Niles Paul isn’t the only young Redskin who bulked up this offseason.
So did outside linebacker Trent Murphy, who’s primary objective the past few months was to add explosiveness and muscle mass to his 6-foot-5 frame after a rookie season in which strength was sometimes an issue.
To accomplish the former, he worked with Olympic sprint coaches. To accomplish the latter, he increased his caloric intake and hit the weights—hard.
Murphy said he trained six or seven days a week in his native Arizona from the end of last season to the start of the team's offseason program on April 20. As a result, he's bulked up to 267 pounds, which puts him right in between Ryan Kerrigan (260) and Preston Smith (271).
Murphy weighed 258 pounds in 2014.
“It feels great,” he said after Tuesday's OTA practice in Ashburn, Va.
And, to Murphy's surprise, the additional nine pounds have improved his quickness.
“I feel faster and more explosive,” Murphy said. “That was my only concern, ‘Oh you gained this muscle mass and you got stronger, but is it going to slow you down?’ That hasn’t happened, so that’s been pretty awesome.”
Will it help him retain his starting job, though? Murphy started the final eight games last season after Brian Orakpo got hurt and showed steady improvement down the stretch. But he figures to face some stiff competition from Smith in the battle to start opposite Kerrigan this fall.
Over the 2019 offseason, the Washington Redskins periodically released episodes to a new series called "Redskins 365". Here, viewers can get an all-access look into all the important moments leading up to the 2019-20 season. In episode 1 titled "The Future Starts Now" the Redskins begin their journey toward improvement following the conclusion of the 2018-19 campaign.
The episode begins immediately following the disappointing end to Washington's season as players participated in locker cleanout day. A somewhat somber atmosphere, the likes of Shaun Dion Hamilton, Adrian Peterson, Ryan Kerrigan and Trent Williams reflect on the season and look ahead to 2019.
Following that, it's on to the additions and changes on the coaching staff. Head coach Jay Gruden gives his thoughts on new defensive staff hirings Ray Horton and Rob Ryan as well as Kevin O'Connell's jump to offensive coordinator. Ryan and O'Connell also explain their excitement for next season in their respective roles.
With the coaching staff puzzle becoming clear, the episode transitions to the NFL Combine. Gruden along with Senior Vice President of Player Personnel Doug Williams, President Bruce Allen and Director of College Scouting Kyle Smith take you through the Combine process. Discussions about the interview process and what the Redskins are looking for in players give insight into how evaluations are done.
The Combine portion has a heavy focus on players Kyler Murray, D.K. Metcalf and Montez Sweat among others. Released on March 20, one can see and hear from Sweat before the idea of him becoming a Redskin came to fruition and listen to Metcalf's thoughts on Jay Gruden.
Head Strength and Conditioning Coach Chad Englehart also makes an appearance, discussing his viral moment with Ed Oliver at the combine and the fraternity-type bond conditioning coaches in the NFL share.
Washington's journey toward success in 2019 began the moment the clock ran out on the 2018 season. Episode 1 of "Redskins365" picks up right in that preliminary stage.
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Trent Williams will not report to training camp this week when the Redskins head to Richmond to officially begin their 2019 season, according to NFL Network.
The news comes as no surprise, as Williams missed all of the Redskins voluntary offseason workouts and skipped the team's mandatory minicamp in June. Reports streamed out that Williams was upset about his contract and looking for a new deal -- not to mention reports that he was angry with the team's medical staff after a missed diagnosis with a growth on his scalp.
Williams has made no official statements, and the Redskins organization offered very little in terms of a timeline for his return. Washington team president Bruce Allen said he knows "the truth" about Williams' situation, and head coach Jay Gruden said he hoped things would be resolved before Week 1 in Philadelphia.
A seven-time Pro Bowler, Williams is arguably the best left tackle in the NFL. He's an immensely talented offensive lineman with two years remaining on his deal. Beyond the medical situation, Williams could be upset that in 2020, the final year of his deal, there is hardly any guaranteed cash. The team could release Williams with less than $2 million in salary cap penalty and save nearly $13 million against the cap.
Without Williams, the Redskins could be in real trouble. Second-year pro Geron Christian did not seem capable of playing at a starting tackle level last fall, and that was before a knee injury landed him on IR. Morgan Moses should be locked in as the right tackle, but opposite him in Williams' spot will be dicey.
Multiple sources with the Redskins and around the NFL suggested more cash could change Williams' mind before Week 1, and for now, it looks like the 31-year-old will be waiting for that increased payday. If Williams missed actual games, he would begin to lose money from this year's $14 million salary.
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