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DeMarco doesn't expect to rotate series with Mathews

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When we placed the Philadelphia Eagles atop all others in our summertime backfield rankings, it was still a mystery how the snaps would break down between DeMarco Murray, Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles.

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"Murray gets all the headlines and attention, but I'm even more intrigued to see what the role is for Mathews and Sproles," NFL Media's Daniel Jeremiah told us in June. "... I kind of worry about those secondary runners when you get a carry here, a carry there. But the Eagles with their tempo, (Mathews is) going to get a full series and he's going to get a chance to get into a rhythm."

That makes plenty of sense. The speed of Chip Kelly's attack lends itself to runners shuttling in and out for alternating drives -- and that's exactly how it might play out -- but Murray isn't so sure.

"I don't think it will be alternating series," Murray said, per Corey Seidman of CSN Philly. "But (Mathews) is a quality back, great guy, works extremely hard. I'm sure he'll get his fair share of touches. But I don't know how the rotation will be yet, we haven't touched on it."

All three backs saw first-team snaps on the same drive against the Baltimore Ravens, but Murray said that was more about getting everyone face time with the starters. Last year's Offensive Player of the Year expects Saturday's dress rehearsal against the Green Bay Packers to paint a more accurate picture of how Kelly will use his runners come September.

"I think we're approaching it like a regular game," Murray said. "You can't go out there with a preseason mindset. We're focused, whether it's playing one snap or 40 snaps."

Murray won't come anywhere close to 40 snaps, not after being kept in bubble wrap for much of August. Kelly doesn't need to grind any of his runners into the ground, and could very well use Murray conservatively for stretches of the regular season if needed.

That's made possible by the presence of Mathews, who lines up as a phenomenal fit, leaving ESPN's Louis Riddick to say over the summer: "Murray gets the headlines, but Ryan Mathews looks very good. And they like him. A lot."

Kelly baffled some onlookers this offseason with all his wheeling and dealing, but so far, he's kept his word about finding work for both Murray and Mathews. Barring injury, it's a tandem that will pay dividends all season:

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