Eagles Plan on Focusing on the Run Game in 2015
Chip Kelly and the Philadelphia Eagles are rolling the dice on fixing the offense in March.
This week alone, the Eagles officially announced the acquisition of running backs DeMarco Murray and Ryan Matthews, as well as quarterback Sam Bradford. They thought they had brought Frank Gore into the fold, until he backed out and bolted for Indianapolis. And to further the offensive overhaul, the Eagles officially added one more to the fold.
"We had a couple guys that we had kind of targeted and then it's just how it shakes itself out," Kelly explained. "Obviously Frank (Gore) was a guy we targeted and I think that Frank's one of the premier backs in this league and obviously with us having him go to Indianapolis, we had always planned on trying to bring in two guys and we were fortunate to get Ryan (Mathews) and DeMarco.
After much speculation, the team announced late on Thursday afternoon that unrestricted free agent running back Ryan Mathews has agreed to a contract and has officially signed with the Eagles. According to Adam Schefter of ESPN, Mathews, formerly of the Chargers, gets a three-year, $11.5 million contract.
(Listen to ESPN.com NFL insider KC Joyner talk about how DeMarco Murray fits Chip Kelly's offense)
"(Murray) is a physical, downhill runner, really what in a zone scheme we're looking for, a downhill, one-cut runner and both him and Ryan I think possess those qualities," Kelly said. "And when you have a physical, downhill runner, you better have two of them because they're going to carry the ball but they're also going to take a lot of physical shots, so we want to be able to spread out the carries. We were real fortunate,
The Eagles fired the first bullet of change when they sent running back LeSean McCoy to buffalo for linebacker Kiko Alonso, then they sent quarterback Nick Foles to St. Louis in exchange for Bradford. Furthermore, despite a pricey investment into Murray, after losing out on Gore, the Eagles kept Mathews at their facility and convinced him to stay, after it was reported he was going to sign before Murray.
Mathews, 27, has twice eclipsed the 1,000-yard rushing mark (2011, ‘13) and earned Chargers Offensive Player of the Year honors in both of those seasons. He was named to the Pro Bowl in 2011 after rushing for 1,091 yards and six touchdowns, while also catching 50 passes for 455 yards.
The signing is the second significant addition to focusing on a run-centric approach on offense for the Eagles. Adding both Murray and Mathews, in addition to having Darren Sproles around should allow Chip Kelly to keep everybody fresh, limit touches and wear down opposing defenses.
So Eagles fans are Murray/Mathews and upgrade of McCoy?
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