RICHMOND—If you want to talk to Trent Murphy after practice you have to wait around a bit. He stays on the field after the horn signifying the end of the session blows. “Just working on having my hands and eyes right and some quick hands pass rush stuff,” said the team’s top draft pick.
The outside linebacker puts in some long days, putting in extra time on the other end. He’s usually one of the first players on the field for the morning practice. “I’m trying to be out here early ever day, I like to be on the first shuttle over here every morning,” he said “That’s part of the routine now. . . Early is on time, fortune favors the prepared, I can go on.”
The day he took control of the Redskins’ personnel decisions, Bruce Allen said that the organization was going to “redefine some of the characteristics that we’re looking for in players.” They wanted players who loved the game more than they loved what the game could get them, hard-working, blue-collar players.
We don’t yet know if Murphy will be a boom or a bust but there is no question that he will work hard to be successful.
After he hits the practice field early and leaves it late, he pays attention in the meeting room. “My football knowledge, what I’ve learned so far, has grown immensely,” he said. “I’m just trying to get better, really, every day and learn offense, offensive structure just so if I know them better I can play faster.”
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Another characteristic that the Redskins were looking for in their draft picks was a desire to play special teams. They can check this box for Murphy as well. “We had a huge emphasis on [special teams] in college, at Stanford,” he said. “It was as important as offense or defense for us and I think that’s the way it should be and I think that’s the way it is here with the emphasis. It’s a crucial part of the game, it could mean a win or a loss.”
Murphy said that they are still sorting out who will play on what units on special teams and he wants to play on as many as they let him.
Again, we don’t yet know if Murphy will make it or not. Time will tell. But we can say that he is putting himself in the post possible position to succeed and for right now that’s all the team can ask for.