NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Running back
And he’s ready to do his part.
“Whatever they ask me to do I am willing to do it, whether it is carrying the ball 20 times, 30 times, whatever,’’ Murray said. “I’m excited, and I am going to do my best to help this team out and do as much as I can.
The Titans and the Philadelphia Eagles completed a trade on Wednesday for the 2014 NFL’s Offensive Player of the Year. He gives the Titans a proven rusher, and provides a big boost to an offense engineered by quarterback
The teams will swap fourth-round picks in this year’s NFL Draft, with the Titans moving from the second pick to the 15th pick in the round.
The Titans will introduce Murray to the media on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. in the auditorium at Saint Thomas Sports Park.
“Obviously the team has a young quarterback in Marcus Mariota, and everyone knows what he can do,’’ Murray said. “Plus, coach (Mike Mularkey), and the type of running backs he had in Atlanta when he was there (as offensive coordinator), guys like Michael Turner. I just felt like this was a great opportunity to come here, work hard.
“There were a couple of teams that were interested, but I knew right away this was a team I had a lot of interest in. Tennessee was the best opportunity for me, and I plan to work hard.
”Nashville is beautiful, the people are nice,’’ Murray continued. “It kind of takes me back to my Oklahoma roots a little bit. So I am very excited it worked out.”
A third-round draft pick out of Oklahoma in 2011, Murray was named the league’s Offensive Player of the Year after leading the NFL and setting Cowboys franchise records in rushing yards (1,845), and scrimmage yards (2,261) in 2014.
Murray scored 13 touchdowns on 392 carries in 2014, an average of 115.3 yards per game. He posted 12 100-yard games in 2014, including a 167-yard performance against the Titans in a game at Nissan Stadium in September.
In his lone season with the Eagles, Murray ran for 702 yards and six touchdowns on just 193 carries. He turned in a 112-yard performance against the Giants.
During an interview with Titans Online after landing in Nashville on Wednesday, Murray thanked Eagles owner Jeffrey Lurie and executive vice president of football operations Howie Roseman. Murray spent just one season in Philadelphia after signing a five-year deal last March.
“Philadelphia is a great place and I have a lot of respect for Mr. Lurie and Howie, and we spoke, and I appreciate them, I really do,’’ Murray said. “There was no hard feelings it all.
“I just felt it is best for me and my family to take advantage of another opportunity and this gives me a chance to move on a little bit.”
In his career, the six-year veteran has rushed for 5,228 yards and 34 touchdowns, for an average of 4.6 yards per carry. He has 215 receptions for 1,522 yards and two touchdowns.
A two-time Pro Bowler, Murray became the first player in NFL history to rush for 100-plus yards in each of the team’s first eight games of the 2014 season, breaking Jim Brown’s record set in 1958 with the Browns. Murray also ran for 1,121 yards and nine touchdowns in 2013.
The Titans needed the help.
In 2015, the Titans finished 25th in the NFL in rushing offense, averaging just 92.8 yards per game. The team returns running backs
The Titans haven’t had a running back run for 100 yards since Dec. 29, 2013, when Chris Johnson did it against the Texans in his final appearance before being released.
Murray gives the team a versatile running back capable of helping in a number of areas. He should not only help Mariota, but his presence should also free up tight end
“I feel like better days are ahead, and I want to come in and help the team out,’’ Murray said. “I feel like this is a team that is growing, and has some good young players and some veteran players. Everyone knows the record last year but I feel it is going to steadily increase and I think they are putting together a great group of guys who will go out there and compete every Sunday and make this town proud.”