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With A Potential Move, Redskins Want Trent Murphy To Add Weight

Posted Mar 23, 2016

Trent Murphy has spent his first two seasons with the Redskins at outside linebacker, but the team feels that if he adds some weight, he may be able to play other positions as well on the defense.

Trent Murphy has spent his first two seasons with the Redskins at outside linebacker, but the team feels that if he adds some weight, he may be able to play other positions as well on the defense.

With the Washington Redskins’ re-signing of Junior Galette last week, their outside linebackers group has become crowded, especially with so many talented options.

Galette was a double-digit sack producer during his final two seasons with the New Orleans Saints in 2013 and 2014, while Preston Smith led all rookies last season with eight sacks.

Of course, you can’t forget about Ryan Kerrigan, too, the face of the Washington defense and a player who has started and appeared in every single game since being selected in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft.

That leaves Trent Murphy, a the Redskins' second-round pick in 2014.

Murphy has flashed at outside linebacker from time to time, but with three other players who have been more consistent at getting to the quarterback from the position, he may be moved inside to ensure he’s still getting enough playing time.

“You can never have too many pass rushers, really,” Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said Wednesday at the NFC Coaches Breakfast at the NFL Owners Meetings in Boca Raton, Fla. “But with the emergence of Preston at the end of the year, obviously Ryan Kerrigan and Junior Galette, I feel like those are three pretty good edge rushers. I think we can move around Trent Murphy. I think he can play inside, outside, standup, put his hand down and gain some more weight, I think we’ll have to play with him a little bit.”

Murphy was expected to be more of a rotational guy as a rookie, but after Brian Orakpo was lost mid-season, he was thrust into the starting lineup.

His response? 2.5 sacks and two forced fumbles in his first eight starts.

Murphy returned for the 2015 season noticeably bigger and stronger. He continued to be a consistent player on the outside, totaling 45 tackles with 3.5 sacks, two fumble recoveries and a fumble forced.

The team is confident he can have the same sort of success playing in other areas such as defensive end, but that starts with adding weight.

Murphy was listed at 258 pounds during the 2015 season, but defensive ends play closer to 270 pounds at the lightest.

Of the defensive linemen who were on the active roster for the Redskins last season and expected to return, Ricky Jean Francois is the lightest at 297 pounds.  

“We’re in that process,” Gruden said of Murphy gaining weight. “He’s a young football player and coming out of college at Stanford, he’s going to get bigger naturally. We’re hoping that that comes naturally. He will have the ability to put his hand down, maybe play five technique or something like that. Because he’s got great hips I think and he’s got a great motor, he plays extremely hard. We’ve got to find a place for him to keep him on the field.”

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