NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Titans running back Derrick Henry created some sports talk radio chatter when he was absent the first two weeks of the team's voluntary offseason program.
Henry was back on campus at the University of Alabama, and head coach Mike Mularkey said on Wednesday he didn't have problem with it, aside from a lack of communication. The two cleared things up during a conversation when Henry returned last month.
"It was not very long and it was more about the schooling than anything,'' Mularkey said of the conversation. "I'm glad he was back in school. We had a couple of guys graduate this offseason, and if that's what he is working for, I am all for it."
Since his return, Henry has been impressive in organized team activities, according to Mularkey.
"I think he has looked great,'' Mularkey said of Henry. "It is evident he has worked extremely hard. I saw a lot of videos of him working out at Alabama. I think he has looked very well, really good for this time of year."
Henry, who won the Heisman Trophy in his final season at Alabama, rushed for 490 yards on 110 carries last season for the Titans, with five touchdowns. Henry also caught 13 passes for 137 yards while playing behind starting running back DeMarco Murray.
Murray ranked third in the NFL with 1,287 yards during a Pro Bowl season in 2016. Mularkey said he's also looked good this offseason after ending last season with a lingering toe injury.
"The toe that he had bothering him I think is better,'' Mularkey said of Murray. "He is a pro. He comes in here bright and early, and he is always preparing himself before practice, after practice. He is always taking care of himself. I see him in here on weekends, on evenings. That's why he is the player that he is."
So what's next for the Titans running game in 2017?
The two backs have been busy in OTAs, with backs Khalfani Muhammad and David Fluellen also getting work out of the backfield.
"I think both of those guys did a great job for us last year," Titans offensive coordinator Terry Robiskie said. "Obviously DeMarco had a hell of a year, but I thought Derrick had a fantastic year. He came in as a rookie, and like I told him, 'Freshmen sometimes in college don't play.'
"But I thought he had a hell of a year. The Kansas City game (9 carries, 58 yards, two touchdowns) he went in there and did some great things for us early and I think it will be the same thing. We'll find ways to use both of those guys."
Titans players take the field for Day 5 of the team's 2017 OTAs at Saint Thomas Sports Park. (Photos: Gary Glenn)