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Redskins Look to Use Flexible Trent Murphy in ‘Third Down Pass Rush’

by Chris Lingebach
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Quarterback Marcus Mariota #8 of the Oregon Ducks is sacked by linebacker Trent Murphy #93 of the Stanford Cardinal in the first quarter at Stanford Stadium on November 7, 2013 in Palo Alto, California. (Credit: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Quarterback Marcus Mariota #8 of the Oregon Ducks is sacked by linebacker Trent Murphy #93 of the Stanford Cardinal in the first quarter at Stanford Stadium on November 7, 2013 in Palo Alto, California. (Credit: Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

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Trent Murphy Interview

106.7 The Fan

WASHINGTON (CBSDC) - The Washington Redskins made an investment in defensive “flexibility” by drafting Stanford linebacker Trent Murphy with the 47th overall pick in the 2014 NFL Draft on Friday, he tells 106.7 The Fan’s Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier.

Murphy, who stands 6 feet and 5 inches tall and weighs in at 260 pounds, had the versatility to play all across the tackle box in college, the kind of flexibility which likely made him a top target for Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett.

“I’ve really played a little bit of everything,” Murphy said on Monday. “And been that kind of joker position, or what we call the “X” position at Stanford; I can line up over the center, over the guard, over the tackle, out in space over the number two receiver; be in pass rush or drop or do whatever they asked me to do from there.”

Of his size and mobility, Murphy says “it gives you a lot of flexibility as a defensive coordinator, and you can do a lot of different things, and change up the looks, and the offensive personnel can’t always tell who’s who and what they’re gonna do, and so that gives the upper hand to the defense tremendously.”

Disrupting the passing game was indeed Murphy’s forte in college. He registered 15 sacks in 2013 alone, and over a four-year career, brought down the quarterback 32.5 times in the backfield. But he’s a fierce defender of the run game as well, with 160 career tackles and 52.6 tackles-for-loss at Stanford.

He spoke in the interview of the role the Redskins intend for him in 2014.

“They’re looking to use me already on third-down pass rush, which is kind of the immediate disruptive player get to get after quarterbacks, and I mean that’s exactly what guys want to do,” Murphy said, emphasizing later he’s heard some rumbles of him playing outside linebacker, and being used specifically out of the “pass-rush position.”

“So I’ll get a chance to sit down with the coaches and hear what they kind of envision for me, and hopefully I get a chance to work for whatever they want to give me.

Speaking on what he brings to the table, Murphy says it’s inevitable in football a player will line up against someone physically stronger than himself, and at that point, it’s a test of will, and that’s the area of the game in which he dominates, he described.

“But either way, you have to physically impose your will across that guy and whatever that takes, whatever that kind of intangible asset that takes to do that, I mean that’s probably my strongest asset,” he said. “So whether that’s toughness, or whether that’s willpower, or whatever that is, that’s something I’ve always had and I’m excited to test at the next level.”

As for what he Murphy needs to improve upon, he says he’ll need to adjust to the speed of the game, and demonstrating “flashes of great plays” with greater consistency.

If all goes well for him in 2014, Murphy should be a good throw-in to an already formidable Redskins front seven, which includes the addition of Jason Hatcher.

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