Philly.com's Zach Berman on the Eagles' new running backs:
Don’t expect Murray to near that carry total this season. He will no doubt be the featured running back, but coach Chip Kelly wants carries to be shared. That’s where Ryan Mathews comes in.
Mathews appeared at first to be the consolation prize to missing out on Gore, but the Eagles still signed him. The former first-round pick is a talented rusher who has twice topped 1,000 yards, but injuries have also been an ongoing issue. He had a career-low 330 yards last season while playing on six games. I wouldn't count on him carrying the ball more than 220 times like he did in his 1,000-yard season (unless Murray gets injured), but he can find a sweet spot in the mid-100s.
We currently project Mathews for 132 carries for 561 yards, which jibes with the numbers that Berman had in mind. We project Murray for 285 carries (for 1,279 yards), which is a far cry from the 392 totes he saw last season. Berman went on to say that the team "needs to get" Darren Sproles more involved, but that may be tough since the team replaced LeSean McCoy with two new running backs.
Friday, April 10, 2015, 4:28pm
Robinson will enter his third season with the Saints as third fiddle with Mark Ingram returning and C.J. Spiller signing with the Saints. The landscape looked quite different one month ago with Ingram being a potentially hot free agent and Pierre Thomas being released.
Ingram will be the clear-cut option for snatching up carries after his breakout 2014 season. Spiller is a far more capable runner in the traditional ground game than Pierre Thomas and Darren Sproles the last few seasons.
This means more carries for Ingram and Spiller and less touches for Robinson. The logic entering 2014 was that we'd see more Robinson. Barring injuries, Robinson will likely find fewer opportunities.
Murray will get $42 million over five years, including $21 million in guaranteed money, per reports.
Although the Cowboys said they wanted Murray to return, they never came close to meeting his contract demands, citing the diminished value of the running back and the decline in production as they get older.
Murray had a career year in his fourth season, racking up 2,261 total yards and 13 touchdowns on 449 touches. He should get plenty of work in Philadelphia, though the signing of Ryan Mathews and the presence of Darren Sproles indicate that he won’t approach 450 touches in 2015. LeSean McCoy averaged 353 touches over the past two seasons, so that’s probably Murray’s best-case scenario if everyone stays healthy. He’ll hold low-end RB1 value, though the presence of Mathews and Sproles may make that a stretch.
It's reportedly a 3-year, $12M deal. Philadelphia would have been a good landing spot for Mathews before the team also agreed to terms with DeMarco Murray. The Eagles ran the ball a lot more than the Chargers did, but they'll be hard-pressed to find enough carries for Mathews to allow him to maintain his RB2 value from his days in San Diego. The signing is also a downgrade for Murray, whose workload is surely to take a hit from the 449 touches he saw in 2014.
Monday, December 29, 2014, 12:47pm
Traded to the Eagles last offseason by the New Orleans Saints, Darren Sproles was supposed to create a dynamic backfield with Pro Bowl running back LeSean McCoy. Together, the two were supposed to be a nightmare for opposing defenses.
A vision that never came to fruition.
"I feel we could have done more," Sproles said of playing with McCoy, "but I don't know."
"Have us on the field the same time more," Sproles said of what he would like to see next season. "Have me do more routes out of the backfield."
Sproles was on the field for 344 total snaps in his first season with the Eagles. Of those 344 snaps, Sproles shared a backfield with McCoy only 38 times. The two were successful during their limited time together, as the offense averaged 6.5 yards per play this season with both McCoy and Sproles on the field, the story said. Sproles had double-digit touches the team's first two games but then the touches got less and less as the weeks went on. He did miss a game because of a knee injury. Sproles didn't catch a ball in three games this year and in two of those he wasn't even targeted.
Tuesday, November 18, 2014, 9:35am
Something still is wrong with the Eagles' running game, 2 weeks into the return of Evan Mathis from an MCL injury and 3 weeks since Jason Kelce returned from abdominal surgery.
LeSean McCoy gained 155 yards on 25 carries when the Eagles won at Green Bay last November. Sunday, he slogged to 88 on 23. Same defense, except Clay Matthews had two healthy hands this time and was playing inside most of the time Sunday. Same offensive line, except for Matt Tobin replacing Todd Herremans.
"It was just a combination," HC Chip Kelly said yesterday, asked what he saw hindering the run game when he reviewed film of Sunday's 53-20 loss to the Packers, who came in ranked 30th in the NFL against the run. "There were times where it was blocked up pretty good and we hit a couple in there, and then there were some other times where we're just slipping off of blocks. We're not sustaining blocks or hitting it the right way."
Asked what McCoy can do better, Kelly said he couldn't specify one thing, but did think McCoy was patient, something that hasn't always been the case with the RB this season. Darren Sproles is averaging 6.8 yards per carry in very limited work behind the same line, but Kelly spoke enigmatically of "the rotation" and asserted that "LeSean is our guy." Asked why Sproles gets so few touches, Kelly said: "Yeah, I just don't think we're running the ball well overall." McCoy continues to get his 20-plus carries and while the yards have been OK as of late, he has just one TD in his last five games and just two overall. Sproles has just been getting a handful of touches since seeing double-digit touches very early in the season.
It's a big relief to the Cards. Fitzgerald was able to finish the game, yet the team has to be relieved the MRI results indicate it wasn’t serious. A grade 2 sprain is on a scale from 1-3. Most medical web sites say a grade 2 is a severe sprain or partial tear. Initial reports on Darren Sproles said he had a partial tear and he ended up missing a game along with a bye week. If Fitz is the one who said he will play, we'll have to at least wait and see how he progresses this week, as players are often too optimistic about their statuses. John Brown could see a bump in snaps if Fitzgerald were to miss a game or two.
Friday, October 31, 2014, 5:43pm
Eagles RB Darren Sproles (knee, probable) took full practice reps all week and is probable for Week 9. Sproles is expected to return in Week 9 and is a so-so option coming off an injury in a mediocre matchup against the Texans.
Thursday, October 30, 2014, 6:15pm
Eagles RB Darren Sproles (knee) took full practice reps again Thursday. Sproles is expected to return in Week 9 and is a so-so option coming off injury in a mediocre matchup against the Texans.
Wednesday, October 29, 2014, 6:48pm
Eagles RB Darren Sproles (knee) practiced fully Wednesday. Sproles is expected to return in Week 9 and is a so-so option coming off injury in a mediocre matchup against the Texans.
Darren Sproles injured his knee in the team’s Week 6 win over the Giants and wound up being listed as questionable for last week’s game after spending the bye week rehabbing the injury. The team ultimately decided not to play him, however.
Jeff McLane of the Philadelphia Inquirer reports that Sproles said things would be different against the Texans. Sproles practiced on Tuesday and said afterward that he will be in the lineup when the game kicks off in Houston.
With Chris Polk active, the team decided to rest Sproles another week. Polk had three carries and a catch while spelling LeSean McCoy against Arizona - his first offensive touches of the season. Sproles had seven carries in each of his last two games, but hasn't recorded a catch since Week 4.
Friday, October 24, 2014, 6:26pm
Eagles RB Chris Polk (hamstring, probable) took full practice reps all week and is probable for Week 8. Polk would see an expanded role if he’s active and Darren Sproles isn’t.
Friday, October 24, 2014, 6:26pm
Eagles RB Darren Sproles (knee, questionable) took full practice reps on Friday after being limited earlier in the week and is questionable for Week 8. It appears that Sproles in on track to play in Week 8, though we wouldn’t want to start a gimpy player against a tough Cardinals defense. The game is late in the day, which only makes Sproles a less attractive play.
Thursday, October 23, 2014, 6:04pm
Eagles RB Chris Polk (hamstring) took full practice reps again Thursday. Polk would see an expanded role if he’s active and Darren Sproles isn’t.
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