Next up in the grading system for the 2016 season are the running backs.
Jon Robinson’s first move as the new Tennessee Titans GM was trade for Murray. Murray was coming off a horrific first season in Philadelphia after a magnum opus of a season in Dallas the year before. Brought into Philly by offensive “mastermind” Chip Kelly, Murray was constantly misused and misfit in an incorrect offense (for him and many others). But Robinson knew that Murray still had plenty left in the tank; he just needed to be put in a traditional offense where he could get going north-south instead of east-west.
The results were outstanding. Murray enjoyed one of his best seasons as both a runner and receiver, totaling 1,664 yards from scrimmage and 12 touchdowns. Murray used his mauling, hole-opening offensive line to its best use, finding daylight frequently and making defenses pay by moving the chains time after time. He averaged 4.4 yards per carry on the year and hit the century mark five times throughout the season. And all of that while dealing with a torn plantar plate in his foot that bothered him for the entire second half of the season. Murray just turned 29 and is under contract for three more years. There’s still a lot left within him to help the team make noise soon.
Honestly, I hated the Henry pick when it happened. The Titans had already traded for Murray to be the bell-cow back, and Bishop Sankey and Antonio Andrews were already on the roster as decent backups. It took one preseason game for me to renege on my previous doubts. Henry was arguably the best player on any team during the preseason, uncorking 216 yards on just 34 rushes and scoring three touchdowns. It looked like Murray and Henry were set to become “thunder and thunder”. Unfortunately, Henry wasn’t used as much as anticipated once the season rolled around.
More from Titan Sized
- Tennessee Titans suspiciously quiet about major draft need
- Tennessee Titans agree to new deal with star Jeffery Simmons
- Caesars Promo Code Expires Soon – Claim $1,250 Today
- 3 needs that are being overblown by Tennessee Titans fans
- Tennessee Titans have potential dilemmas in 2023 NFL Draft
But when he played, he was must-see TV. We all knew about his power (he’s 6’3″ and 247 lbs. for Pete’s sake), but it was his illusionary speed and quickness. Henry consistently beat outside linebackers and even cornerbacks to the boundaries, which to me made no sense whatsoever for a man of his stature. Henry’s use was sporadic, and it wasn’t until the second half of the season (coinciding with Murray’s foot injury) that he began to be a big part of the offense. Henry finished the year with 490 yards at a 4.5 yards per clip average and scored five touchdowns. He also showed some prowess as a receiver, catching 13 passes and doing damage with them (137 yards, 10.5 ypc). The Titans are set up at running back for the next 10 years.
Coming off a sophomore campaign where he totaled 694 rushing and receiving yards and three touchdowns, Andrews looked like he had a chance to make some sort of impact in the future for the Titans. That all changed when the team traded for Murray and drafted Henry. Andrews’ junior season consisted of two carries for 15 yards. That 7.5 yards per carry average would have led the league, by the way. While he didn’t get to contribute on the offensive side of the ball, Andrew was a solid special teams player and has carved out a role for himself on the team.