Tennessee Titans running back DeMarco Murray had a disappointing and frustrating season in Philadelphia in 2015 as did many members of Chip Kelly’s 7-9 squad.
Then, just one year into the four-year, $25 million contract Murray signed with Philly, the restructured Eagles front office shipped him to Tennessee in a dollar-shaving and roster-reshaping transaction in March.
As for why Murray fell from the NFL’s leading rusher in Dallas in 2014 (1,845 yards, 4.7 yards per carry) to a season in which he broke 100 yards just once and got only 30 carries during the Eagles’ first four games? Titans three-time Pro Bowl linebacker Brian Orakpo has a few theories:
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That said, no one thrived in the scheme except maybe Ryan Mathews, who averaged 5.1 yards per carry. According to Football Outsiders’ metrics, the Eagles offensive line ranked 30th in run blocking with just 3.25 adjusted line yards per running play.
Llinebacker Brian Orakpo (98) was named a Titans defensive captain in 2015.
The Titans are now the ones paying Murray bell-cow money and will give him many more opportunities to pound the ball. Together with rookie running back and Heisman trophy winner Derrick Henry, they’re anticipating a "thunder and thunder combination" according to Titans safety Rashad Johnson.
The grass isn’t always greener, but Murray can at least expect to step his cleats on it much more often this season.
Murray running for a touchdown against the New Orleans Saints in September 2014.