When the Washington Redskins originally approached Trent Murphy about switching from outside linebacker to defensive end, he was admittedly skeptical. But that isn’t the case anymore.
The transition starts in the weight room. Trent has already added more than 20 pounds, up to 282, and he hopes to hit the 290 mark by the start of the season. But fortunately, the added weight isn’t slowing No. 93—it’s only making him more explosive.
“I am preparing myself to kick ass,” Trent said at OTAs. “I don’t know what position yet, but I am working hard in the weight room, working hard out here [on the field] and just preparing to be disruptive…I’ve noticed that the heavier I get, the more muscle mass I have, and the more explosive I get, so it doesn’t hinder me.”
Trent sees that relationship between weight and explosion as the perfect way to become a savage on the edge. The 2014 second-round pick showed at Stanford University that he can create serious problems on the outside. He had two pick-sixes stepping in front of passes on the edge during his collegiate career, and he led the NCAA with 15 sacks as a senior in just 14 games.
That all happened roughly 30 pounds ago, however. Right now, it’s all about gaining weight.
“It’s just kind of constant discomfort because you’re never really hungry and so you have to kind of watch the clock every two or three hours to make sure you’re getting your calories in, make sure you’re weighing yourself constantly, and I just never want to see the scale go down,” TM says. “Next time I get on it, I want to see myself a pound heavier. Even if it’s just a water bottle, that keeps you moving and eventually something sticks. It’s more mentally fatiguing than anything else. That’s why I always say you can always drink calories. Chewing, as dumb as it sounds, burns calories.”
In addition to changing his figure, TM also has to completely rebuild his mental makeup. After spending the last two seasons settling into his role as an outside linebacker, he has switched rooms and will have to become accustomed to his new responsibilities in the defense.
“[One play] I was supposed to be keying the tackle, and it was a run away but I saw the quarterback flash in front of me rolling out and I was like, ‘Oh I’ve got to pull him up on a boot,’ but that’s not my responsibility anymore,” he said. “It’s stuff like that we’ve got to get out of my old habits but I think that will come.”
The offseason—OTAs, minicamp and eventually training camp in late July and then preseason—are just the time to make those changes. While it’ll be ongoing for Trent, the Redskins coaches are confident that they’ve picked the right man for the job in No. 93.
“I’m always impressed with Trent. He works extremely hard and the transition from base outside linebacker to base defensive end is something he is going to have to deal with,” Gruden said. “His versatility is good he can play end and he can three-technique maybe in some of the nickel stuff and move around. This is the beginning stages for him and this is new to him but I think he will be fine.”