His former Dallas teammates can scream as loud as they want, all DeMarco Murray can hear are the plays Philadelphia coach Chip Kelly is calling. The newly minted Eagles running back has been the cause of uproar in Dallas after he spurned the Cowboys in free agency to join their hated rival in Philadelphia.
That has caused some of Murray’s ex-teammates to criticize him, saying that he could have had an even better year despite winning the league’s rushing record. Murray says he “doesn’t pay attention to what other people have to say.” As NFL training camps get underway, Maxim caught up with Murray to discuss his newsworthy offseason, his ex-teammates, and the excitement surround playing for Kelly—one of the league’s most controversial coaches.
This has been a busy offseason for you. You got married and switched teams.
Yeah, a little busy. Got married, now I’m a Philadelphia Eagle. Very blessed, proud to be here and I’m excited.
What made you decide to go to the Eagles this offseason—your hated rival in Dallas?
I thought the team was obviously a young team, but I thought they had positioned themselves over the past two years to do something great. To get 10 wins the past two years, this is a hard league to win in. Whenever you have a chance to make the playoffs—he [Chip Kelly] made the playoffs as a rookie coach—and [have] a lot of young guys, it was definitely intriguing to come here and, hopefully, help them get better.
Any hesitations about leaving the Cowboys and football’s best offensive line?
There was always hesitations but it wasn’t because of how good the line was. [It was] friendships you’ve gained, the city, the fans, your family gets used to the city and whatnot. But at the end of the day, you’ve got to kind of be selfish and look at the pros and cons of the situation and basically make the best decision for yourself and family.
Have you circled the game in Dallas on your calendar?
No, I won’t. We have a lot of games to play.
So you’re not the least bit excited about that?
No, not at the moment. We start training camp Saturday so I’m focused on getting better throughout the course of training camp and preparing for the Atlanta Falcons—that’s our first game. Right now I’m also working with Unilever brands. I’m excited to be teamed up with them. They’re the official pregame products of NCAA football. So I’m excited to use some of the products and obviously get my teammates hooked on the products like I am.
How do you feel about some of the things some of your ex-teammates have said recently? They’ve said you could have done more in Dallas. Does that fuel you at all?
No, it doesn’t. Nothing that a man or someone else says will ever fuel me more than myself. I just want to be the best and work hard. So I never read or pay attention to what other people have to say—negative or positive.
How much did the opportunity to play for Chip Kelly—such a brilliant offensive mind—intrigue you?
Obviously he’s a great offensive coordinator, really good head coach and brings a lot of energy to the team. He finds ways to get guys the ball in space and finds ways to get different guys the ball at different times.
Was that a major factor in deciding to go to Philadelphia?
It was an attraction. Obviously seeing how they love to run the ball [was also]. Like I’ve said, the defense is one of the best. The special teams, the unit was also solid and seeing the offense and how many points they put up and how many yards they rushed for, I think I just saw a really good team and I wanted to be a part of it.
What do you think about the idea that you don’t get mentioned with some of the league’s top-tier runners?
I’m not worried. Like I said, that’s not why I play the game. I’m not playing the game to get individual accolades or to get mentioned in these categories and that category. For me it’s just about working as hard as I can, trying to compete at a high level and win games with my teammates.
Photos by Mitchell Leff / Getty Images Sport