There’s no question that Ryan Mathews is better than DeMarco Murray at making the lateral runs which the Eagles have been employing so far this year.
Over time I think Chip Kelly will realize that Mathews and Murray have different strengths as running backs. Murray is bigger and stronger than Mathews, while Mathews is faster and quicker than Murray. The speed of Mathews fits the lateral run game while Murray is best when getting the football heading toward the line of scrimmage.
Murray is going to function better if they move him deeper in the backfield behind the center or quarterback. In my opinion, he needs to be getting the football when he is heading forward toward the line of scrimmage. If Murray gets a head of steam going forward, he can use his brute strength to get a positive gain. If he gets a hole to run through, he’s going to punish the tackler and that’s the way he wears down a defense.
He knows how to finish a run when he’s running North and South. They said they wanted a North-South runner, but they have had him running East-West.
If they have Murray sitting further back there deep in the backfield it’s going to fit him better and allow him to get his momentum going forward. We saw in the Cowboys game that he’s easy to tackle when he’s going laterally.
On Sunday Mathews speed allowed him to outrun the Jets penetration on those lateral running plays. The Jets underestimated his speed and he was able to get outside and get to the hole because he outran the defenders.
I expect Mathews to get at least as many carries as Murray in the foreseeable future. I think his speed and strength made an impression on anybody watching the game including the Eagles coaches. He can hit the after burners and get through a hole. His power surprised the Jets as well, especially at the beginning of the game because he just flat out ran through their attempted tackles.
In the passing game, Mathews is better at running that “Wheel” route, which he caught for a touchdown on Sunday. The speed of Mathews was the key to him beating the linebacker for the score. Murray isn’t going to be as effective with that route. He’s better with those swing routes where he’s headed toward the line of scrimmage.
“We certainly put a lot of effort into running the ball this week. Darren Sproles and Ryan Mathews did a great job”, Eagles offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur said yesterday.
I agree 100% G-Man and have stated so since the Summer
Chip Kelly likes to emplot a more “horizontal scheme” in his Rushing attack which just does not suit Demarco Murray who is more of a inbetween the Tackles Type of Runner and where the weakness of the Eagles OL Is..
Its just a bad fit for him, Matthews is quicker and the more natural runner to the edges in this current Scheme.. Right now with the injuries to Guard Gardner, I doubt the Eagles are going to be moving to a more “Power Rush” Team that many Fans thought he would do, It’s just not Kelly’s System which is built around getting to the edges more with pulling OL and having Receivers that Block …
On a side Note
Texans Cut Kicker Randy Bullock who missed 2 Xtra-Points and a FG in last Weeks game and Signed Free-Agent Kicker Nick Novak to replace Bullock.
Nick Novak had some very good Years with the Chargers (Career 85% Made FG’s %) which is much better than Caleb Sturgis Career FG % of 77%..
I find this interesting ,as it’s so much revisionist history ala Andy Reid.AR held the stubborn belief that the system fit the player ,rather than tailoring it the other way around.This was true with his insistence that a number one receiver wasn’t a requisite,yet until T.O. He never made it to the big dance.Chip and Andy have many similarities ,throwing the ball to less than gifted receivers is now one.Chips failure to adress the O line ,when he’s investing a pot of gold in a gimp at QB ,having a finesse edge running line ,and trying to fit a square peg into a round hole in Murray.One thing that is combustible ,is Murray an established number one ranked back has been emasculated and now seemingly is a potential malcontent.Its all good to frustrate a pedestrian player ,but an elite player ,they have a track record ,and bring that cocky attitude with them .How the “genius” figures this out with shurmur ,will be a work in progress.How to best utilize Sam in areas option,when the defense knows full well he’s no threat to run? How to use Murray as a road grater ,with a make shift O line.How to elevate Matthews to a number one receiver ,when the roster is lacking a true number two? This is the concoction the “mad scientist” mixologist ,brought to the table..With sports science and a dash of luck,we hope he gets this moving in a positive direction soon.
As GM it’s his vision that’s been shown to be looking through Coke bottle glasses..Everything that appeared incongruous ,has been just that . When so many parts of the offense are analogous to fingers in the dyke ,it’s no surprise that every domino falls into the other.A weakened O line in depth has cause and effect ,needing a weapon in the tight end to be relegated ,not to an offensive weapon ,but a more able blocker..A QB that hasn’t shook off the rust is running a R.O. When he has no inclination to run.A Rusty QB who isn’t scanner NG the field has failed to spread the ball to his guys ,thus creating a lack of confidences in a possible promising rookie in Agholor.Weve already touched on the running NG game.One aspect I hope doesn’t manifest itself ,is the over usage and decay of Sproles.If all these parts are needing assemblage ,it’s no surprise the defense and special teams will be required weekly to assist the genius ,in moving forwa d.
There is little doubt that Chip will rely heavily on Darren Sproles this Season and will ride him as much as Sproles can physically handle
Unfortunately, unless Josh Huff really Steps up and starts contributing, we will See more of Sproles split out wide as a Sot Receiver to run some of the Routes that Chip thought that Huff would be doing…
We may even See some Kenjon Barner mixed in if Huff/Murray have injuries
Chip Kelly likes his Backs to be able to get out to the edge for that’s where most of the Running Plays and Passes to his Backs will be..
again, none of this horizontal attack is a strong fit for DeMarco Murray
I’m in agreement ,as stated .I only hope his riding Sproles doesn’t create another hole spewing a leak..
Sproles is signed thru 2016 and Kelly is going to use him until his wheel’s fall off and if they do, then Barner or some other Player(s) will have to step up but Kelly is not going to make the mistake as he did last Year which was not utilizing Darren Sproles enough from about mid-Season on, he’s their best and most dependable Offensive Weapon.. Last Year Kelly got away from using him much as he was a little banged up and then later regretted it
This Season he almost has no choice but to use Sproles early and often
I’m all for the utilization of Sproles ,but there is no way Barner isn’t a huge drop off.While he’s at it ,utilizing the tight ends might be a good way of minimizing that burden on the little man..
Unless there are Injuries to Murray/R Matthews, Kenjon Barner would most likely never be Active for a Game for no Team has 4 RB’s Active for a Game.. The key is whether J Huff proves he’s reliable & can contribute and be productive.. If he does, then Sproles won’t have to be used as much in the passing game, If Huff remains invisible, injured or unfocused, then Sproles will get increased reps/opportunites as a WR …
Chip should of known this already! If he didn’t then shame on him!
Paul…wanted to run this by you because I know players think about these things. Bradford faces three scenarios right now. The guy has made 78 million bucks in his young life and he wants to keep playing ball. However. . . . first is scenario one (distracting his play right now). If he somehow takes that knee out again (especially in the early part of the year) it is the FA scrap heap hoping someone gives him a call to “try out” as a back up at veteran minimum. However, I have a feeling scenario two will be presented by his agent if he doesn’t figure it out on his own by around Halloween. That is this: if he plays 16 games at this pace, he may be playing for the Eagles, or more likely for the Texans or Jets (or fill in the blank with some desparate QB situation) as one of the lowest paid starters in the league on a one year prove it deal. I am thinking by early November he is going to be able to push that fear of getting a booboo right out of his head when he realizes what is at stake. Obviously scenario three is he looks like a top 15 QB for most of the last 13 games (and stays relatively healthy) and he gets his suitors lining up for that 15-20 million dollar standard that franchise guys get paid. Does this sound about right to you??
All Possible Scenario’s Jbird..
I think a Scenario #4 could emerge and if he continues to struggles and is not having Fun Playing,(which right now is what appears is happening) that he may actually just Retire after the 2015 Season, with whatever good Health he still has .. Remember he will have earned some $75 Million in Salary so he’s not hurting for $$$.. I believe he wants to compete at the Highest Level and Play Well, now whether he has that mental toughness to make that happen in Philly is another story.. but I do not see him hanging around the NFL to play as a back-up for a minimum salary.. Why would he even bother..
It this 2015 Season does not go well for him and he isn’t enjoying the Game anymore, he probably will end up bagging it would be my guess
Now if he plays Well and the Team Plays well then he has Options to decide where he wants to Play and for big $$$ whether that’s Houston,or one of the many other Teams that will have to look at their QB Situation after the Season (Browns,Jets,Saints,Broncos,Bears) etc,etc…or he could remain with Philly …
The Better Sam Bradford Plays personally, the more Options he will have..
It’s all in front of him but he needs to step up and show some leadership and some Passion or many Teams are just not going to be that interested in him.. Almost every QB has had success in Chip Kelly Scheme from College to the Pro’s , why can’t Sam Bradford which would be the talk on the streets.. Does Sam Bradford have that deep down burning desire to be great and to be a winner and leader.. .Right now, you would have to say he has not shown that thus far in his NFL Career..
I think very soon, Chip and guys like his buddy Demarco need to start questioning him to his face about whether or not he really wants to do this. His career is at stake like you said and this is his last chance to ever be somebody in the NFL or look back with regret about being a bust that never lived up to his own potential. Some guys can live with that though and $75 million really helps you forget about your regrets.
The fact that the guy plays like he is woried about getting hurt shows me he cares about his career. I mean seriously, it hurts, and surgery sucks and the PT is not fun, but its not like he is going to get crippled. The fear is for not playing anymore, not getting a booboo or having a bad knee that aches sometimes when its damp. That’s minor shit we all deal with as we age. So if he wants to play, he will have to dig down and stop worrying. He is used to being a loser and playing mediocre ball so it is easy to deal with after six seasons. Everything gets easier with time. My other hope is that the defense and STs and other players on offense bring this thing along far enough (say 5-3) until he starts feeling like a part of something successful for the first time since he was at OK playing for a National Championship and he gets his mojo working and wants to compete again at that highest level. Then he puts his Big Boy pants on says f it, if I get hurt I get hurt but I am going to leave it out there on the field because this may be the only good chance I have for one more taste of glory. I can only hope one of these things happens.
He may care about his long-term health after Football as many Players do..
He’s still young, I am not sure about his personal family situation if he’s marries, has kids , etc,etc .. I have read where is has invested $$$ into various Business’s for after Football and is a bright fella so I think he will be in great shape after his playing days..
On a different note, fans should prepare for more of the same from the team this week. By the same, I mean similar to the Jets game. I see it like this (and I never understand this crap). Chip Kelly bubble wrapped his guys and was afraid to let them play. When the season opended they weren’t ready. They should have played three quarters against GB like most other teams do in PS game three. Its dress rehearsal for Christ sake! How is the bubble wrap working out????? The guys are either going to get hurt or they are not! You have three starters out for the year already. What difference does it make whether it is preseason or week 2 or 3 or 8?? If they aren’t there for the playoffs your f’ked anyway. So we lost to Atl by being over confident and unprepared. The following week, we hung our hats on “the second half in Atl” and combined that with some dejection from blowing that game and came out flat as a pancake. That was good though. It brought reality. First of all, the SB talk was BS. Your a top ten team at best and in no way a SB contender. The Dallas game made it impossible to rationalize things and stirred up the media and the fans to the point there was no way they couldn’t get punched in the face with the fact that they sucked. The Jets game was not the kind of game they can hang their egos on and get cocky again which is also good. Therefore, I believe there is a 95% chance they are not going to be flat this week. They still have to feel like they have yet to show they don’t suck. So they should be ready to play. Unfortunately the schedule has not been favorable these last two weeks and we face another tough ass defense. Plus the Skins get some boner to play us for who knows what reason. Desean will be out there on crutches if he has to to keep sticking it up our ass. Anyway, I would prepare to sweat it out for a close win and another uninspiring offensive performance in a VERY loseable game on Sunday.
Next week, (with hopefully some desire to give the fans an apology for the embarrassing way they showed up against Dallas) and a lousy ass defense on the other side of the field, we finally show what got some people excited in preseason and blow up the Saints. I am putting in early pick of 38-20 Birds over the Saints.
It’s really how this 2015 Season will go Jbird..
Until Receivers Agholor or Huff or Both adjust to the NFL Game and and become more consistent to add another outside Weapon opposite to Jordan Matthews, this Eagles Offense will be stagnant
It’s also time for TE Zac Ertz to step up and make some plays or possibly use Trey Burton to take advantage of more mis-matches
The Reality is that the Eagles Run Game will be a work in progress all Season long.. They face better Defensive Front 7’s this Season and the Eagles OL is no longer a strength like it used to be….
If these 3 Young Receivers (Huff,Agholor & Ertz) all take that step up, then the offense can be more explosive and open up which ultimately will help the running game, but not until they show it on the field ..
The Eagles are not an elite team to be making predictions like that.
It is interesting that you bring up Ertz. That guy has been the biggest tease in quite some time. I am tired of hearing about his Top Five potential to be an elite TE in the NFL. At this point, I am sick of waiting and will believe it when I see it. My gut tells me his career will end up being a disappointment.