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Fan questions, Part 2: Murphy, who ran the Redskins’ draft and, of course, Tanard

May 16, 2014, 1:15 PM EST

Trent Murphy

I got a lot of great questions this week so I did two parts. Part one ran yesterday, let’s get right in to today’s batch of questions.

I would put them at pretty close to zero. Unless Griffin is really, really bad–say 2 TD’s, 10 INT’s, and the Redskins are an ugly 0-4 bad–Gruden is going to stick with the quarterback the franchise gave up so much to acquire. I don’t anticipate that happening at all but Griffin gets at least two seasons to establish himself before the team even thinks about other alternatives.

I checked his Baylor stats and he has one kickoff return for 13 yards so it sounds like a squib kick accidentally landed in his hands. Still, it would not surprise me to see him lining up to field some kickoffs and some punts during rookie camp this weekend. They will at least give him a shot at it and see how it works out.

I am not at all bullish on Jackson’s chances of having an impact. In my recent early projection for the 53-man roster I don’t have him making the team. This, after all, is a player who has played in all of 12 games since Jim Zorn’s last year as coach of the Redskins. But I’m very prepared to be wrong on him, maybe he can successfully come back and contribute.

I’m not so sure it’s accurate to say that Griffin had “say” in the draft. Gruden did mention some texts from him in connection with Seastrunk but he doesn’t say if they came in before or after the pick. In any case, a few texts lobbying for your friend is hardly “say”. And, yes, Gruden had influence. But Allen had the final say. We haven’t heard of there being any disagreements in the draft room so perhaps who had the last word was a moot point. If you’ve done you draft preparation properly all decisions should have been made in advance.

He might line up inside in some nickel pass rush packages but he won’t line up alongside Perry Riley if that’s what you’re asking. It’s a very tough position to learn and I don’t think they’ll heap that onto his plate along with needing to learn the pass rush responsibilities. As far as the future, I’ll put it into the never say never category. I don’t think it’s in the plans right now but maybe if they’re sitting here a year from now without a permanent solution at the position they might consider moving Murphy inside.

That is something that will have to be sorted out over the next weeks and months. If he is going to have a role, he first has to become an active participant on special teams. He was not very enthusiastic about special teams last year and that led to him being healthy but inactive for 11 of 16 games last year. If he becomes good on kicking teams he’ll be active and he’ll get a chance to earn a role on defense. But the first step is special teams.

Crazy? No. Irrationally optimistic? Perhaps. Yes, the guy is 6-4 and he does hold all of the BYU career receiving records and that’s a school with a history of filling the mountain air with footballs. But there are serious questions about his durability; he missed time with a torn labrum, torn rib cartilage, and hamstring while with the Cougars. And he’s not very physical, he’ll have to learn to get off the line in the NFL. Right now I’d put him on the practice squad but we’ll see what he looks like over the next few months.

I think that’s what they have in mind, lining up Kerrigan with his hand in the dirt and having Orakpo and Murphy rush from a two-point stance. A lot will depend on how fast Murphy can get up to speed and execute what’s required of him. I don’t think we’ll see much of it during the preseason. That had the feel of Shanahan throwing Haslett a bone. If they’re serious about using it, we won’t see it much until Sept. 7.

  1. mauriceatwood - May 16, 2014 at 2:25 PM

    Great questions and great answers. I am fired up about this coming season.

    • internetcareer - May 16, 2014 at 2:58 PM

      we all have fire in our belly for this coming season.

      • jonevans511 - May 16, 2014 at 3:46 PM

        Except for my girl, who at this very moment has fire breath.

  2. theismann7 - May 16, 2014 at 9:32 PM

    “That had the feel of Shanahan throwing Haslett a bone”…come again Rich? :)

    • shermanp79 - May 17, 2014 at 8:27 AM

      I think it was referencing the 3 OLBs scheme with Kerrigan’s hand in the dirt. How it was used last Pre Season, then not again. Another poor decision by Shanahan. He actually let Haslet blitz more down the stretch in 2012 when the team started poorly. I wonder how much was Haslet or him, with scheme design on D. I think it was Haslet , he hasn’t been a pressure guy in career. Maybe he realized he needed to adjust and Mike didn’t. It makes sense, he hired a guy with similar beliefs. We will see this year. I still want Ryan if let go by Jets after this coming year. I love that guy.

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