By Peter Gleason
Former Eagles running back DeMarco Murray always kept a stiff upper lip when he was appropriately criticized for an underwhelming performance in 2015.
And, in his first interview in Tennessee, where the Eagles shipped him and his mega-contract, he flashed a sense of humor.
“I feel like I took a year off last year, so I am fresh,’’ Murray, with a smile, said on Wednesday.
Murray said he also didn’t lose a step, something he aims to prove to the rest of the NFL after being traded yesterday from the Eagles to the Titans.
Murray was the league’s offensive player of the year in 2014 after leading the NFL and setting Cowboys franchise records in rushing yards (1,845), and scrimmage yards (2,261) on 392 carries. After signing a five-year deal with the Eagles last season, however, Murray gained 702 yards on just 193 carries. His average yards per carry dipped from 4.7 to 3.6 yards, the lowest average of his career.
It led some to question whether Murray can become one of the NFL’s elite running backs again.
“I have never been one to pay attention to the critics, but you obviously hear stuff and are around people and you hear things that are said and it definitely fires you up and motivates you,’’ Murray said in an interview with Titans Online on Wednesday after arriving in town.
“I’m 100 percent (motivated). The NFL is a place where you have to make the best of your opportunities, and every day is a challenge, every day is a competition. I look forward to competing every day and getting back on track and running the ball the way I know I can, and running plays I am intrigued by.”