DeMarco Murray, and his Dad, Fell in Love with Titans

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ORLANDO, Fla. –** DeMarco Murray is no goof off.

Anyone who knows the Titans running back realizes he's not a clown-around kind of guy, even in the land of Mickey Mouse, Goofy, Donald Duck and Pluto.

But here at the Pro Bowl, Murray admits he lightened up a bit in 2016, his first year in Tennessee.

Part of it stems from his first day with the team after being traded last March, when the Titans opened up to his father.

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Titans running back DeMarco Murray (right) pictured with his father, Kevin Murray (left).

"I think I approached things a little different,'' Murray said after wrapping up Thursday's practice here at the Pro Bowl. "I have always been a little more serious than some people, and I still am. But this year did give me a chance to lighten up a little.

"I have to still keep the leash a little tight on myself, but it is always good to have fun. And I think for me to see how they treated my dad from the beginning, it was huge for me to see. It let me know it was family. It felt like family from the start."

Murray is at the Pro Bowl for the third time in his career. The six-year pro earned this trip after rushing for 1,287 yards and nine touchdowns with the Titans. Murray finished third in the NFL in rushing, and he also contributed with 53 catches for 377 yards and three touchdowns.

Murray made a big hit on those around him in his first year in Tennessee, after playing previously in Dallas and Philadelphia.

Five Titans players compete in the 2017 AFC/NFC Pro Bowl in Orlando, Fla. (Photos: AP, Amber Harding)

Kevin Murray, DeMarco's father, said the Titans made a big hit on him and his son when he showed up at Saint Thomas Sports Park after being traded. It's stuck with him.

"Tennessee welcomed me like I was part of the team,'' Kevin Murray said. "They walked me through the building, took me into the offices, into the cafeteria, into the locker room.

"(Offensive coordinator) Terry Robiskie gave me his cell. I talked to Jon Robinson, and he's the nicest GM I've ever met. He's actually the first GM I've actually met and had a conversation with.

"And I spoke with coach (Dick) LeBeau for two hours. Never in my life have I spoken to a coach that long. That guy is an All-American defensive coordinator and he spoke to me for two hours. And that is something I will never forget the rest of my life. Just the way they treated me and my son, we knew it was the right place for him. And he's been very happy. He loves it."

Murray bought a house just outside of Nashville within a few weeks of joining the Titans. He didn't purchase a home in Dallas despite playing four years there, and he didn't buy a house on Philadelphia, where he played in 2015.

Nashville has been a good fit for him for a number of reasons.

Titans players join other NFL stars in preparation for the 2017 AFC/NFC Pro Bowl in Orlando, Fla. (Photos: Amber Harding, AP)