Eagles

Remembering DeMarco Murray's one weird season with Eagles

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Remembering DeMarco Murray's one weird season with Eagles

The one thing I’ll always remember about DeMarco Murray is just how pissed off he always looked.

Every Thursday in the locker room was Murray’s day to speak to reporters. So a huge crowd would gather around and Murray would furrow his brow and power his way through the sessions with a tenacity we never really saw from him on the field while in Philly.

Murray, 30, has announced his retirement after a seven-year career in the NFL. 

*Shrugs shoulders*

Alright.

After the Eagles won a Super Bowl last season, it’s almost hard to remember when it was a big deal that Murray signed with the Eagles as a free agent. Just three years later, it all seems like a bad dream most of us have forgotten.

But if you give some effort, you’ll probably remember how Murray became an Eagle. It was the offseason before the 2015 season and Chip Kelly was now in control. Frank Gore was going to sign with the Eagles but backed out and went to Indianapolis instead. Then Kelly signed Murray and Ryan Mathews. The two former Pro Bowlers were actually in the building at the very same time.

That was a weird beginning for Murray in Philly and things never got any less weird.

He came off an 1,800-yard season in Dallas when he was named the Offensive Player of the Year, but he never really seemed happy in Philly. Maybe it was the rotation, maybe it was that Kelly unapologetically misused him, maybe he didn’t like that it got cold in the winter. Whatever the reason, Murray wasn’t a good fit on the field or off of it.

During that season, Murray rushed for just 702 yards and averaged 3.6 yards per carry. That season was sandwiched between an 1,800-yard year in Dallas and a 1,200-yard year in Tennessee.

Murray wasn’t very good in Philly, but that was his most lucrative season in the NFL. He earned $9 million in 2015 and his signing was a tick mark against Kelly, who was fired before the season even ended.

More than anything, Murray will be known for the slide against the Dolphins and for reportedly voicing his displeasure to owner Jeff Lurie. He also questioned the coaching staff, including Kelly, to Lurie.

So maybe Eagles fans should thank Murray. Eventually, the owner agreed and canned the head coach/GM and put Howie Roseman back in charge. Roseman then undid the signing and shipped Murray off to Tennessee and the Eagles won the Super Bowl two years later.

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Doug Pederson talking to Howie Roseman about trades, hints at position

Doug Pederson talking to Howie Roseman about trades, hints at position

With next Tuesday’s trade deadline rapidly approaching, Eagles head coach Doug Pederson was asked if he and general manager Howie Roseman have had conversations about possible moves. 

“Yes,” Pederson said flatly. 

He eventually elaborated a little more. 

“We’re in direct communication a lot, especially these past few days,” Pederson said, “trying to get the best players in here we can.”

Pederson also hinted toward a possible position where the Eagles might look to add depth, mentioning their injury situation on their defensive line. Presumably, Pederson is talking about the defensive tackle position. 

The Eagles lost free agent pickup Malik Jackson for the year earlier this season, Tim Jernigan is still out with a foot injury and now Hassan Ridgeway’s ankle injury will keep him out for a while. And on Monday, the Eagles released veteran Akeem Spence and signed rookie DTs Anthony Rush and Albert Huggins. 

While the Eagles have played Vinny Curry and Brandon Graham inside at times, their only healthy defensive tackles are Fletcher Cox and two rookies. So adding one through a trade would make sense. The two names at that position I brought up earlier this week were Geno Atkins and Leonard Williams, but there might be some cheaper options, too. 

But the Eagles could also use help at other positions too, including wide receiver and cornerback. 

“I think that’s the thing that Howie and I are on the same page about,” Pederson said. “He sees the same injuries that we see and he knows the bind that we’re in at certain positions. He’s constantly, with his team of guys, working to find players that are out there, whether they’re on other teams’ practice rosters or with the trade deadline coming up, if it’s through that or whatever it might be. Or our practice roster, which we’ve made moves already this season. He’s in tune with all that.”

In each of the last two seasons, Roseman has pulled off trades before the deadline. He brought in Jay Ajayi in 2017 and Golden Tate in 2018. While the Eagles were 7-1 when they traded for Ajayi, they were 4-4 last year when he brought in Tate. With a win on Sunday, the Eagles would be 4-4 at the deadline again. 



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Nelson Agholor picking up the pieces after another disaster

Nelson Agholor picking up the pieces after another disaster

If anybody’s an expert around here on bouncing back from adversity, it’s Nelson Agholor.

He's had plenty of opportunities.

His five-year career with the Eagles has been marked by some pretty wild highs, like three straight first-down catches on the game-winning drive in the Super Bowl, and some pretty grim lows, like getting benched during his miserable 2016 season.

Here we go again.

“Man, I’m a professional,” Agholor said. “I know I work hard and at the end of the day no one feels sorry for me and they don’t need to. I’m in this position because I’m a tough player and I’m a tough person and I’m just going to keep on fighting.”

By now, you’ve probably watched Agholor's pectacular whiff Sunday night 100 times.

Slowed down. Sped up. Coach’s tape. End zone angle. You name it, you've seen it.

It was the latest in a series of unfortunate plays — drops, misses, fumbles — for the Eagles’ $9.4 million former first-round pick.

“Most important thing is to stand and fight and that’s something I’ll do,” he said. “I’m going to stay in the ring, keep throwing punches, keep working. My confidence doesn’t waver at all in terms of what it takes to win football games. Practicing hard and having great focus and to execute on game day.”

The numbers are ugly.

Agholor is 55th in the NFL with 25 catches, 71st with 254 yards and 91st with 10.2 yards per catch. 

Of the 54 wide receivers who’ve started at least five games, he ranks 47th in receiving yards.

He does have three touchdown catches.

The Eagles are 3-4 and go into Buffalo this weekend coming off back-to-back miserable blowout losses.

What’s next for Agholor

“Honestly, just keep fighting,” he said. “I went into that game vs. Dallas very confident and ready to play fast and make plays. I watch that tape and I thought I play very hard. I would have liked to have connected on the play we missed on. But I didn’t leave that game with a lack of confidence or my skill set. I thought I made plays in that game in the passing game and the running game and only can build on those.”

Agholor spoke about the ill-fated bomb after the game Sunday night in the Eagles’ locker room at AT&T Stadium (see story).

On Tuesday, after watching the play extensively in film study, he explained what he believes happened:

“When I located the ball all I could do from that point on was to dig, was to try to run as hard as I could, and I was running, running, and I don’t feel like I was in position with the way my stride was to leave my feet, and for those that think that they would have done that, I think that’s respect to them,” he said. “I asked one of the best deep-ball players in DeSean Jackson what I could have done to be better, and he said, ‘Nelly, if you see it earlier, you may be able to run under it perfectly.’ … If I could do it again, I probably have would sold the corner a little less so I could get out of it and be able to track the ball a little earlier.”

At least nobody catching babies out of a burning building has mocked Agholor for his latest mishap.

Yet.



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