Trent Murphy may be in the early stages of learning a new position, but his mentality and approach to playing football hasn't changed one bit.
"I am preparing myself to kick a--," Murphy said. "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."
Over the last two seasons, Murphy's been a disruptive linebacker for the Washington Redskins. Now, Murphy gets to put his hand in the dirt on the defensive line, where he'll be much closer to the point of attack.
Murphy says, initially, he had "mixed feelings" about moving from linebacker to defensive end, but once he sat and thought about what he gets to do on the defensive line, he started to feel better about it.
"I realized I was dropping into coverage more than 80 percent of the time in base defense, so I feel this new position gives me a chance to move forward and make some more plays behind the line of scrimmage and be disruptive," Murphy said.
Murphy can take solace in the fact that he's got the art of setting the edge down pat. He set the tone in games when he played at Stanford, and he's done it for the Redskins in a short amount of time.
"Yeah, that's always something I take pride in is setting the edge for the defense," Murphy said. "[Redskins head] coach [Jay Gruden] always says I don't get moved in the run, so just try to carry that mentality over. It's a little heavier work with two big guys inside, but I think I can do it."
The last time he weighed himself, Murphy says he was at 282 pounds. He says he wants to get up to 290 pounds before the team heads to Richmond, Va., for training camp.
If anyone has any concerns about Murphy's ability to take off with that extra weight, he wants you to relax because nothing's changed.
"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," Murphy said.
So far, Gruden has seen nothing from Murphy that would have him believe he can't make the switch, and be just as – to use one of Murphy's favorite words – disruptive as he was when he lined up behind the defensive line.
"I have been very impressed with the way [Murphy] works out and that's never going to be an issue with Trent," Gruden said. "He's a hard working guy, and [he's] still a developing player and [a] young kid. 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 says Murphy's role on the defense won't change much this season, even when they have to switch out of the base formation during games.
"When we get into a nickel he is still going to be a defensive end it will be easy for him. But 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."