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DeMarco Murray could be big help to Marcus Mariota

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Murray wanted out of Philadelphia (1:24)

Ed Werder discusses why DeMarco Murray didn't want to stay in Philadelphia even after the departure of Chip Kelly. (1:24)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Marcus Mariota's protection is the paramount issue for the Tennessee Titans, a team loaded with issues.

The most obvious element of that protection is the pass blocking of an offensive line that needs revamping.

But a good running game also offers great protection. If the Titans use DeMarco Murray the right way -- see Dallas in 2014, not Philadelphia in 2015 -- and can get reliable run blocking out of the revamped O-line as well as improved pass blocking, Mariota will win.

Murray’s presence as the team’s bell-cow back suggests Mariota will be under center more because he’s a back who needs to gather some steam before he gets to the line of scrimmage. It should be conventional run-game stuff.

A quarterback dropping back can better sell play-action, which could key an offense and open things up for the passing game. A good running back often helps open things up for a quarterback who can run.

Murray can occasionally line up back with Mariota in shotgun, giving the quarterback an occasional zone-read option where he can give it to the back or keep it himself.

I’ll have a better feel for how new general manager Jon Robinson did in his first deal once we see what the Eagles get and details of Murray’s revised contract.

The Titans need upgraded weapons for Mariota.

If they get a Murray in 2016 who’s half 2014 Dallas and half 2015 Philly, they’ll get 292 carries, 1,274 yards, 9.5 touchdowns as well as 50 catches for 369 yards.

Anything close to that would help Mariota and the Titans in a big way.