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Eagles’ Murray biding his time, unsure of his status

PHILADELPHIA – Chip Kelly doesn’t just have a problem with his old running back this week. No, the one he signed to replace LeSean McCoy in Philadelphia reportedly isn’t too thrilled himself. A ESPN report this week indicated that DeMarco Murray aired his frustrations to owner Jeffrey Lurie with Kelly later saying the two had spoken on the team flight back from New England.

Murray had only eight carries in the win and has 569 yards (3.5 yards per carry) on the season. He’s been bottled up, often, through the Eagles’ 5-7 season.

So here at the Nova Care Complex, there’s plenty of running back news, too. On Thursday, Murray spoke.

Echoing his coach, Murray said he talked to Lurie because the owner was sitting by him, and that they’ve sat by each other before. But this is quite a dichotomy. In Buffalo, McCoy has flourished with his new team. His cut-on-a-dime explosion remains intact as he’s central to everything offensive coordinator Greg Roman wants to do.

Murray’s new job hasn’t gone so well. The 6-foot, 217-pounder whose one-cut, decisive style helped him lead the NFL in rushing in 2014 hasn’t been a fit in Kelly’s offense. He didn’t drop any profanities, but this 2015 season has not gone the way he envisioned at all.

He did acknowledge a conversation with Lurie took place.

“That’s a conversation between Jeff and myself,” Murray said. “If you want to ask him about it, you’re more than welcome to do that.”

On the field, the Eagles’ other backs have simply been much better. Ryan Mathews has 427 yards on 74 attempts (5.8 avg.) and Darren Spoles has 234 yards on 62 carries (3.8 avg.). After missing three games, Mathews cleared his concussion protocol.

Murray took a back seat last week and might again on Sunday.

“Obviously it’s hard,” Murray said. “I’ve never been in this situation before. You kind of deal with it as best you can. But every guy in this locker room wants the ball. It’s not just me. Everybody wants the football, everybody wants to make plays. The biggest thing for me is that I want to contribute to this team and I feel like I can be a big piece of that. Obviously we won the game so I was extremely happy about that but you always want to contribute in any way, whether it’s passing the ball, blocking, whatever the case may be.”

At least publicly, Murray still sees himself as a fit in Kelly’s offense, pointing to the games the Eagles won. Asked if the offense should be more tailored to his skill-set, he said “I’m not calling the plays,” adding that all players are put in a position to make plays.

Any assurances on a number of carries? “I don’t know. We’ll find out Sunday.”

Will he be the No. 1 back against Buffalo? “We’ll see on Sunday. Will you be there? I’ll be there, too.”

There’s been no such problems in Buffalo where McCoy has rushed 173 times for 792 yards and three touchdowns. Buffalo has been feeding him often on the ground and through the air.

Who knows what Murray’s role will be on Sunday? It sounds like he’s unsure himself.

Murray did say that he “100 percent, yes” wants to be in Philadelphia next season. Still something, no doubt, has been amiss.

“This is new for me,” Murray said. “A new offense, a new scheme. Every day, week by week, the more reps you get, the more plays you get, you get more comfortable. It’s not an overnight process. So I’ll continue to grind away and work hard as much as I can and when my number’s called, make the most of it.”

email: tdunne@buffnews.com