On Aug. 21, the rookie outside linebacker notched his first-career sack in the NFL, taking down Baltimore Ravens quarterback Tyrod Taylor in the third quarter of the teams’ preseason matchup at M&T Bank Stadium.
The sack came at the 5:35 mark of the third quarter. The Ravens were facing a 3rd and 4 when Taylor, who was in the shotgun, dropped back to pass, but was unable to convert the play when Murphy powered by the right tackle and took the quarterback to the ground.
“We had great pressure up the middle,” Murphy said. “I bull-rushed the right tackle back into his pocket. (Taylor) tried to escape outside and then I grabbed my hand on him, wrapped him, and took him down.”
For the game, Murphy was unofficially credited with two total tackles. Labeled a true technician of his position when the Redskins took him in the second round of the NFL Draft this year, Murphy has been working hard to refine his entire game, which not only includes pass rushing, but staying disciplined in coverage, as well.
“I usually have a good feel for it,” Murphy said of his defense on dump-off passes. “I have to fight everything I’ve got to not jump for the ball and try tip and take it back and get out on it. I think it’s just good coaching, really. That’s how they coach us to do to so it was good to get out there and make a hit on it.”
Murphy has been quick to pick up the team’s defensive schemes, something that has impressed many of his veteran teammates.
On Thursday, Murphy will likely get a chance to make his first start at outside linebacker for the Redskins, as head coach Jay Gruden said he will rest his starters for the preseason finale against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
From there, the rookie said he’s antsy to make his regular-season NFL debut Sept. 7 against the Texans in Houston.
“I’m definitely still going to take it one day at time, get this last preseason in, but I’m so excited,” Murphy said. “It’ll be exciting to get the ones that count.”
Murphy said he’s excited about the hard-nosed brand of football the Redskins’ defense has displayed so far through three preseason games, and hopes the unit can keep it up moving forward.
“I think the sky’s the limit for us, really,” he said. “Guys are flying around, pursing the football, and guys are hitting and hitting hard. … They’re going to keep playing that style of football, and that’s what we want our approach now to be on defense.”