NFL

NFL AM: DeMarco Murray Complains To Jeffrey Lurie About Playing Time

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DeMarco Murray meets with Jeffery Lurie about role:

There were several reasons we coined DeMarco Murray as one of five bad bets in NFL free agency this offseason, but his attitude was not one of them. While Murray hasn’t become an issue in the locker room, Ed Werder’s report that he took his concerns about playing time to Philadelphia Eagles’ owner Jeffrey Lurie is puzzling.

Taking your complaints to the owner of the team isn’t a good look, and it’s unclear what Murray thought he’d accomplish with that strategy. Certainly Murray missed how many players have been shown the door in Philadelphia when not seeing things Chip Kelly’s way.

Last year’s leading rusher had just eight carries in the team’s victory over the Patriots, and reportedly expressed frustration with his role to Lurie during the team flight.

On Monday, Kelly addressed the backfield situation saying that he has to do what’s best for the Eagles when making decisions.

“We have to do what’s the best thing for the Philadelphia Eagles,” Kelly said. “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,” he said. “We are just trying to win football games.”

While Murray may not have been happy with his role Sunday, the Eagles did win, and complaining after a win doesn’t exactly make Murray look like a team first guy. If he is more concerned with carries than wins or losses, it doesn’t sound like he’ll be happy with his situation in Philadelphia any time soon.

“I think everything is a weekly basis depending on who we are matched up with,” Kelly explained. “Who is healthy has a lot to do with it. Where does Ryan [Mathews] 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.”

That didn’t sound like a commitment to getting Murray more footballs. If anything, it sounded like a reason why Murray should expect more of the same.

“We have three running backs right now that we felt were productive, Kelly said. “There were some things we were trying to do with the big linebackers and with Darren and Kenjon, but [Murray] fits in.”

“Murray fits in,” is probably not a phrase Murray expected to be hearing from his head coach when he signed on the dotted line in Philadelphia, but the reality is he’s just another guy now.

The reality is, Murray was never a special football player. He is a good running back who played behind a special offensive line, and Kelly’s mistake started with paying and treating Murray like he was special. Just another mistake GM Chip Kelly has dropped in coach Chip Kelly’s lap.

Bears tight end Martellus Bennett done for the season:

The Chicago Bears have placed tight end Martellus Bennett on season ending injured reserve after the veteran re-injured the ribs that have bothered him for weeks in Sunday’s loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

While recently being slowed by the injury, Bennett was in the midst of another solid season. It was highly unlikely Bennett could match his 90 reception mark from a season ago in the much more run-centric offense that John Fox brought to town, but Bennett finished the season with 53 receptions over 11 starts.

Since being stuck behind the great Jason Witten in Dallas for the first four years of his career, Bennett has been one of the league’s more productive tight ends, pulling in at least 53 receptions in every year since becoming a free agent.

After becoming a weapon for the New York Giants on a one-year deal, Bennett got the contract and opportunity he was looking for in Chicago. Over 43 games in Chicago, Bennett pulled in 208 receptions for over 2,100 yards, with 14 touchdowns.

Despite his production, Bennett’s trip to the IR may spell the end of his career in Chicago. The Bears are in the midst of a major rebuilding process, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see them let the veteran tight end walk instead of paying him, as he’s due more than  $5 million owed in 2016.

One thing is for sure, if Chicago does decide to move on from the man who calls himself the “Black Unicorn,” there will certainly be suitors ready to add the big tight end into the mix.

Teddy Bridgewater responds to Bruce Irvin’s claim that he was, “so scared.”

Teddy Bridgewater is a very good young quarterback, but Sunday he became just the latest good quarterback to look less than his best when under pressure. The Seahawks got to Bridgewater early and often Sunday, and Seattle linebacker Bruce Irvin believes they got into the Vikings’ young quarterback’s head.

“He was so scared,” Irvin said after the game. . “Teddy’s a really good quarterback, and he’s going to do some big things in this league. But we had him (rattled).”

Typically a quarterback probably wouldn’t take it very well when finding out that an opposing linebacker called him scared, but Bridgewater took the comment in stride, explaining that he and Irvin are friends, and that the comment was, “typical for Bruce.”

“Bruce and I are close; we’re very close,” Bridgewater explained. “We talked before the game. Talked about our friend [Rams receiver] Stedman Bailey and things like that. We also traded jerseys after the game.”

Bridgewater was pretty sure he knew why Irvin was talking during and after the game, and even hinted that it may be because Bridgewater and his Louisville Cardinals got one over Irvin and his West Virginia Mountaineers.

“I think Bruce was just excited to get the up on us,” Bridgewater said. “And I was able to defeat Bruce as a freshman in college. So there’s a little history behind that. But those guys were talking all game. Those guys are a pretty confident group. But to hear that, hey, that’s typical Bruce.”

However Bridgewater didn’t stop there, the Vikings second-year quarterback went on to say it’s a bit embarrassing to hear a guy say that he was scared on the football field.

“It is a little embarrassing to hear that,” Bridgewater admitted. “Bruce is still a good player and a great guy off the field also.”

Bridgewater was asked if Irvin’s comments would motivate him, and the quarterback once again didn’t pull any punches, saying that they would drive him to be better.

“Definitely, definitely,” Bridgewater replied. “I’m going to make sure that I remember those words. But I can’t lock in and pay too much attention to that. We have a game here in two days. I have to shift my focus to that.”

Bridgewater’s focus likely isn’t a concern for Minnesota, as the young quarterback has grown into a good football player during his first two seasons in the league. When it comes to being, or looking scared when under pressure, that doesn’t make him any different than any other quarterback in football. Some guys may stand a little taller in the pocket, or look a little less afraid when hanging onto the ball at the very last moment, but the reality is that none of them are very good when under the kind of duress that Bridgewater was Sunday against Seattle.


About Pat Donovan

Pat Donovan

Pat Donovan has covered the NFL for almost a decade and is a host and producer for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers radio flagship 620WDAE/95.3FM. Pat covers the NFC South and NFC East for Football Insiders. Follow him on Twitter, @PatDonovanNFL.