NASHVILLE, Tenn. —Titans running back DeMarco Murray is rolling. He's second in the NFL in rushing, and has eclipsed the 100-yard mark in two of the last three games.
But even that hasn't quieted all the questions about Derrick Henry, last year's Heisman Trophy winner who plays behind Murray. He remains popular among fans.
"I think maybe that's a fan deal, or maybe that's a press deal, or maybe that's an Alabama deal,'' Titans offensive coordinator Terry Robiskie said of the former Alabama running back. "Everybody wants to see their guy come in and let him play and hand him the ball and let him go. Derrick is young man and he is going to play the game for a long time and he is going to be an outstanding football player for a long time.
"But today we have a guy (in Murray) who is going pretty good for us … and doing some good things. And, in my opinion, Derrick is just kind of sitting back and watching that old man work and let him do his thing. He just needs to keep learning from him, and see what will help his game.
"His time will come. … But DeMarco is doing a pretty good job for us."
Murray is off to a fast start. He has 461 yards on 93 carries through five games, including three touchdowns. He also leads the Titans with 24 catches, for 172 yards and two more scores.
Henry, meanwhile, has just 34 carries for 151 yards. He carried the ball seven times for 54 yards on Sunday against the Dolphins, but didn't get a carry after halftime.
Henry isn't making a fuss about it. With a smile, on Thursday he acknowledged his body feels better than it did in previous Octobers. Henry carried the ball 395 times for 2,219 yards and 29 touchdowns last season at Alabama en route to winning the Heisman Trophy. He racked up 602 carries for 3,591 yards in three college seasons.
"It is a big drop off from 400 to the carries right now,'' Henry said with a smile. "But you just have to stay patient and stay locked in and keep working. And when you get an opportunity you try and make a play."
Henry pointed out he didn't play much during his freshman season at Alabama, when he carried the ball just 35 times for 382 yards.
"I have experienced it,'' Henry said. "You can't worry about it. You just have to stay patient, and when your number is called you have to make a play."
Murray, who's in his sixth NFL season, credited Henry for his approach, and his attitude. Murray reminded he had to play behind a pair of running backs during his rookie year with the Cowboys.
"I am sure he's learned a lot and he'll have his opportunities and when he does he's made the most of them,'' Murray said of Henry. "He'll continue to get better during the week and show up on Sundays. It's a long season and we'll need him to do what he can to help this team win.
"He's a player I know he came from Alabama and has been a starter and everybody comes into a scenario where you want to be a starter … but at the end of the day you want to help out the team as much as you can. He's had a great attitude about it, and he'll continue to get better and he'll continue to learn and I'm sure he'll make more plays throughout the season."
Robiskie said Henry has done a nice job working in the classroom, and focusing in meetings. He said he's done well on the practice field, and when he's gotten opportunities, he's performed well in games.
Henry had a 22-yard run in Miami, and is averaging 4.4 yards per carry
"He is doing everything pretty good right now,'' Robiskie said of Henry. "We haven't had to give it to him 30 times a game because we have another guy who is playing pretty good for us.
"But the things that he is doing, he is doing well. He's ready to go, and he's a great guy to have. We're happy we've got him."
The Titans select Alabama RB Derrick Henry in the second round (45th overall) of the 2016 NFL Draft. (AP Photos)