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Trent Murphy Talks Toughness With Good Morning Football

Posted Oct 7, 2016

Redskins linebacker Trent Murphy was a guest on NFL Network's Good Morning Football on Friday, and covered a number of topics, including quarterback Kirk Cousins and his own toughness.

Redskins linebacker Trent Murphy isn’t the biggest trash talker when he’s out on the football field.

Murphy lets his play do the talking for him, as he explained to Nate Burelson and the rest of the hosts of Good Morning Football on Friday morning.

“I don’t say much of a word out there,” Murphy said. “I just talk with my pads.”

The Redskins do have some men on their roster that love to chat it up with the opposition during games, most notably wide receiver DeSean Jackson and cornerback Josh Norman.

Burleson wanted to get Murphy’s thoughts on what Jackson and Norman have brought to the team this season with their offensive and defensive production.

“Oh those are my guys man, I love the way they play,” Murphy said. “At the end of the day, what they put on tape, it says more than anything else, so I let them do their thing out there.”

Murphy had quite a career at the University of Stanford, winning the Pac-12 Championship in back-to-back seasons [2012, 2013], along with being a consensus All-American in 2013. Murphy was also an All-Pac-12 selection in 2012 and 2013, plus he led the nation in sacks in 2013, with 15.

Murphy didn’t bask in this success alone. He had an opportunity to play with quarterback Andrew Luck, wide receiver Doug Baldwin and cornerback Richard Sherman, all of whom, like Murphy, are in the midst of great NFL careers with the Colts and Seahawks, respectively.

One of the show’s other hosts – Peter Schrager – referred to Murphy, Luck, Baldwin and Sherman as the “Stanford Mafia,” and asked Murphy to give his take on the great times they all had out in Palo Alto, Calif., with the Cardinal.

“Yeah man, we’re taking over the NFL, we didn’t realize we were playing in college with an NFL roster out there, so I guess it was a little unfair looking back at it,” Murphy said. “I love those guys: [Andrew] Luck, [Richard] Sherm[an], [Doug] Baldwin, it’s a long list of guys that are on [NFL] rosters right now. They’re all great personalities, great teammates [and] great people. I was fortunate to play with them.”

Jim Harbaugh – who’s the current head coach of the Michigan Wolverines – was Murphy’s head coach while with the Cardinal. Harbaugh has a reputation for being a fiery, no-nonsense leader, but the guys at Good Morning Football wanted to know how Harbaugh was when he was in Murphy’s living room meeting with him and his parents during the recruiting process.

“It’s something special that’s for sure,” Murphy said. “He [Harbaugh] was recruiting my little brother [Connor Murphy] this last year to try to get him out at Michigan, and he showed up at midnight, right at 12:01 [a.m.] so he wasn’t breaking any rules, and he slept over at our house. He slept in my little sister’s bed; she’s seven-years-old. It’s like a pink room all princessed out, and he was a happy camper, sleeping in there, [and] waking up [and] going to school with my little brother. It was kind of hilarious, and it was cool to be home for it and kind of reunite with my old coach. He’s a good guy. He’s a character.”

The following morning, Murphy said Harbaugh woke up with an infinite amount of energy, and was ready for the day.

“I don’t know how he does it, or what he puts in his coffee, but he wakes up with as much energy as he goes to bed with,” Murphy said. “He’s never-ending, like 110 percent, so gotta love his energy and enthusiasm, [which is] unknown to mankind as he would call it.” 

The interview moved back toward Redskins talk, as Murphy was asked to describe what it’s been like shifting from the linebacker position, to defensive end and back to linebacker.

“This offseason was a bit of a rollercoaster,” Murphy said. “They [Redskins] asked me to move to D-line, and I put on some weight. I put on like 25 pounds in the offseason, and then right before training camp, we had an injury [Junior Galette], unfortunately, and they moved me back, so then I kind of lost the weight. So that swing of 50 pounds in three months wasn’t the easiest on my body, but I’m kind of doing whatever they ask me to do, and trying to be helpful out there where the team needs me. It’s worked out.”

To show how serious Murphy is about being in tip-top shape for the regular season, he also did MMA and Navy SEAL type training in the offseason, which are two of the most intense training methods an athlete like Murphy can go through.

Murphy was extremely respectful when describing the military style of training that he underwent.

“I haven’t done of that Navy SEAL type stuff specifically,” Murphy said. “I won’t even take away from anything they do, because it’s not anywhere close. It’s just people trying to replicate as close as they can. The training, and the stuff they do is out-of-this-world; you can’t even replicate it. It’s tough. It’s pushing your body to the limits, and testing your mind, and training your mind and making it as hard as you can make it off the field, so that when you get into those grinder games that go 80-plus snaps, you’re ready for a dogfight and ready for anything. That’s kind of the biggest thought process behind it.”

Redskins quarterback Kirk Cousins was next up on the docket, as the hosts wanted Murphy’s take on him and where his confidence is in his quarterback.

“Kirk [Cousins] is great,” Murphy said. “He’s so focused all the time. He’s just constantly working. He always looks like he’s on a mission, whether he’s walking from the locker room, to the cafeteria, [or] up to the meeting room. He’s just on a mission wherever he’s going. That’s kind of what you want out of a guy that’s leading your team. He’s working hard, he’s doing the right things and making the plays that we need to make to get the wins the last couple of weeks, and improving every week. You can’t ask for much more from a guy.”

When you look at Murphy, he’s an imposing figure at 6-foot-5, 290 pounds. Murphy’s come into his own this season, as evidenced by his team-leading 4.0 sacks through four games.

If Murphy didn’t eat right, and take care of his mind and body like he has, it would be very difficult for him to get out on the field and be the impact player that he is right now. Everything Murphy’s done in the offseason, and so far in the regular season has made him as rugged and tough as he’s ever been in his football career.

Burleson asked Murphy a great parting question: “What does toughness mean to you?” to which he replied:

“It’s a mentality that I was raised with,” Murphy said. “I gotta credit it all to my dad, because he instilled his boys and his kids with that mentality, [with] even doing yard work or anything like that. To me, toughness is all [in] how you face adversity. When you’re looking adversity in the face, how do you react? Do you whittle away, or do you stand stronger, and press forward and look it square in the eye? To me, that’s kind of somebody that amplifies that toughness and that trait, so that’s what it’s all about, especially in this game.”