DeMarco Murray won NFL Offensive Player of the Year for the Dallas Cowboys after toting the rock 392 times for 1,845 yards (4.7 yards per carry average) in 2014. Murray was a bulldozing freight train, carrying 45 times for more than 10 yards and 15 times for 20-plus yards.
In 2015, Murray was a limp caboose. With his lateral agility shot and the weight of the previous season's workload taking its toll on his legs, Murray rushed for just 702 yards on 193 carries (3.6 yards per carry) for the Philadelphia Eagles. He had just 19 carries of more than 10 yards and just five that reached 20.
Titans coach Mike Mularkey liked the explosiveness Murray displayed in recent organized team activities.
"I certainly liked some of the cuts I saw," Mularkey said, via the Tennessean. "Even without pads on, those were cuts he wasn't going to get touched on. It was going to be an explosive run. You can tell when a play is going to work and not work.
"He's got very good vision and very good feet. And a lot of the things we're doing, he's run before, so it's not new to him."
"He made a few cuts today that were pretty special," Mariota said of Murray. "To have someone of that talent back there, it will not only open a lot of run-game stuff, but also play-action stuff and passing game. It will really make our team that more dimensional."
Some blamed Murray's poor 2015 on the plethora of stretch runs then-Eagles coach Chip Kelly employed. It was clear the running back is better going downhill.
With the Titans planning to deploy a "Thunder and Thunder" smash mouth rushing attack, Tennessee hopes to recapture some of Murray's magical 2014 season.
We'll wait to see Murray in pads against real defenders before we believe 2015 was an aberration and not a lasting result of the heavy workload in 2014. Even toward the end of his best season Murray looked worn and struggled to break free from tacklers.