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Titans High on Derrick Henry, but DeMarco Murray Still Top Dog

Posted Mar 28, 2017

Titans coach Mike Mularkey said the plan in the running game in 2017 will look at lot like it did in 2016. The team plans to use DeMarco Murray as the workhorse.


PHOENIX — DeMarco Murray was a workhorse for the Titans in 2016, and the team plans to keep riding him.
 
Titans coach Mike Mularkey said from the NFL owners meetings on Tuesday the plan running the ball this fall will look similar to last season.
 
“I think everyone wants Derrick (Henry) to have a bigger role, including Derrick,’’ Mularkey said. “We’ll see how that unfolds. (But) I’ve said it before: DeMarco Murray is our No.1 back. He is our workhorse and you saw that he is capable of doing that and being very effective.
 
“Derrick is a good No.2 player for us right now, with his role, with what he did. I thought he was effective every time he got to play, especially for a rookie. And I understand it is hard to come in as a second back. It is hard to get into a flow. But when he had to play, he was very effective.”
 
Murray, acquired in a trade last March from the Eagles, rushed for 1,287 yards and nine touchdowns last fall. He also caught 53 passes for 377 yards and three touchdowns in the passing game. It earned him a trip to the Pro Bowl.
 
Henry, a Heisman Trophy winner from Alabama who was drafted in the second round of last year’s draft, contributed with 490 rushing yards and five touchdowns on 110 carries. He caught 13 passes for 137 yards.
 
Mularkey said he’s not worried about Murray, a six-year pro who turned 29 last month, wearing down.
 
"He's very well-conditioned, even with his toe (injury) last year you look at him and he was still pretty effective," Mularkey said of Murray. "Obviously he's a tough guy, he fits our style, as Derrick does. I'm not worried about wearing him down."
 
Mularkey also said Henry can benefit greatly from working behind Murray.
 
“Following a guy that’s had success, watching everything he does, how he comes to work every day,  I think (DeMarco) has been great for Derrick,’’ Mularkey said. “If Derrick continues to do that and watches how DeMarco handles his business on and off the field, he has a great future ahead of him.
 
“His time is coming. He just has to be patient, which is easier said than done. But we value everything he brings to this football team.”