Chip Kelly may want to double-check the Philadelphia Eagles depth chart and make sure DeMarco Murray’s measurements aren’t 5’4″ and 141 pounds because he’s channeling his inner Kevin Hart.
Comedic was the word of choice for Murray when discussing if last year’s success with the Dallas Cowboys (1,845 rushing yds & 13 TD’s) should be attributed to the offensive line.
— Vinny Hardy (@VinnyHardy) June 16, 2015
There has always been a fine line when talking about this topic. At times it goes to extremes both ways.
To be fair, Murray did give a little historical perspective as far as running backs and their O-lines in addition to his comedic comments. There have been some great offensive lines who have at times made running backs better than what they actually are or were. Conversely there have been great backs who didn’t have top-notch lines. The greatness of one shouldn’t diminish or overshadow the other as much as it does, but that’s how it goes sometimes.
Mike Shanahan and the Denver offensive line got a lot of credit, especially post Terrell Davis, for the success of their zone blocking schemes. That doesn’t mean Olandis Gary and Mike Anderson and all of those other backs that played in that system were complete bums. However the running joke after a while was that you could just plug any back into the Broncos backfield and they would churn out a 1,000 yard season.
On the flip side Barry Sanders played most of his career without a great offensive line. Yet even he had Lomas Brown for several years who was an All-Pro and was nominated for the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 2013.
Emmitt Smith, the NFL’s all-time leading rusher and beneficiary of a great line, still had to have the vision to see the hole and the agility and footwork to get to the hole that he saw. Same thing for the guys in Denver.
Emmitt was great, his line was great. Yet Smith’s perspective of how things worked together was no laughing matter.
At the end of the day these comments by Murray aren’t a huge deal. He may very well go out and put up huge numbers for Philadelphia too. His linemen just might need to hold off on holding their breath on getting a lot of credit from him.