NASHVILLE, Tenn. —GATA.
Those initials were on the front of the t-shirts DeMarco Murray gave to kids at his first annual football camp over the weekend. He wears the same shirt under his jersey with the Titans, with the words "Find a Way or Fade Away" on the back.
"I've made these shirts since I came into the league and on the back I've put on different quotes that meant a lot to me,'' Murray said. "I saw this quote and thought it was perfect for my career, starting from now, starting from scratch, and not looking in the past. You either find the way or get the hell out of here, that's it."
GATA, by the way, stands for "Get After That Action." At least that's what he told the campers.
Murray, who just wrapped up his first offseason with the Titans, said he's ready to get after it this season.
After four years in Dallas and a year in Philadelphia, the Titans running back said over the weekend he's been blown away by how things have gone since the team traded for him back in March.
"I would say it has exceeded my expectations,'' Murray said. "We have an unbelievable team, an unbelievable coaching staff and the biggest thing to me is coach (Mike) Mularkey. He is a hell of a coach and an even better guy, and that is not just him but every coach in the organization, there's a little piece of him they carry with him.
"They are just great people, and those are the kinds of coaches you want to do anything for – you'll run through the wall for them. And the camaraderie with the guys on the team, everyone talks to each other, the offensive guys and the defensive guys. I have never been inside a locker room where it is so integrated. That was a huge plus for me, and it lets me come out of my shell a little more and be a little more vocal with the guys."
Murray led the NFL and set franchise records in Dallas in rushing yards (1,845), and scrimmage yards (2,261) during the 2014 season. He scored 13 touchdowns on 392 carries in 2014, an average of 115.3 yards per game that season, when he posted 12 100-yard games.
In his lone season with the Eagles last year, Murray ran for 702 yards and six touchdowns on just 193 carries.
Murray said he's been comfortable with his new surroundings. He bought a home in Franklin, and decided to host his first football camp to benefit the DeMarco Murray Foundation. Roughly 120 kids took part in this weekend's camp, which will help raise money for chronically ill children. Murray's foundation has helped underprivileged kids in the past, but he said he also wants to partner with a local hospital to raise money for chronically ill children in town.
With the Titans, he's been a big help already, Titans running backs coach Sylvester Croom said.
"He's not a boisterous person,'' Croom said of Murray. "First of all, he leads by example. But when something needs to be said, he says it. He does things the right way. He is not about tearing people down, he is about building guys up. He is a great, great pro, and he is going to make this team better. Really, he already has."
Murray said he's ready to do his part, whether it's on the field, in the locker room, or in the community.
He's not going to be shy about speaking up.
"I feel you have to be vulnerable at times, and I have never been one to be vulnerable because I've always had guys like (Jason) Witten and (Tony) Romo and they kind of took that role,'' Murray said of his teammates with the Cowboys. "We have a lot of great guys, a lot of great players. I am not a big rah-rah guy, but when necessary I feel like if I have to say something or things are a little shaky, I'll speak up a little bit."