friday.
“He’s coming along,” the coach added. “He’s done a lot of different things. Trying to get him acclimated. He also carried the ball more than anybody in the NFL last year. We’re just trying to integrate him into what we’re doing.
“We look at everybody and where they are from a body standpoint,” Kelly said. “And I think we manage every individual player here in terms of where they are and what they are. And my job — not just my job, but our entire coaching staff, training staff, sports science staff — is to get those guys ready to play in Week 1.”
On Wednesday, Murray spoke to the media following practice and said that he wasn’t injured, but a day later, he was back “sitting” on the sidelines (thanks to a well-placed chair from safety Malcolm Jenkins).
“Malcolm Jenkins is just busting people’s chops,” Kelly said. “And I was laughing, because he asked me before he did it, ‘Can we get those guys some mojitos and maybe some fans?’ because they had a day off. But, again, every player is dealt with individually here, so what works for Player A may be different from Player B. And that’s the way we’ve always done it.”
So, the only reason for Murray’s lack of practice is that the team is trying to preserve him for when the games actually mean something?
As far getting used to playing with a new quarterback and a new offensive line, offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur thinks the team has seen enough from him, even with the limited number of practice reps, but the real test is still a few days away.
“Yeah, we certainly can get a lot done in practice, I think, no matter how much or how limited,” Shurmur said earlier in the week. “I think it’s important that we all play in the preseason games if we’re able to, and I think you’ll see that happen.”