NASHVILLE, Tenn. – DeMarco Murray hit the ground running with the Titans.
The veteran running back eclipsed the 100-yard mark in four of his first eight games in Tennessee in 2016, and finished the year third in the NFL with 1,287 rushing yards.
At the start of his second offseason program with the team, Murray feels good. The toe injury that slowed him during the second half of last season has improved.
"Obviously I got some rest, some rest that was much needed," Murray said on Monday. "And it feels good."
He's also even more confident in those around him, and the team's chances in 2017.
"Being here for a year, knowing the system, knowing the guys and knowing what they expect of us individually, collectively from a team standpoint," Murray said. "Last year was great getting to know everyone, working towards a common goal. And this year being able to know what it takes in order to get what we want to accomplish. …
"I think we know what we are capable of doing. I think everybody this year is more energetic, and we are more confident than probably where we were a year ago. But everyone has come in with the mindset of working hard."
Murray made it to the Pro Bowl for the third time in his career in 2016. The six-year pro earned this trip after tallying 1,664 yards from scrimmage in 2016, including nine rushing touchdowns. Murray also contributed with 53 catches for 377 yards and three touchdowns.
Murray ran for 1,845 yards and 13 touchdowns in Dallas in 2014 and was named the NFL's Offensive Player of the Year. Last year in Philadelphia, he ran for just 702 yards and six touchdowns. When he was traded to Tennessee, some wondered if his best days were behind him.
Murray, who turned 29 in the offseason, said the similarities between the offense in Tennessee and the system he was in with the Cowboys has helped.
"(The key for me) is just working hard,'' Murray said. "My first three or four years in the league I was learning constantly. … This system, it kind of reverts back to my first few years in the league. Obviously the terminology is a little different, but we are running some of the similar plays I am used to running."
Murray also praised his running backs coach, Sylvester Croom, for helping him in his development with the Titans.
Titans coach Mike Mularkey has said on numerous occasions this offseason that Murray will remain the team's "No.1 back" in 2017. Murray said he'll continue to learn from Croom.
"Working with Croom has been an unbelievable experience for me," Murray said. "Just learning new things, catching the ball and some routes that I've never been able to run, working with him just on footwork and things of that nature have definitely helped me out a lot in just one year."
Titans QB Marcus Mariota was among the players on hand for the start of the team's offseason workout program at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Gary Glenn)