DeMarco Murray Press Conference Transcript

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TITANS GENERAL MANAGER JON ROBINSON, HEAD COACH MIKE MULARKEY AND RUNNING BACK DeMARCO MURRAY PRESS CONFERENCE TRANSCRIPT - March 10, 2016* *

GENERAL MANAGER JON ROBINSON

(opening statement)

Thank everybody for coming out.  Big day for Tennessee Titan football, big day for the city of Nashville.  We started these discussions a couple weeks ago.  Usually these type of deals start in Indy at the Combine.  We started having some preliminary discussions about acquiring DeMarco, and talks kind of accelerated over the last couple of weeks.  We've been talking about team-first, tough, dependable, coachable-type players, and we've added one here over the last 24 hours that embodies all of the characteristics that we're looking for in a Titan.  Couldn't be more excited for what DeMarco is going to bring to this football team on the field and as a man off the field.  We're looking for great things.  We talked about a new day in Tennessee Titans football back two months ago when we took over here, and today is just a start of the change that is coming here for this football team.  Coach Mularkey is going to say a few words, and then to DeMarco.

**

HEAD COACH MIKE MULARKEY**

(opening statement)

I want to say thank you to Jon, too, because I know all of the time and effort that was put into this deal.  Thrilled, obviously, to have DeMarco here in this offense, in this style of offense.  He fits it, exactly what we're looking for in both the run and the pass game, and not just that but just the character and the leadership that he's going to bring to this locker room is not measurable.  But (we're) very happy, very happy that we're starting off this offseason and this being really one of the first things Jon and I have been able to do together and work through and have the result of DeMarco Murray being here.  I'll leave it at that and let DeMarco have the floor. 

RB DeMARCO MURRAY

(opening statement)

I'd just first off like to thank the Adams family, obviously Jon and Coach Mularkey for giving me this exciting opportunity to join this prestigious organization.  It goes without saying, I know there's a lot of hard work to do, and I look forward to competing every day alongside my teammates and bringing a lot of joy and promise, and from a fans' standpoint and anyone's standpoint who has something to do with this organization, to be proud of us and be proud of this organization.  I'm ecstatic.  My wife is very ecstatic.  I can't wait to get to work, and I can't wait to, like I said, compete and get around the guys and have fun.  Just looking forward to this year.

(on why this was a team he wanted to join)

When the appropriate time was right, (agent) Bill (Johnson) was able to talk to Jon (Robinson), and I felt that this was a great opportunity for myself with what they touched on with obviously Marcus (Mariota) being a great young quarterback; you've got Delanie (Walker); you've got a lot of good players on this team.  I felt that this was a great opportunity for me to help this team out and come here and compete every single day.  At the end of the day, just spending a day here, the most intriguing thing for me was just good people.  It's all ball, and that's what you look forward to.  You want to be around great people, and you want to be around people that love the game as much as you do. 

(on if 2015 was about the way he was used and if he is confident he will be the same back he was in 2014)

I'm very confident.  Obviously I have a strong work ethic, and I'm very, very ecstatic.  I wish we could start tomorrow.  Philly was a great place, and I have nothing but respect for those guys.  I learned a lot, met a lot of great people there.  I'll still talk to them until this day, but like I said, I'm excited about a new, fresh start and ready to get things going.

(on what changed in 2015 and what he can do to change it back)

I think just come in every day and compete.  Obviously you have to have a positive attitude about everything, and I don't like to dwell on last year or two years ago.  2014 was 2014, and last year was last year.  I'm definitely looking forward to this year, starting a new tradition with this team and with this organization.


New Titans RB DeMarco Murray is introduced to media at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Donn Jones, AP)

(on the kind of plays that excite or intrigue him)*

We were just talking a little bit, Coach Mularkey and I, just seeing what he's done with (Michael) Turner and Jerome (Bettis).  We were talking a little bit about football, just having some similarities in Dallas in the run scheme and a couple plays and whatnot.  I think this offense is definitely a fit for myself, and I'm going to do everything that I can to try to improve every day and help out this team offensively and as a team in general. 

HEAD COACH MIKE MULARKEY

(on how much this will be about using Murray the right way)

Like we said, we talked about it.  I've been in that offense.  Actually, I ran that (Dallas) offense in Miami.  The one that they're running down there was Scott Linehan's offense, and so I know the similarities of it, I know the verbiage, I know everything.  There are some things, actually, from that offense that I took that I thought were actually better than what I was already doing.  I thought it made our offense more efficient, more user friendly.  So he's going to have a little bit of a head start on some of it because I carried over some of the same terminology.  But I've obviously followed his career as well.  I know the run scheme he's been involved with.  We're very similar, more to Dallas than to Philly.  He'll fit exactly what we're doing.

GENERAL MANAGER JON ROBINSON

(on why having Murry makes it an easier sales pitch to prospective offensive linemen)

Sure.  I think his run style fits like Mike said.  Offensive linemen like to block for a guy like DeMarco Murray, a guy that's going to make a guy miss.  They block up their guys, he's got a nice style of—we talked a little bit about it yesterday with him—patience, yet ability to press the hole and being instinctive in traffic and to make a linebacker miss and make a safety miss.  But when it comes down to brass tacks, he's going to lower his shoulder and try to run over a guy.  Offensive linemen like blocking for a back that has that type of mentality.  It's a similar mentality that they have on a snap-after-snap basis of trying to take somebody off the ball. 

HEAD COACH MIKE MULARKEY

(on how much adding Murray can take pressure off Marcus Mariota and make him better)

Obviously you've got to be concerned about the threat of the run.  There's going to be more people up there to try to stop it.  When you do that, coverages are more favorable for Marcus to get exposed.  I think even his ability out of the backfield to catch the ball, it will be a threat.  His ability is multipurpose, what he can do.  It's been proven over time, over the last five years of his career, that Marcus will be better because of it.

RB DeMARCO MURRAY

(on if he likes being called a "workhorse back")

Yeah, like I said, I think every player wants to touch the ball, and I think the more times you touch it, the better off you become. For me, that's kind of how I've been throughout my career.  I'm not someone to come here, 'I need 20 carries, I need 30 carries to make some positive things happen.'  Whatever they tell me to do, that's what I'm going to do.  Whether that's 10 carries or 30 carries, I'm going to do it to the best of my ability.  Whatever it takes to help this team out.

(on how fresh he feels)

Yeah, I said that, and I think it was kind of taken out of context a little bit over the last day.  I wasn't saying that because I literally took the year off, but because I didn't get as much work as I would have hoped to.  So I feel fresh and I feel good, but not because of my choice.

(on his confidence that the team is ready to win)

I'm very confident.  It's going to be a challenge.  Nothing is going to be easy, and I think that's why you have to put the work in daily across the board, from players, trainers, everyone in this whole organization.  I'm just a small piece of the puzzle, and I know they're doing a great job of filling needs of the team.  I'm just ready to do my job and work hard and try to compete at a very, very high level and bring a lot of intensity to this team.  Obviously there's a lot of great guys already on the team, and I'm ecstatic to get in front of those guys and work out with them and go to work.

(on his impression of Marcus Mariota)

Obviously I've seen him.  I haven't known him, but I've watched him since he was at Oregon.  He's a very, very great player.  He's fast, he's very instinctive, and he can throw it, obviously.  But just watching him over the last couple days and pulling up some highlights of him, he's a smart player.  He's extremely fast, so that's something that caught my eye very quickly.

GENERAL MANAGER JON ROBINSON

(on if he ever dreamed he would be able to add an Offensive Player of the Year so quickly)

Yeah, that was the plan all along.  No, I would say once the opportunity presented itself, his style really fit our philosophy of what we're going to be offensively, and then really, I keep coming back to what he embodies as a person and as a football player of a tough, team-first guy.  In the end, we thought it was a perfect match for us.  He did a ton of research on us, too.  That's a tribute to him and Bill Johnson, his representation.  He went back and did his research on the running backs that played under Mike (Mularkey) and played under Sly Croom.  He was convinced and we were convinced that this was going to be a pretty dang good thing.

(on if he views the trade parameters as a "steal")

In the end, we thought it was a deal that was fair to us, and it was a move that we thought bolstered our roster.  We were able to add a premium player that we think is going to have an impact on the field and in the community.

HEAD COACH MIKE MULARKEY

(on if he expects Marcus Mariota to be under center more in 2016)

Obviously he's going to be (under center) more than he was last year.  Like I told you, it's a very balanced offense.  Marcus will be under center more than he will be in the gun.  When you look at the breakdown at least of the offenses that we've run over the last 15 years, yeah, I would say that for sure.  

RB DeMARCO MURRAY

(on if he likes the sound of an offense that uses the quarterback under center more)

I'm comfortable with whatever they call.  I've ran it in the gun; I've ran it from the home position.  I think we have a great group of guys who can do a lot of different things that will make a lot of defenses look there and there.  Hopefully we can just capitalize on it. 

HEAD COACH MIKE MULARKEY

(on how Murray fits in an "exotic smashmouth" offense)

The smashmouth part of it, definitely.  Again, I go back, I was asked to describe how people viewed our offense in Pittsburgh.  I didn't describe it that way.  Somebody else described it, and that was because we had some players back there that had some unique skills to do some trick plays and gadget plays and special plays.  That was the exotic part of it.  But when the day was over, teams knew that we were going to physically pound them.  That was the smashmouth part of it.  That has not changed.  That has been the message from day one.  They've just got to know, just like the backs we have here already, you've seen some of those guys, and it starts up front.  Then they've got a fullback they've got to deal with, and now they've got a tailback that's going to come, all in sequence.  So that smashmouth, you can talk all you want about that.

RB DeMARCO MURRAY

(on changing the culture around the organization and whether he sees himself as a spokesman or a leader by example)

I'm a lead-by-example kind of guy.  I'm not a big "rah-rah-rah" guy, but when it is necessary you know I don't mind doing it.  Obviously, I'm new to this team and I'm going to earn the respect of the guys in the locker room first.  I think that is number one and you don't earn it by just talking, you have to earn it by working and making plays and things of that nature.  I know this is Marcus' (Mariota) team and I'm just here to help out as much as I can and take some pressure off him and the rest of the guys.

(on if he spoke with Jerome Bettis, Michael Turner or any of the other running backs that played for Mike Mularkey)

I talked with Jerome, I have somewhat of a relationship with him.  Obviously, he is a great player and a Hall of Famer, but it is easy to kind of just go on the Internet and look at and read things and look at videos and what not.  I have done a lot of research prior to being here.

(on what he likes about the roster other than Marcus Mariota)

Obviously, you have Delanie (Walker) who is a heck of a tight end.  You have a lot of young receivers, Kendall Wright from Baylor, obviously I have seen him play.  DGB (Dorial Green-Beckham), I believe that is the nickname, he was at Oklahoma for a year and talking to Coach (Bob) Stoops they were telling me just amazing things about him.  I'm excited, obviously there is a lot of playmakers on this offense and it is going to be hard for the defense to match up and key up on the passing game or the running game, so there are going to be a lot of better fits for us I believe.

GENERAL MANAGER JON ROBINSON

(on what the addition of Ben Jones can bring to the running game and Marcus Mariota)

(He) can block guys that are trying to tackle them. He is another guy that embodies everything that we are all about.  He is a tough guy.  He is a very smart football player.  He is a team-first guy.  He can play two positions, he has played mostly at center, but he is a strong interior presence on the offensive line that can anchor the pocket that can create run lanes for DeMarco (Murray) and the rest of our backs to get through.  He embodies all of the traits we are looking for in offensive linemen.

(on if Ben Jones was the number one target for the interior of the offensive front)

Not to give away all of our rankings, but he was up there pretty high.  I've admired Ben (Jones) from afar.  I interviewed him when I was in New England at the Combine and he talked about that he installed the entire game plan for the offense for that bowl game, him and Aaron Murray.  I thought that was pretty impressive for a 20, 21-year old guy to sit down with the quarterback and the head coach and install a game plan for the bowl game.  His presence, we have seen all the Hard Knocks and the clips and a lot of his antics, so he will be a fun guy for you guys to get to know here over the next few days and years to come.  He was a guy that embodied everything that we were looking for.

(on if Ben Jones will be the starting center)

I would say that he will lineup at center, primarily.

(on what the addition of Ben Jones means to Brian Schwenke and Andy Gallik)

I think it adds competition to the position.  I made that statement back in January that we want to build the most competitive 90-man roster and that is our goal now, that is our goal as we prep for the draft and as free agency continues here is to build the most competitive 90-man roster and let those guys fight day-in and day-out.

RB DeMARCO MURRAY

(on whether he prefers a fullback or no fullback)

Obviously, I know we have a heck of a fullback here, so I prefer one.

GENERAL MANAGER JON ROBINSON

(on the challenge of finding the right players that fit)

We've talked about being disciplined with our decisions and being judicious with how we are attacking free agency.  Really evaluating the tape, but going back and looking at my draft reports when those guys came out, my interview notes on those guys when they came out, the psychological testing stuff on those players when they came out, so that we really leave no stone unturned on the player and get a complete profile.  It is a little different than the draft process because guys mature over the course of their three or four years in the league but you at least have a baseline of the information of what you thought about the player as a person when he came out of college.  You haven't interacted with that guy on a day-to-day basis like he has on that other team, but it gives you a baseline of where you expect him to be and then you let the film speak for itself.

HEAD COACH MIKE MULARKEY

(on where Rishard Matthews projects in his offense)

Probably working out at the Z position, but he can play inside and he can play both.  That is the nice thing about him, he is versatile and he can do a lot of things for you.

(on if he looks at Rishard Matthews as a number one receiver)

We are looking for, as Jon (Robinson) has been talking about the whole time, they are all going to compete and see who turns out to be that one for us.

GENERAL MANAGER JON ROBINSON

(on the majority of the additions being on offense thus far and plans to add to the defense)

Yesterday was the onset of free agency and there is that first wave of players that have landed at other clubs and we are still working through our depth charts and rankings of the guys that are still out there.  Then the draft process is right around the corner.  We are at pro days today, we have private workouts set up and visits, so I would say we are looking to acquire good football players at all positions, offensively and defensively.  Offense, defense, wherever it may be we just want the most competitive 90-man team.

(on how he assesses the veteran safety market)

I talked a little bit about that this morning, going back through that and trying to set up some visits with a couple guys to bring in here and talk to.  Then there is a nice pool of players in the draft too that we can look to target.

RB DeMARCO MURRAY

(on if he feels like he has something to prove after last season)

Definitely, as a competitor you always have to have that type of edge and a little chip on your shoulder, especially in this league.  It is a very competitive league and I know every day I have to come in and work hard and compete at a high level.  I'm very excited and like I said I can't wait to get to work and I'm looking forward to it.

(on what he thinks he brings to a team when he is at his best)

Obviously, the physicalness.  You want to physically impose your will on the other team and I think that starts up front with the offensive line and defensive line in the trenches.  For me, I think you want to finish runs and finish going forward and obviously you want to hit a couple of home runs and give you a boost and give a lot of excitement to the team.  I think that is the thing I look forward to doing.

(on how he stays fresh considering all the carries he has had over the years)

I pride myself in the offseason working hard and taking care of my body, hyperbaric chambers, cold tubs and things of that nature.  I know that we have a really good training staff here, so honestly I love taking care of my body.  I try to put the right things in my body as well so I make sure I'm ready throughout the course of the year.

GENERAL MANAGER JON ROBINSON

(on DeMarco Murray having a "billion" carries in 2014 and how he views acquiring a veteran running back)

It's probably slightly less than a billion but I get where you are going.  Our medical staff did an extensive evaluation of him medically and he came out fine.  I think there is more than enough tread left on his tires so to speak.  I'm not concerned about that.

(on watching what Houston and Jacksonville has done and how much better the division has gotten)

It was a pretty exciting day for the division with us adding some key pieces and those guys adding some key pieces.  I'm good friends with those guys on those staffs and anxious to compete with them.  I think the AFC South is going to be an exciting division next fall when we strap it up.

(on if there is potential interest in Al Woods)

I will say that we will keep those discussions between us and his representations, but there are ongoing discussions.

(on if the nose tackle position needs to be addressed)

Again not to be vague there, but just good football players that we think can come in here and help our football team, defensive line being one of those guys.  If there is a guy that can come in here and help our football team and be productive then we will most certainly look to add them.

RB DeMARCO MURRAY

(on the subject of tread on the tires and workload and whether he understands that concern)

Not really, honestly I feel great and I don't think I'm old.  I'm a young guy, I'm still young.  Like I said, I'm just looking forward to getting things going here and working extremely hard and just competing at a high level.  I can't wait to get around the guys.  I feel good, I feel fresh, I feel ready to go.

HEAD COACH MIKE MULARKEY

(on how convinced he is that the team is considerably better)

I think we have added some important cogs, especially offensively so far.  I don't want to forget Brice (McCain), we signed him earlier in the month which I thought was good for us defensively.  He can play nickel for us and can play corner.  I think the pieces that have come in here and all first of all are very good people for this locker room, very good leaders for this locker room, great for this community and very good football players that are going to come in here and compete and, we have a lot of young guys on this team, show them how to compete on a daily basis.  I think those are the guys we have added to this point.

(on what he is looking for in a Matt Cassel and Zach Mettenberger scenario)

A lot more experience.  Looking at 80 starts over 10, and again competition between that group to back up Marcus (Mariota).  No different than anyone else we have signed.

(on if he talked to Marcus Mariota about the addition of DeMarco Murray)

He is very excited about it.  He is really excited about all the things we have done so far with all the signings.

(on if he prefers keeping two or three quarterbacks)

I think it depends on how your roster breaks down everywhere else.  That is a discussion later on down the road, but I have done both.

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