Advertisement
  1. Bucs

Stanford sack master Murphy oozes athleticism

Stanford’s Trent Murphy, who led I-A with 15 sacks, tries to get around Michigan State’s Jack Conklin during the Rose Bowl.
Published Jan. 23, 2014

MOBILE, Ala. — One of the NFL draft's most freakish prospects is Stanford's Trent Murphy, who led Division I-A in sacks playing outside linebacker but is getting looks at defensive end due to the athleticism he packs into a 6-foot-6, 255-pound frame.

"I'm sure not many 6-6 guys can grab their toes or do a pistol squat all the way to the ground on a single leg," he said this week while working out at the Senior Bowl. "Being able to bend like that and be so long, it gives me some extra tools."

The pistol squat involves standing with one leg out and keeping it straight while lowering your body, bending the other leg completely, then raising your body back up.

If that doesn't impress you, Murphy got a proud text from his father this week, telling him at the game's official measurements Monday that he showed up with the largest hands out of 100-plus players, 10⅞ inches from tip of the pinkie to tip of the thumb, more than 2 inches larger than some of the other defensive ends.

"It's hilarious how much I love having these little stats like this. I was pretty stoked to have the biggest hands here," said Murphy, who listed the Bucs among the teams he has talked with this week. "It's just below having the most sacks."

Murphy finished with 22½ sacks at Stanford, and he's projected to go in the top two rounds in May's draft.

This week is about impressing scouts and coaches in interviews as much as practices. And when asked how he sells himself as a player, he said, "Between really good character, on and off the field, athletic ability, you have a very dynamic player. Add a little hard work and toughness and you're getting a pretty solid deal."

Stanford runs much the same defense as the 49ers, and Murphy said he enjoys watching San Francisco's outside linebackers rush the passer.

They include 6-4, 265-pound Aldon Smith, who made the opposite transition, from college lineman to NFL linebacker.

Hearing critics who question if he should be a high draft pick only serves as motivation as doubters did throughout his college career.

"I definitely love playing with a chip on my shoulder," Smith said. "Playing at Stanford, it's just kind of who we are as a personality. We play loose, focused, with a chip on my shoulder, we always say."

THIS AND THAT: Former Bucs quarterbacks coach John McNulty has landed with the Titans in the same job. He reunites with coach Ken Whisenhunt, who had him on his Arizona staff from 2009-12. Whisenhunt said he liked the progress McNulty got from rookie Mike Glennon this season. "For him to go to Tampa Bay and work with their young quarterback, making Glennon a better player and helping him perform at a high level for a rookie, that's exciting," he said. … Most Bucs assistant coaches had left Mobile by Wednesday, but director of player personnel Dennis Hickey remained. He has interviewed for the Dolphins general manager job but isn't sure of his future with the Bucs as new GM Jason Licht will decide how he builds his front office.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. In this Sept. 15 file photo, New England Patriots wide receiver Antonio Brown (17) on the sidelines,during the first half against the Miami Dolphins. The Patriots released Brown on Friday. LYNNE SLADKY  |  AP
    New England had signed Brown this month hours after he was released by Oakland.
  2. New York Giants running back Saquon Barkley (26) breaks away for a touchdown during the first half of an NFL football game against the Buffalo Bills, Sunday, Sept. 15, 2019, in East Rutherford, N.J. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger) ADAM HUNGER  |  AP
    Coaching staff presents Bucs a Saquon highlight reel in an effort to prevent a sequel from the running back.
  3. Running back Peyton Barber has 31 carries this season, the 11th most over the first two weeks of the NFL season. Is that what's best for the Bucs offense? MONICA HERNDON  |  Times
    In this preview: Why the Giants would have been better off the past four seasons with Jameis Winston instead of Eli Manning. Plus, how the G-Men will attack the Bucs defense and why you should keep an...
  4. It's early, but Jameis Winston (3) and the Bucs defense has Tampa Bay in first place in the NFC South. (AP Photo/Brian Blanco) BRIAN BLANCO  |  AP
    Martin Fennelly: That 1-1 start feels a little ragged, but things are breaking right so far for the Bucs.
  5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers linebacker Devin White (45) takes the field for warm ups before the Tampa Bay Buccaneers game against the San Francisco 49ers at Raymond James Stadium on September 8, 2019 in Tampa, Florida.  MONICA HERNDON  |  Times
    Rookie inside linebacker didn’t practice all week.
  6. Bucs running back Peyton Barber will be key in helping Tampa Bay elevate its struggling defense. MIKE MCCARN  |  AP
    New York enters with quarterback Daniel Jones starting his first NFL game
  7. Tim Tebow. [Associated Press)] Associated Press
    Sports Day Tampa Bay podcast: Tom Jones and Rick Stroud debate Tebow, Dickie V, the first-place Bucs and the Rays playoff chase
  8. Paul Spicer, left, is now a defensive line coach at the University of South Florida. Skyler Fulton, right, is now a wide receivers coach at Portland State University. University of South Florida | Portland State University
    Former Bucs assistants Paul Spicer and Skyler Fulton faced accusations of violence against women before coaching in Tampa Bay under Dirk Koetter, according to a USA Today investigation.
  9. Kevin Minter played linebacker for Todd Bowles in Arizona, was released by Bowles last year when Bowles coached the Jets and is starting Sunday for the Bucs' defensive coordinator when Tampa Bay plays host to the New York Giants. DIRK SHADD  |  Tampa Bay Times
    When rookie linebacker Devin White went down, the Bucs turned to a player who keeps showing up in Todd Bowles’ defenses.
  10. Cameron Brate (84) tries to get some extra yards during the Bucs' 38-35 loss to the Giants on Nov. 18, 2018, in East Rutherford, N.J. JULIO CORTEZ  |  AP
    Tampa Bay Times staff picks: What the Bucs have in common this week with the New England Patriots and Dallas Cowboys.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement