Wouldn’t you love to be a fly on the wall when the Redskins brass sits down to discuss Brian Orakpo behind closed doors? It would be delicious to know–EXACTLY–why they don’t feel comfortable with him going forward.

We think we know.

Not a big enough repertoire of pass rush moves. A liability in coverage. Injuries. Simply not good enough to invest in a long-term, mega-millions contract.

Probably a little bit of “all of the above”.

Because clearly, as the “Redskins draft Trent Murphy” headlines became a reality last Friday, the proverbial writing was on the wall. The standout from Stanford is here to take Orakpo’s job.

Murphy may not look the part of an outside speed rusher, and maybe one day he’ll find a long term home in the middle, calling plays for the defense – he has that kind of leadership aura about him.

But for now, the kid is going to butter his bread by getting after the quarterback on the edge. As the NFL Network’s Mike Mayock (who is the best analyst in the business for my money) said, “You don’t get 15 sacks by mistake”. You damn sure don’t get 25 sacks over two years by mistake.

In case you haven’t obsessively scoured every Trent Murphy video on YouTube yet, here’s a montage of his combine workouts:

[youtube id="RmLzCs_6f1Q" width="100%" height="350"]

Outside of the fact that Trent is constitutionally incapable of catching a football, this workout was very impressive indeed. He’s one of those guys that showed up to his first football practice as a youngster, and the coach threw a few balls to him. The passes made a WHAP sound off his hands as they fell to the ground. Coach said “You’re on defense, kid”, and that’s where he’s been ever since.

Now I have to admit – I couldn’t be in front of a TV during the second round of the NFL Draft to due prior commitments, so when my Twitter feed announced “Redskins draft Trent Murphy”, I was like, “Whaaaaa?” This wasn’t the pick I had in mind.

A few days later, here’s the video that made me go from “Whaaaaa?” to saying “I F-ING LOVE THIS PICK!” (sorry about making you watch Jim Rome, but it’s worth it).

[youtube id="KCqu_71DIr0" width="100%" height="350"]


There is just so much to like about the young Mr. Murphy.

He almost got kicked off the Stanford team by Jim Harbaugh for being too rough with golden boy Andrew Luck. You wouldn’t describe him as a “high motor” guy – more like stuck in quad turbo overdrive. He exudes a certain tough nosed, classic football player vibe that reminds one of Bronko Nagurski or something.


Do you believe in reincarnation?


Trent’s attitude seems to be “Let’s all just shut the hell up and play football. Put somebody in my way so I can knock the living snot out of him.”

Here are a few bullet points on his impressive CV:

  • Team captain.
  • Consensus All-American.
  • Led the NCAA in sacks.
  • Butkis Award semifinalist.
  • Averages almost two tackles for loss per game.
  • Durable – 40 consecutive starts.

Oh, and get this: one of his hobbies is…wait for it…STEER WRESTLING. That’s actually true. Fricken’ steer wrestling, man.

Did I mention he was a science major at Stanford? Yeah. He can take down an angry bull with his bare hands and then solve a few quadratic equations as a cool-down.

And as you may have read already, his hands measure almost 12 inches long. In other words, his hand is a foot.


So if…when…Brian Orakpo departs via free agency in 2015, Murphy will have one year of seasoning under his belt. He’ll be ready to take over the mantle as the Redskins primary outside pass rusher on the blind side of all right-handed quarterbacks.

Hmmm. Ryan Kerrigan on the left. Trent Murphy on the right.

A quick name-origin check shows that the surname Kerrigan is as Irish as Guinness Stout, originating from County Donegal in the northwest corner of the Emerald Isle.

Of course, Murphy is far and away the most common Irish surname.

Without checking the rosters of the other 31 teams in the NFL, I’m going to go out on a limb here and postulate that if this works out as stated, the Redskins will have the only all-Irish bookend pass rushers in the league.

I smell a nickname. Too soon? Naaaaahhhh.

Say hello to the Irish Mob.


5 Comments on this Post

  1. FedUp

    Wow – not one practice against an NFL offensive lineman, and you’ve already handed him the job of the sack leader for the Skins defense EVERY YEAR he has played. You’re amazing. Funny, Brian Cushing of the Texans got his deal ($40-mil guaranteed) even though he’s missed just as many games (season and a half) as Rak. Also, Rak was never suspended for ‘roids like Mr. Cushings – who is a middle linebacker btw, and yet no one so much as coughed when Cushings got his multi-year contract (that’s called ‘security for ones family’). What could it be about Mr. Cushings, Trent Murphy and Kerrigan that so enthralls the writer? What could it be? No discussion of moving Kerrigan to the right side – although he too was a 1st round draft pick? Hmm… Is it because Mr. Kerrigan (for all of the love fans shower on him) is a painfully average pass rusher, who’s only real strong attribute is that he plays every snap? What is it about these three guys? Wait, I smell bias!

    • Hi, thanks for your comment. Just to clear up a few things. I didn’t hand Trent Murphy anything, and I certainly didn’t say anything about him being a sack leader. I did assert that the redskins won’t give Rak a new contract, and that is why they drafted another OLB, because Rak will need to be replaced, and Murphy is going to be given every chance to fill that role. Also, you asked what enthralls me about Brian Cushing. Brian Cushing was not mentioned in this article,nor have I ever written about Brian Cushing.

      • I can see this kid at Fletch’s old position in the middle. Haslett has said as much sense the draft All three on the field at the same time……

  2. Chris

    Honestly it really depends on how Rak does this year as to whether or not he is going to be given a new contract. If he blows up and has a monster year AND the Redskins actually win and get into the playoffs I could see the two sides coming to an agreement of some sort.

    Rak IS a top rusher in the league. Despite not having the huge sack totals his numbers are very comparable to other players at his position that are considered “elite” by many. And those players tend to have much more talent around them than Rak has had.

    Rak has been used much differently that many of the “elite” rushers in the league. The last few years he’s been asked to drop back and play contain much more than his counterparts tend to. It will be interesting to see how he performs this year with Haslett saying he will “unleash” Rak and co.

    And why can’t Murphy be on the field WITH Rak and Kerrigan? Wouldn’t it make the rush that much more fierce?

    I could see Rak resigning with the Skins after next year but the circumstances and money has to be right for both sides. Fans and local sportswriters tend to undervalue our home grown talent while drooling over other teams guys who truthfully aren’t much better than what we have.

    Oh and Rak will have around 15+ sacks this year. Count on it.

  3. redskins reality

    I’VE SAID IT A THOUSAND TIMES AND I’LL SAY IT AGAIN………RAK is a DEFENSIVE END playing him @ outside linebacker has seriously hurt his career (2 seasons lost to torn pectorial muscles while covering running backs in space blahhhhhhh), let that man do what he was drafted to do…..”SACK THE QB”!! Rak still has a chance of making the NFL Hall of Fame, the coaches just need to unleash him. He is every bit just as good as Demarcus Ware. Turn em loose!!!!!


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