LeGarrette Blount versus DeMarco Murray: Is there a difference?

CHARLOTTE, NC - OCTOBER 25: DeMarco Murray
CHARLOTTE, NC - OCTOBER 25: DeMarco Murray /

Is it unfair to say there are eerily similar aspects between what the Eagles had with DeMarco Murray and what they currently have with LeGarrette Blount?

Once upon a time, the Philadelphia Eagles had the best running back on Planet Earth. His name was LeSean McCoy. Then, the Eagles head coach at the time, Chip Kelly, who was enjoying his first stint in the NFL as a head coach had an idea. He decided to move on from said running back, one of the best in team history, and replace him with DeMarco Murray, an overworked guy who was coming off of a season where he carried the ball almost 400 times. It kind of sounds like LeGarrette Blount doesn’t it? Oh, you disagree? Well, let’s dig a little deeper.

Prior to being added to the Eagles roster for the 2015 season, Murray carried the ball 392 times during the 2014 NFL season (his fourth). He amassed 1,845 yards in the process, and he reached the end zone 13 times. He even tacked on another 416 yards in the air as he caught 57 passes for the Dallas Cowboys that season. Blount, who turned 30 on December 5th (almost ancient for a running back in the NFL), saw a similar workload in 2016 for the New England Patriots.

These stories are more alike than you realize:

Blount, like Murray, carried the ball way too often. He was one carry short of 300 attempts. No, his season didn’t see him become the same type of contributor through the air (only seven receptions for 38 yards). Still, the stories surrounding Blount and Murray are eerily similar to one another for several other reasons.

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Both were aging NFL veterans, and both were used way too often. Both followed those work-heavy seasons by being added to the Eagles roster a season later. We won’t even mention the fact that both played for coaches who were new to the NFL head coaching ranks. There’s another wrinkle to this story.

History has taught us that NFL running backs who are responsible for those type of numbers typically don’t equal that same type of production a season later. Blount’s slow start and new stories surrounding his weight would lead one to believe there’s an outside shot that he may not be as certain of a ‘slam-dunk’ addition as many thought when he was signed on May 17th.

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Is Blount the answer, or is he another Murray? Time will tell. You can best believe we’ll all be following this one closely.