This season hasn't been an easy one for DeMarco Murray. Last season's NFL rushing leader as a member of the Dallas Cowboys, the 27-year-old signed with the Eagles this past offseason, believing that the team's dynamic offensive scheme and talented roster would allow him not only to continue to thrive on an individual level but also to compete for a Super Bowl title.
Through three quarters of the 2015 season, Murray has rushed 163 times for 569 yards (3.5 yards per carry) and four touchdowns. And in that time, the Eagles have posted just a 5-7 record despite entering the year with aspirations of earning a bye in the postseason. As a member of the Cowboys last year, he gained 1,845 yards on 392 carries (4.7 yards per carry) with 13 touchdowns, as Dallas earned a 12-4 record before losing in the Divisional Round of the playoffs.
Barring a big turnaround over the Eagles' next four games, his production will have taken a noticeable hit by the time the year ends, and the best Philadelphia can do now is a 9-7 finish. But with the playoffs very much still in play due to the similar struggles of the team's three division rivals, the All-Pro running back is confident not only that he can turn his season around but that the team can as well.
A Midnight Green look at the Eagles' 35-28 win over the Patriots in New England. View the full gallery here...
But this week, reports circulated that Murray had sought out the team's Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Lurie to discuss his displeasure with his role within the Eagles' offense. On Thursday, the veteran running back addressed the claims, noting that while he and Lurie did speak, the conversation occurred while the two were sitting in their assigned seats next to one another on the team plane after Sunday's win over the Patriots and that the tone of their conversation wasn't negative. Understandably, Murray wants to contribute more to the Eagles' offense, but he said that his frustrations come from a place of wishing he could help rather than a desire for more personal accolades.
"I think that every player wants the opportunity to contribute to the team, especially me as a competitor," he said. "Obviously, it's hard. I've never been in this situation before, and you've got to kind of deal with it the best you can. But like I've said, every guy in this locker room wants the ball, it's not just me. Everyone loves the football, everyone loves to make plays, and the biggest thing for me is I want to contribute to this team. I feel like I can be a big piece of that, and obviously we won the games, so I was extremely happy about that. But you always want to contribute in any way."
During a seven-and-a-half-minute conversation with reporters at his locker, Murray fielded questions about his relationship with Lurie and with head coach Chip Kelly. He was asked about airplane seat assignments, and he was asked about how a recounting of the conversation may have leaked to ESPN's Ed Werder earlier in the week.
The fifth-year pro answered each question that was thrown his way, answering earnestly at times and at others admitting when he didn't quite have an answer. But one thing that Murray was absolutely adamant about was his commitment to the Eagles, to his teammates, to the team's coaches and to the City of Philadelphia.
"I made a commitment to (Jeffrey Lurie), and (Chip Kelly), and these guys in the locker room," Murray said. "I love this team, I love playing for this team, and I love the fans. By signing on that dotted line, I knew I was going to be here for a long time, and I'm committed to winning a lot of games. Obviously it's been a tough year for myself and the team so far, but we're still tied for first place in the division, and we've still got a chance to do some special things. I'm committed here for the long run."