The Player Matters

Posted: July 9th, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 116 Comments »

DeMarco Murray had a great season in 2014. Ask an Eagles fan and they will tell you that Murray produced great numbers because he was finally healthy all year long and finally had good blocking. Ask a Dallas fan and they will tell you most of the credit goes to the O-line. Any back would have posted big numbers.

So which is it?

NFL players chose Murray as the 4th best player in the entire league. I think that tells you they think the RB matters.

This argument goes back years. RB is the most replaceable position in football. There are tons of guys who are between 5-9 and 6-2 and who weigh 190 to 230 pounds. RB is the most instinctive position in football. “Run away from the guys in the other colored jersey.”

UCLA put LB Myles Jack at RB and he looked like a star. Washington put Shaq Thompson at RB some last year and he looked like a natural back there. Curtis Enis was a LB at Penn State before moving to RB. He became a Top 10 pick. Duce Staley was a WR who moved to RB. Ricky Watters played some WR before becoming a full-time RB. And so on.

Denver was a machine from 1995-2005. Whoever they put at RB produced. Terrell Davis. Mike Anderson. Olandis Gary. Clinton Portis.

Can Dallas be the new Denver? Can they plug in anyone behind that OL and get big numbers?

Dallas doesn’t need an elite RB to get results. They do need an elite back to get elite results. That’s the thing that gets lost here. Murray didn’t just have a good year. He was spectacular. He ran for 1,845 yards and 13 TDs. To put that in perspective…after 4 years (YEARS!) Brian Westbrook had run for 2,235 yards and 13 TDs. Emmitt Smith, one of the greatest RBs of all time, never ran for 1,800 yards in a season.

DeMarco Murray was freakishly good in 2014.

Back to Denver. Terrell Davis rushed for 1,538, 1,750 and 2,008 yards from 1996-1998. Those are spectacular numbers. He was a special player.

Olandis Gary ran for 1,159 yards and 7 TDs in 1999. Mike Anderson ran for 1,487 yards and 15 TDs in 2000. The Broncos then invested a 2nd round pick in Clinton Portis and he rushed for more than 1,500 yards in each of his first 2 years. Nobody came close to the level that Davis played at. He was on a different level.

We also have to remember that Denver wasn’t just any team. They had a brilliant offensive coach in Mike Shanahan. His offensive coordinator was Gary Kubiak. The OL coach for the first part of the Denver run was Alex Gibbs, the man who mastered cut blocking and the one-cut running style that allowed those runners to thrive. Those guys built and perfected a system that works to this day. Shanahan had success with RBs in Washington. Kubiak did the same in Houston.

Dallas has Jason Garrett, Scott Linehan and Bill Callahan…all solid NFL coaches. They know what they are doing. But they aren’t Shanny, Kubs and Gibbs.

My guess is that Jerry Jones enjoyed seeing Rolando McClain go from nobody to Comeback Player of the Year material. That helped him decide to go after another underachieving Raider, Darren McFadden. Could McFadden benefit from playing in Dallas? Sure. But he’s never run for even 1,200 yards in a season. I don’t think he is going to suddenly turn into a great workhorse runner.

Between McFadden, Joseph Randle, Lance Dunbar, Ryan Williams and Lache Seastrunk, the Cowboys need to find a couple of guys that can be the foundation of the offense. None of those guys has shown they can do that to this point. That doesn’t mean someone can’t step forward, but there is a lot of projecting going on.

Dallas will miss Murray.

From the Eagles perspective, the question now becomes how good can he be in this offense? I think he can thrive, just as LeSean McCoy did for 2 years. The Eagles also hedged their bet by signing Ryan Mathews to make sure they had good depth and could get away from feeding one player the ball all game long. Murray won’t run for 1,845 yards for the Eagles, but that will largely be due to the fact he doesn’t get 390 carries.

I love the Murray acquisition because I think it helps the Eagles and hurts Dallas. We’ll re-visit this topic in the offseason to see which team ran the ball better and why. My guess is that will be a happy discussion.


116 Comments on “The Player Matters”

  1. 1 Ark87 said at 9:05 AM on July 9th, 2015:

    I think he may have been a bit over-rated by the players to be the considered the 4th best player in the league, but I am excited about the way he fits with us. He should be special for us as long as he is healthy. Ryan Mathews could finally break out here too. Our rushing attack is probably where I have the highest level of optimism.

  2. 2 RobNE said at 9:55 AM on July 9th, 2015:

    I agree. There is no way he is # 4, but I’m excited.

  3. 3 A_T_G said at 1:36 PM on July 9th, 2015:

    Agreed, although the fact that his peer rate him so highly probably speaks well to his dedication, sportsmanship, and leadership.

  4. 4 Ben said at 1:51 PM on July 9th, 2015:

    I would take the word on actual players that had to face Murray rather than some media outlet that can only provide statistics.
    Was he worth a #4 ranking?
    Personally, I don’t think that is a question for fans to answer.
    I think that the players who were getting paid to try and tackle him would be a better source.

  5. 5 Ark87 said at 2:02 PM on July 9th, 2015:

    That’s your right, but the players are meat heads, never count on anything they say, now coaches and scouts I would listen to.
    Ok, I’m being a bit harsh on players, but the truth is they operate on reputation compounded with anecdote. They don’t have time to really form an informed opinion on other players. And they are even more deluded about themselves.

  6. 6 BlindChow said at 7:46 PM on July 9th, 2015:

    Plus, most of the players didn’t face Murray. They likely just went off statistics as well.

  7. 7 Dave said at 9:26 AM on July 9th, 2015:

    This is what really stands out to me, we have 2 big backs with some serious wheels.

    DeMarco Murray
    Height: 6′ 1″
    Weight: 213
    40 Yard Dash: 4.37

    Ryan Mathews
    Height: 6′ 1″
    Weight: 218
    40 Yard Dash: 4.37

    LeSean McCoy
    Height: 5′ 10⅜”
    Weight: 204
    40 Yard Dash: 4.50

  8. 8 Dominik said at 9:47 AM on July 9th, 2015:

    But to be fair, RB is one of those position where the 40 time counts little to nothing. If we’d talk about WR, I’d be with you.

    And of course, the 40 time doesn’t harm Murray and Mathews. But the 4.5 didn’t hurt Shady, to put it this way.

  9. 9 Ark87 said at 9:51 AM on July 9th, 2015:

    true, ironically it’s relatively uncommon for a running back to get into a foot race, there is just too much traffic around the football unless you get past the second level (explosive plays), which is a relatively uncommon occurence. Being an elite back is all about getting through that first and second level, not about what you do after you are through.

  10. 10 RobNE said at 9:54 AM on July 9th, 2015:

    but shady did break thu to that 2nd level. I mean he is great and all, but are we really saying if he could run a 4.37 he wouldn’t have broken off more home run plays? Maybe the reason he always cut back (into traffic) is because he knew he didn’t have the speed to just keep on the sidewalk.

  11. 11 Ark87 said at 9:57 AM on July 9th, 2015:

    Exactly, he was one of the best because he was the best at getting to that level, he’d be the unquestioned best, automatic hall of fame level if he didn’t get caught from behind on the majority of his explosive plays. But the fact that he is the best back in Eagles history even without elite speed speaks volumes.

  12. 12 RobNE said at 10:01 AM on July 9th, 2015:

    I agree with all this.

  13. 13 Dave said at 10:40 AM on July 9th, 2015:

    I agree. My point of the 40 times were that when these big backs hit a hole, they may have the straight away speed to potentially break the long runs without needing the juking since they really shouldn’t get caught from behind.

  14. 14 RobNE said at 10:44 AM on July 9th, 2015:

    yep I was really replying to Dominik saying the 4.5 didn’t hurt Shady. Not to nitpick his comment.

  15. 15 Cafone said at 2:20 PM on July 9th, 2015:

    Yeah, Shady didn’t have incredible open field breakaway speed.

  16. 16 xmbk said at 11:33 AM on July 9th, 2015:

    True, though this system is designed to spring backs for the big play.

  17. 17 Ark87 said at 11:59 AM on July 9th, 2015:

    yes, we’ve been especially good at getting blockers to the second level and giving the running back a chance on the second level, I suspect there will be a play or 2 a game where Murray runs through the first 2 levels clean and his speed will be a revelation to us as safeties have to take absurd angles to intercept him way down field to prevent the TD (or not prevent the TD).

    I think we are all in agreement here, good RB’s make their pay checks consistently grabbing 4 yards using some combination of quickness, elusiveness, power, instincts, decisiveness, etc. The speed shows up on those x-plays, though, which is a very nice bonus.

  18. 18 xmbk said at 11:31 AM on July 9th, 2015:

    True, though Mathews has a chance for some homeruns under this system. Despite having the same 40 time as Murray, he seems to have better top speed in the open field than the other 2 guys.

  19. 19 Ben said at 1:34 PM on July 9th, 2015:

    On the other hand, I hope to see our RB utilized in the passing game more often as well.
    Having two work horse backs like Murray and Matthews should allow Chip to scheme up more passing situations for the RB position as we now posses more speed at the position coming into this season.

  20. 20 wee2424 said at 7:15 PM on July 9th, 2015:

    I disagree, I think it does count more then little to nothing. In the open field the RBs ability to accelerate to nearly a full run can be the difference between a 20 yard run caught from behind and a game changing 60 yard TD run.

    The reason Shady was able to be such a great back was due to his dancing ability. As a one cut runner that straight line speed/acceleration is more important.

  21. 21 Ben said at 1:47 PM on July 9th, 2015:

    Wow, I had no idea how fast our RB’s are and if you combine that with their size, it does seem like a freakish combination of size and speed.
    And to think we have two, perhaps three proven RB’s that have had success in this league at the highest level.
    I cannot wait to see Chip unleash them in our uptempo offense as I feel that all three our of RB’s are capable of big production, especially on a team that emphasizes the run and the blocking techniques that we employ.
    The more I think about this team and our RB’s, the more excited I get.
    It will be awesome when we play dalass and shut down the run, and run it down their throats all game long.
    What will their fans say about their O line after that game?
    Something tells me, not much.

  22. 22 RobNE said at 1:55 PM on July 9th, 2015:

    yes we will unless hell on teams. This all will make Bradford’s job easier too.

    it’s almost like Chip has a clue.

  23. 23 eagleyankfan said at 9:26 AM on July 9th, 2015:

    be warned of any player putting up his best season during the end of a contract season.
    I love DM. I think he’ll be great but I still have the expectation of him not being as effective as last season and to not play 16 games.

  24. 24 Avery Greene said at 10:13 AM on July 9th, 2015:

    He put up 1200 yards in 2013 missing two games. His injury shortened seasons his 1st two seasons, he was on pace for 1k easy. Let’s not make him out to be a player that had one good year because of his contract, I think that’s totally unfair.

  25. 25 eagleyankfan said at 11:41 AM on July 9th, 2015:

    Why is that unfair? RB spot is difficult enough AND it’s a long season. Injuries are going to happen. It’s not a knock on him.
    There is no question — players in a contract play harder because they are playing for their new money. That’s not news. It happens every year, in every sport.
    1000 yards is not a good mark anymore — you’re talking about avg. 62.5 yards a game.
    I don’t understand what’s wrong with expecting history to repeat its self — it always does. Again, I said I think he’s great. I’m just not expecting 2000 yards and 22 td’s….
    My original posts says I love him – so I’m not knocking him. How great can he be? 2013, just about 100 less attempts, he finished about 500 yards less than Shady. Pro-rate @ 5.2 yards per carry, at 100 attempts…scary numbers for sure…

  26. 26 Michael Winter Cho said at 11:10 PM on July 9th, 2015:

    I don’t understand why people are obsessing about the yardage total he puts up. What matters is how efficient he is; ie YPC and scoring TDs.

  27. 27 eagleyankfan said at 6:54 AM on July 10th, 2015:

    Isn’t the end result of YPC is his total rushing yards?How else do you measure how effective he is if not by his yardage? You can look at yards after contact too.
    … TD’s is not a measure at all. He might not be the goal line guy. If Mathews is the goal line guy, DM TD’s will take a hit, but that wouldn’t mean DM isn’t effective….

  28. 28 Michael Winter Cho said at 9:43 AM on July 10th, 2015:

    YPC shows how good he was, total shows how long he was that good. The reason efficiency is important is every carry “costs” the team. You only get four downs; if you waste it on a bunch of 3.0 yard carries, you are probably not helping the team very much. (some kind of robot that could average 3.3333 YPC or 2.25 every single time would be a different deal :).

    There is the situation of the goal line where if you only need and get 2″, then you should be rewarded and not penalized. There is also the situation of, say 3rd and 10 , where the D corrals the runner and doesn’t mind if he gets 7-8 yards, they just want to let him get to the marker. Compare that to 1st down, where you really just want to get a nice solid 4-5 yards to set up 2nd down.

    Basically, in each different scenario, what counts as success is different. This is why I like DVOA, Football Outsiders’ method. They actually chart every possession and the stat gives credit according to certain set criteria. A good 2″ run, a bad 7 yard run, a great 5 yard run, all get weighed properly.

    You can see how on the face of it, total yards is a pretty weak stat.

  29. 29 xmbk said at 11:27 AM on July 9th, 2015:

    Every player is different. I’m less interested in Murray’s numbers than I am in our run game as a whole. Looking forward to that, feels like the pieces never got into place last year. Funny that with all the star wideouts in the division, best running game keeps winning the NFC East. Look forward to that being the case again this year, and Lawlor writing that happy article.

  30. 30 Ben said at 1:58 PM on July 9th, 2015:

    I agree with you because Murray had a remarkable season and he was leaps and bounds better than the #2 RB.
    If that dalass O line was nearly as good as their entire fan base claims, then why didn’t we see more of Dubar and whatsisface?
    The truth is Murray will not be needed to carry that heavy of a load since Chip now has a full stable of more than capable RB’s.
    I think that our practice squad RB, in Matthew Tucker could out produce Dunbar and the rest of that no name crew in dalass.

  31. 31 RobNE said at 9:59 AM on July 9th, 2015:

    The JPP thing is weird. From comments on the last post being happy about this, just feels different to me than say someone breaking their leg. I know even being a little happy about a broken leg is “wrong” (is it?). But I know that isn’t life serious, or permanent. Losing a finger sucks and I can’t celebrate it.

    I don’t know if this is true, but I feel like Chip’s guys are less likely to do stupid sh$t like this.

  32. 32 ICDogg said at 10:18 AM on July 9th, 2015:

    Yeah, I can’t feel good about it either. Although my first reaction to it was “what a dumbass.”

    I guess when he goes into a 3-point stance he’ll have to use different fingers, or his other hand.

  33. 33 sprawl said at 11:21 AM on July 9th, 2015:

    The dude has to face permanent consequences for making a mistake that most of us have probably gotten away with making because we weren’t able to buy the “really cool” fireworks we wanted. Really sucks for everyone who was there with him and having a good time before the “bad thing” happened who now shares in the responsibility of this permanent loss of a finger which they’ll be reminded of every time they see him.

    Don’t wind up like JPP–take safety seriously for yourself and also watch out for your friends even if they’re having fun with really cool fireworks!

  34. 34 Mac said at 12:15 PM on July 9th, 2015:

    I thought everyone already knew that the safest way to play with fireworks is to put them all in a washbasin with some gasoline in it and shoot a roman candle at it.

  35. 35 Ark87 said at 12:43 PM on July 9th, 2015:

    Exclusive video from the JPP estate.

  36. 36 Sb2bowl said at 12:39 PM on July 9th, 2015:

    Hence, the responsibility aspect of life. To whom much is given, much is required (expected?)

  37. 37 RobNE said at 1:57 PM on July 9th, 2015:

    with great power comes great responsibility? I think Spiderman’s uncle says that to him.

  38. 38 ICDogg said at 1:46 PM on July 9th, 2015:

    Yeah, I don’t know if I would have done anything quite like that, but I did a lot of stupid and dangerous things when I was young, that I can only shake my head thinking about today.

  39. 39 Cafone said at 2:19 PM on July 9th, 2015:

    JPP can be a rolemodel now. He can do fireworks safety ads and hold up his maimed hand for dramatic effect.

  40. 40 MagsBestPlaceonEarth said at 8:17 PM on July 9th, 2015:

    Really cool illegal fireworks. A van full of enough gunpowder to be called a terrorist.

  41. 41 Mr. Magee said at 4:30 PM on July 9th, 2015:

    He’ll have to use “2 technique”

  42. 42 Mac said at 12:21 PM on July 9th, 2015:

    At what point will people start learning that fireworks are dangerous? I feel really bad for JPP. I love fireworks as much as anyone, and hate when people get hurt by them. I hope kids start being more careful.

  43. 43 A_T_G said at 1:28 PM on July 9th, 2015:

    I bet with all the press coverage this is getting, JPP is ready to give the media the finger.

    What, too soon?

  44. 44 MagsBestPlaceonEarth said at 8:19 PM on July 9th, 2015:

    You should read the comments on 24/7.

  45. 45 Michael Winter Cho said at 11:07 PM on July 9th, 2015:

    As a guitarist, this finger stuff really bothers me.

  46. 46 Flyin said at 11:44 PM on July 9th, 2015:

    Are you using pop rocks strings?

  47. 47 Ben said at 2:04 PM on July 9th, 2015:

    After reading about all the bone headed moves made by players league wide, it’s becoming more and more evident to me why Chip values the character of players he selects to become Eagles.
    You gotta love a coach that can see it coming a mile away and prepare accordingly.

  48. 48 Avery Greene said at 10:15 AM on July 9th, 2015:

    Just a quick note, Eagles RBs were 7th in the league last year with 2.8 yards before contact – Dallas was 10th with 2.7 yards before contact.

    Just a thought that our OLine is making things happen.

  49. 49 ICDogg said at 10:25 AM on July 9th, 2015:

    I think they’ll be all right. I do think that the O-line is not as big of a worry as we have made it out to be. On the other hand, just letting Mathis walk did not seem to me to be necessary or optimal.

  50. 50 Avery Greene said at 10:34 AM on July 9th, 2015:

    I can agree with that. We have arguably the best LT in the game. We have a Pro Bowl C, and Pro Bowl caliber RT. I don’t think the plan was to move on without Mathis early on, but we don’t know the conversations between Rosenhaus and Manyowitz. Something happened that they just decided after the 2nd mini-camp that they were moving on.

  51. 51 bdbd20 said at 11:10 AM on July 9th, 2015:

    Regarding that Denver team, I believe they had a pretty good QB, WR and TE.

  52. 52 EaglesFan1 said at 4:02 PM on July 9th, 2015:

    Who was their WR?

  53. 53 sonofdman said at 4:32 PM on July 9th, 2015:

    Rod Smith and Ed Mcaffery. Rod Smith was really really good.

  54. 54 ICDogg said at 12:55 PM on July 9th, 2015:

  55. 55 Insomniac said at 2:13 PM on July 9th, 2015:

    can prevent firework-related injuries?

  56. 56 MagsBestPlaceonEarth said at 8:22 PM on July 9th, 2015:

    “Only you can make such a change …..”
    “Smoke gets in Your Eyes….”
    -The Platters.

  57. 57 Joe Minx said at 1:13 PM on July 9th, 2015:

    Duce Staley was a WR who moved to RB. Ricky Watters played some WR before becoming a full-time RB.

    Disappointed Reno Mahe wasn’t the first mention here. He was a WR at BYU originally.

  58. 58 Michael Winter Cho said at 11:03 PM on July 9th, 2015:

    You made a funny?

  59. 59 Gary Barnes said at 1:15 PM on July 9th, 2015:

    The problem, Tommy, is Murray was never special until last season..his high prior to last season was 1,121. Murray will likely never have a season like last year ever again and expecting it to happen would be foolish IMO.

    The other problem is the NFL ranking thing is a joke, there have been rumors many players do not even vote and the NFLN manipulates the results anyway. Even if players really did vote, they are notoriously bad judges of talent since they usually go with other players they know/like/are friends with or “hear” good things about or are highly heralded in league circles.

    The other problem is the number of touches a RB gets to reach a high numbers of yards. Murray got almost 400 carries last year which is astronomical. Therefore his chances of posting high numbers was much better since he got so many opportunities. In 2013, Shady posted 1,607 yards on 314 carries. That is an avg of 5.1 yds/carry. If Shady got 392 carries like Murray did and his avg stayed steady, he could have posted 1,997 yards. In other words, he would have beat Murray by 150 yards.

    Is Murray going to get 392 carries here? Not likely. So can he be as successful with a lower volume of opportunities? Unknown, his previous seasons show some signs toward yes since he still had good avg yds/carry, but how the load is shared amongst him, Matthews and Sproles will tell alot of the story as will injuries unfortunately as both Murray and Matthews have pretty extensive injury track records.

  60. 60 Ben said at 2:11 PM on July 9th, 2015:

    Funny you say that, because I always thought Murray was a damn good player when he first arrived in the NFL.
    Even at his worst, I thought he was an above average player, regardless of his numbers.
    Also, I do not think any Eagles fans are expecting him to be better than he was last season, but we are all expecting him to be above average.
    I still think he has plenty of gas left in his tank, and there is no reason to think he won’t have a solid year in this offense.

  61. 61 Gary Barnes said at 2:25 PM on July 9th, 2015:

    Who said he could not have a solid year in this offense? Not I, I think he has the chance to be good. Why does anyone who dares to disagree with a post or express a different opinion immediately get labeled as a hater of said player, coach etc? It is silly.

    I was responding to Tommy’s post that Murray was a special player and that being ranked #4 by the NFLN meant something significant. Tommy also ignored the number of touches issue when evaluating Murray and the other RB he talks about. Opportunity is a big part of success.

    Murray did not rush for more than 1,121 yds before last season. He also missed 11 games over his first three seasons. Last season was the first time he stayed healthy for the full 16. We’ll have to see if he can here, but signing Matthews as a backup was smart IMO.

  62. 62 sonofdman said at 4:31 PM on July 9th, 2015:

    “Murray won’t run for 1,845 yards for the Eagles, but that will largely be due to the fact he doesn’t get 390 carries.”

    It seems to me like Tommy addressed the number of touches issue.

  63. 63 Gary Barnes said at 11:23 PM on July 9th, 2015:

    Nice try, but, as I said, he does not use it as context in his evaluations of Murray and the other RB. It is a throw-in line at the end of the article. Now go find where he addresses the number of carries for the other RB he talks about in the article. Can’t find them? Exactly.

  64. 64 Cafone said at 2:14 PM on July 9th, 2015:

    how about 320 carries for 1700 yards?

    (I’m not buying the splitting carries thing. If Murray is healthy, Kelly is going to feed him the ball)

  65. 65 Gary Barnes said at 2:29 PM on July 9th, 2015:

    If Kelly used him that much and Murray posted those numbers, I would guess we’d all be very happy. My speculation is Kelly will try to be more balanced, depending on game situations, injuries etc., and slot Murray in at about 275 carries

  66. 66 Gary Barnes said at 3:02 PM on July 9th, 2015:

    That may be true, unknown right now. That will depend as you said on health, but also production.

    If I am a DC facing the Eagles, I’d start with the same approach as last year: pack the box, cover the seams, unleash the pass rush and force the QB to beat me.

    The whole offense hinges on the run game IMO. If the RB and OL together do not perform well enough to consistently beat that approach, Bradford or Sanchez will be buried and the WR/TE left standing around.

    I think one of the main ways we’ll defeat that approach is by rotating in Murray, Matthews and Sproles and giving the defense many different looks to deal with. If Kelly just keeps running Murray, the defense’s job will be made easier

  67. 67 Ark87 said at 3:08 PM on July 9th, 2015:

    you may be right, but not because it has anything to do with Chip. Deuce subs the RB’s. Dude would always talk about making sure he wouldn’t lean on Shady too heavily, but during the game it’s just hard to take him out. Unless Deuce sees Murray and Mathews as being near equals, he will likely lean on Murray heavily on game days despite every contrary intention not to while game planning.

  68. 68 Michael Winter Cho said at 11:02 PM on July 9th, 2015:

    If you look at the numbers, you’ll see he was always good. He played better in respects the year before.

  69. 69 Anders said at 4:06 AM on July 10th, 2015:

    Why are you using McCoy’s 2013 avg and not his 2014 avg?

    Also if we are going by ypc as a meassure of elitness, then Murray is more elite than McCoy.

  70. 70 eagleyankfan said at 7:11 AM on July 10th, 2015:

    2013, DM had just about 100 less attempts than Shady, he finished about 500 yards less than Shady. Pro-rate @ 5.2 yards per carry, at 100 attempts. DM eclipse Shady. That’s in 2013 so even though you say he ONLY had 1121 yards, he was as effective as Shady.
    2014 — DM avg. 4.7 yards per carry and had 80 more carries than Shady. Shady avg. 4.2 yards per carry. If you give Shady 80 more carries — 392 @ 4.2 yards per carry, it’s 1646.4 (lot less than DM).
    You can’t use Shady’s 5.1 yards per carry for 2013 and apply them to DM 2014 attempts. You have to use Shady’s 4.2 yards per carry in 2014.

  71. 71 xmbk said at 8:04 AM on July 10th, 2015:

    Didn’t the article pretty much address your points?

  72. 72 A_T_G said at 1:40 PM on July 9th, 2015:

    Examples of the converse would also support your view of running backs. Players, like Marsh for example, who were successful running backs because of athleticism, but lacked something to play other positions.

  73. 73 unhinged said at 2:08 PM on July 9th, 2015:

    Nice analysis Tommy, but critiquing running game w/out looking at QB and total offense is working in a self-created vacuum to some extent. Murray had a monster year and the OL was an important factor, but so was having a world-class receiver at wideout, and, perhaps most importantly, Dallas’s past offensive tendencies were scrapped in favor of “…don’t pass until we get behind AND the opponent stops our ground game…” That almost never happened. In the Eagles second meeting at The Linc, the Eagles spotted them 21 points and still went ahead before succumbing to fatigue. Stopping the run was our GP and it worked, but Tony Romo was able to do enough damage in the air to eke out a victory. Kelly is not going to use Murray like Dallas did last year. Dallas often looked to be eating the clock, and we’re never going to see Kelly do that for a game-strategy. (maybe a 2-minutes-left-in-the- game-to-protect-a-small-lead strategy). I think Murray can be very effective in this offense even if he only gets 1000 yards on the year.

  74. 74 xmbk said at 8:01 AM on July 10th, 2015:

    Agreed that the O strategies are very different, but even though he’s not interested in milking the clock, the Eagles could still easily have more running plays than the Cowboys.

  75. 75 unhinged said at 4:49 PM on July 10th, 2015:

    Yeah, I don’t disagree with that at all. Tempo and diversity in the backfield can render more total plays,.and more pass completions would lead to more running plays being called.

  76. 76 MattE said at 3:47 PM on July 9th, 2015:


    … that we have (2) very similar RB’s (more so than McCoy/Sproles style wise) we can now have the dual HB formation everyone has been drooling over, my thoughts as to Huff/Sproles usage since the end of the season has been that they could serve the TAZR role as Barner did in the example above. Thus having Murray/Mathews creates so much confusion before the snap creates paralysis by analysis. Even If it were just a straight hand off to either back the defense still has to figure out which RB it is, or why the other RB is motioning out wide possibly pulling a defender out of the box…. i love the concepts of Chips offense so much because they are conceptually easy plays, but are dressed up in a way to make our offense look VERY COMPLICATED.

  77. 77 Flying B-Dawk said at 4:23 PM on July 9th, 2015:

    I totally agree. I think (hope?) this is the year that Chip really starts to unleash some creativity on the league. It seems like all of the moves he’s made thus far have brought in personnel that mirrors what he was doing at Oregon right before he made the jump to the NFL. If nothing else, this season should be entertaining as hell.

  78. 78 Media Mike said at 6:12 PM on July 9th, 2015:

    Sounds good as long as we don’t have Barner on this roster playing the Barner role.

  79. 79 Media Mike said at 6:09 PM on July 9th, 2015:

    “Between McFadden, Joseph Randle, Lance Dunbar, Ryan Williams and Lache Seastrunk, the Cowboys need to find a couple of guys that can be the foundation of the offense. None of those guys has shown they can do that to this point. That doesn’t mean someone can’t step forward, but there is a lot of projecting going on.”

    Here’s a projection; the Cowboys running backs will suck.

  80. 80 wee2424 said at 7:27 PM on July 9th, 2015:

    Staley was a WR at one point? In HS right?

  81. 81 Michael Winter Cho said at 10:59 PM on July 9th, 2015:

    “The Player”–for a second I thought the article was going to be about:

  82. 82 Flyin said at 11:04 PM on July 9th, 2015:

    He was a great player! Is he fresh out of his hyperbolic chamber to return to the Eagles!?!

  83. 83 RobNE said at 6:49 AM on July 10th, 2015:

    we all make fun but he will always be ok for me for coming back and playing well in the SB. We always wanted a real WR. We got one and went what, 14-2 and made the SB.

    It’s like Buddy Ryan. Was he difficult and a headcase? yep, but like TO he will always be remembered by me fondly. Not sure if it makes sense logically. If Ryan had just tried a little with the scrubs we could have been in the SB.

  84. 84 AsianEagle said at 11:10 PM on July 9th, 2015:

    Haha… TO’s the man!

  85. 85 Flyin said at 11:24 PM on July 9th, 2015:

    This is how I feel about Chip Kelly and the Eagles…

    Offense – For the 1st time in 3 years Chip is close to 100% of his vision for the RB offense.

    WRs – I think he is happy and at a 85% confidence level. (Includes TEs)

    QBs – Chip is 75% in competence with whom ever starts. Obviously if Bradford is who he thinks he is, higher.

    Average 100+85+75=260/3=86.7%

    With 87% confidence of success leads to a whopping…

    14-2 season

    Go Eagles!

    Defense. It can’ only get better. Improved D will be +2 as well as the improved O +2. 10+4=14 wins.

    Home Field Advantage… If the Fans Do Their Part!

  86. 86 EAGLES said at 11:24 PM on July 9th, 2015:

    Isn’t Bill Callahan with the skins now? I been wondering if that’ll affect the Dallas o-line this year.

  87. 87 RobNE said at 6:47 AM on July 10th, 2015:

    maybe but not as much as not having a real RB.

  88. 88 EAGLES said at 10:08 AM on July 10th, 2015:

    True but you never know. Sometimes even small coaching changes like this have impacts. Hopefully, Undlin works wonders for our secondary on that note. Regardless I think they either won’t be as good or they come up with a group of guys to share the carries with no workhorse and do OK.

  89. 89 Flyin said at 11:53 PM on July 9th, 2015:

    Tommy, what is your reaction to Adam Schefter publishing JPP’s medical sheet?

    I’m sure this is not something you would do or consider, you get the credit when the public truth comes out. What’s the thinking?

  90. 90 RobNE said at 6:47 AM on July 10th, 2015:

    I understand the HIPPAA violation is with the hospital worker, but does not apply to Schefter. So it’s just ethics. I see the point that he could say it was happening without including a copy of the hospital report, but it’s the report that is so scintillating as to get all the page views.

    not that I would do it, but I’m just explaining what I think is Adam’s reasoning. It must be really hard to stay relevant. We have so many resources for analysis etc. Really, the national guys I pay no attention to b/c they are the worst at giving me anything I might find useful. So I think the industry is a lot of how do I get my name known – I can be a contrarian, I can be outspoken, I can publish medical reports.

  91. 91 eagleyankfan said at 6:57 AM on July 10th, 2015:

    I’ll disagree. HIPPAA is not limited to the hospital workers. Anyone with sensitive data, is responsible.

  92. 92 Anders said at 7:00 AM on July 10th, 2015:

    and reporters job is to report even sensitive data (or I guess you think Watergate shouldnt have been reported?)

  93. 93 eagleyankfan said at 7:13 AM on July 10th, 2015:

    I didn’t disagree with that — just the Hippaa rules :).

  94. 94 Ark87 said at 9:06 AM on July 10th, 2015:

    There is a line between investigating to expose the corruption of a public office and investigating a player’s private health information to break some gossip.

    I think the problem that a lot of us have is that we tend to respect guys like Glazer, Schefter, etc for bringing us reliable football information before anyone else, but times like this we are reminded they aren’t that far removed from common paparazzi. These aren’t journalists investigating to serve the public, but indulge the public. This just strikes me as a major invasion of privacy for a petty indulgence.

  95. 95 Anders said at 9:09 AM on July 10th, 2015:

    Might be true, but why do we accept these the other 99999999 times the HIPAA rules are broken during the season?

  96. 96 Ark87 said at 9:34 AM on July 10th, 2015:

    an interesting question to be sure. I don’t really know. I suppose part of it is not knowing how the sausage is made so to speak. I always naively thought they would just call people close to the situation and would get the short story to sort of… I don’t know it always just seemed like fancy rumors, whose rumors have the most prestige?, etc. And there always seemed to be a hundred variations of the rumors to cast a shadow of a doubt upon information until it was made official.

    Added Note: I have to acknowledge that if Schefter had access to JPP’s medical records (and there is a ton of information in a medical record) he did show some discretion in only sharing what was relevant to his story. So it’s not completely fair to write him off a no better than paparazzi.

  97. 97 BlindChow said at 9:48 AM on July 10th, 2015:

    You’re wrong. The law itself only applies to medical staff.

  98. 98 eagleyankfan said at 10:54 AM on July 10th, 2015:

    Um, you’re wrong. I’m not a medical staff. I handle their data. I’m trained and responsible for their HIPPAA compliance.

  99. 99 BlindChow said at 12:02 AM on July 13th, 2015:


  100. 100 Bert's Bells said at 7:05 AM on July 10th, 2015:

    The responsible thing would have been to report that he was in possession of the medical chart but not to publish it.

  101. 101 Poppi said at 5:12 AM on July 10th, 2015:

    Two big contracts for fairly big backs with existing injury histories at the precise age, 27/28 that RB’s begin to decline is worrisome.

  102. 102 anon said at 5:21 AM on July 10th, 2015:

    Sanchez is taking the team for a week in SD to train, install, watch film. Working w/ sproles trainer, also trains brees, Rodgers #leadership.

  103. 103 Michael Winter Cho said at 9:45 AM on July 10th, 2015:

    Good guy, man. Wish he was a better QB.

  104. 104 Weapon Y said at 6:59 AM on July 10th, 2015:

    Tommy, I think those are valid points about Murray and I personally am excited about him being an Eagle. But I couldn’t help but think back to last year and wonder what Cowboys fans were saying about the Eagles when DeSean Jackson got cut. I think the consistent argument would be both teams got hurt by their loss. The difference is Dallas simply couldn’t afford Murray, but the Eagles intentionally downgraded at the receiver position. Dallas was being more rational than the Eagles regime.

  105. 105 Anders said at 7:09 AM on July 10th, 2015:

    How was the Eagles hurt by cutting Jackson? Not like Maclin wasnt wide open all year long, Foles just couldnt hit him and Sanchez is very hesitant to throw deep

  106. 106 Weapon Y said at 7:57 AM on July 10th, 2015:

    Maclin was going to start regardless of whether Jackson stayed. The Eagles went from Jackson-Maclin-Matthews if Jackson stayed to Maclin-Matthews-Cooper. If you don’t think losing DeSean hurt, you must think Riley Cooper is better than DeSean. I certainly don’t think Cooper is better than DeSean and neither should you.

  107. 107 Anders said at 8:00 AM on July 10th, 2015:

    But how does Jackson help when our QBs was trash?

  108. 108 Weapon Y said at 8:02 AM on July 10th, 2015:

    DeSean put up big stats with a bad RG3, Cousins, and McCoy at QB. Foles and Sanchez might be mediocre at best, but theyre better than that group. Maclin still had big numbers with them, and DeSean would’ve made the short passing game more effective with another deep threat in the arsenal.

  109. 109 Anders said at 8:04 AM on July 10th, 2015:

    My point is, would the total passing offense improve much outside of different receiving distribution with Jackson over Cooper?

    Im not sure we pass for more total yards with him instead

  110. 110 Weapon Y said at 8:17 AM on July 10th, 2015:

    I guess that’s where we disagree. Cooper is absolutely terrible and is at best a fourth receiver. DeSean is an elite receiver and the best big playmaker in the NFL. If you can’t see a huge difference between them, I don’t know what to tell you.

  111. 111 Anders said at 8:22 AM on July 10th, 2015:

    I can see the difference, my point is that a QB matters so much more than a WR that replacing Cooper with Jackson wouldnt matter anything if you still have 2014 version of Foles

  112. 112 A_T_G said at 8:33 AM on July 10th, 2015:

    I am amazed that an article about a free agent RB this year leads to a discussion about a WR from the past, but I think your DeSean > Cooper summation of the situation is a gross oversimplification. If you are going to ignore the gains from the message sent by cutting an unmotivated talent, the financial implications, or the importance of culture being more that a speaking point, I think you are going to have trouble seeing the value in many of Chip’s roster choices.

  113. 113 eagleyankfan said at 9:00 AM on July 10th, 2015:

    If Jackson stayed, Matthews wouldn’t have been drafted.

  114. 114 Weapon Y said at 9:11 AM on July 10th, 2015:

    Why not? The Eagles needed a slot receiver even if Jackson stayed. That would be an awesome receiving group

  115. 115 Stephen E. said at 11:10 AM on July 10th, 2015:

    I can’t believe Duce started out as a WR. He ran like a truck.

  116. 116 Tumtum said at 4:13 PM on July 12th, 2015:

    Dont forget McFadden went to Arkansas… you know Jerry’s unhealthy obsession with players from his alma mater.