By Harry Allison
Eagles’ running back DeMarco Murray has been ensnared in controversy because of his lack of participation in the team’s offense:
Eagles RB Snaps Since Week 13
Darren Sproles: 62 snaps; 28 touches; 145 yards
DeMarco Murray: 39 snaps; 21 touches; 61 yards
Ryan Mathews: 20 snaps; 15 touches; 42 yards
Kenjon Barner: 17 snaps; 11 touches; 46 yards
The Eagles fretted all offseason about keeping Murray fresh after his heavy 2014 workload, which is no longer a problem.
“Yes,” Murray said with a smile on Thursday when asked if he was fresh, via CSN Philly. “Very fresh.”
After infamously venting to owner Jeffery Lurie after his eight-carry day in Week 13 versus the New England Patriots, Murray said he was fine after an 11-carry afternoon in a win over theBills on Sunday.
“I was happy. I was fine,” Murray said. “We got the win. It was a big win for us.”
Murray singed a five-year, $40 million contract this past offseason that contains $21 million in guaranteed. He has one game of more than 85 yards rushing.
The drop in production from last season is staggering. Murray is on pace for one of the worst seasons for a defending rushing champion.
Fewest Rush Yards in Season by Defending Rushing Champion Since 1970 (Min. 10 Games)
1988 LAN Charles White: 323 yards
2005 NYJ Curtis Martin: 735
2015 PHI DeMarco Murray: 754 <— 2015 Pace (currently 603)
1986 LAA Marcus Allen: 759
Murray has played on 49.4 percent of offensive snaps with Philly this season after competing on 73.7 percent with Dallas last season. The tailback has 17 runs of 10-plus yards in 12 games in 2015 after rumbling for 45 runs of 10-plus yards in 16 games last year.
It’s clear at this point Murray is an ill fit for much of what Chip Kelly wants to do on offense. Murray’s lack of lateral quickness limits the plays and allows the defense to constrict the field when Murray is in the game — especially detrimental in third-and-short situations.
Whether or not his situation changes over the next few weeks as Philly pushes for a division title — or perhaps this offseason, if Kelly is willing to eat the sunk cost — the running back said he’s happy to take as many carries as he’s given.
“It is what it is,” Murray said. “Obviously, you always want to have a chance to contribute as much as you can in a game and we’re winning. So I think at the time, that’s all that matters.”