WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – Newly drafted Redskins linebacker Trent Murphy was once threatened to be sent home from Stanford by Jim Harbaugh, for being too rough with Andrew Luck in practice.
Murphy, a high-motor guy by all accounts, simply didn’t understand the ‘don’t touch the quarterback’ practice philosophy upon arriving at Stanford in 2010, he told 106.7 The Fan’s Grant Paulsen and Danny Rouhier on Monday.
It didn’t take long for him to learn it, either, as then head coach Jim Harbaugh informed him lighting quick that his sophomore quarterback wasn’t to be put in harm’s way.
“Coach Harbaugh was pretty protective of Andrew Luck; knew what a talent he was and how important he was to the team,” Murphy recalled. “And I was a pretty aggressive pass rusher, and in high school we didn’t quite have the same rule that says stay away from the quarterback.”
“And so I would get a little too close, or a little too close to his follow through on his throwing hand,” he explained. “And so [Harbaugh] told me a couple times, if I get that close to him again, he was gonna send me on a bus ride, first ticket home, back to Arizona.”
“So I had to keep my distance, that’s for sure,” he said.”
Then Stanford offensive coordinator David Shaw, who took over the program after Harbaugh’s departure, confirmed the story to Grant and Danny on Tuesday.
“It’s the bottom line of both the efforts to contain his aggression and his desire in practice, and release it during games,” Shaw gave the political answer.
“But he’s one of those guys that, he would just get so close, and you got a franchise quarterback in practice, and he’s running right next to him, kind of bumping into him,” he admitted.
“Let’s say he learned his lesson, but at the same time, you love that on game day, and he’s the guy that you point to and you understand why he was a team captain; just a spokesman, a tough guy, a guy that practices hard, and expects his teammates to practice hard,” Shaw went on. “And if you don’t practice hard, he’s gonna beat you over and over and over again, so he’s one of those guys that makes you better when you practice.”
Listen to the audio from Shaw and Murphy recounting the story below.