This week, the Buffalo Bills signed pass rusher Trent Murphy to bolster their QB pressure numbers. On Thursday, he met with the media at One Bills Drive after signing his contract. A few things:
- His beard is magnificent
- He oozes “process”
- You are going to like him.
Here’s the full transcript along with a picture of his facial hair.
Q: Why for you was this the right place?
A: Well, this is home for me now. I think they expressed the most interest and I kind of looked into who the Bills are coming off an opportunity at the playoffs and what they’re trying to build and the culture here, I was super excited to join the cause. I think it was a perfect fit for me.
Q: Explain that ‘fit’ as to the defensive scheme and your role and all that.
A: Yeah, I mean what I think Coach [McDermott] is looking for here as far as blue-collar guys, a scheme, guys that are passionate and trying to build a culture, kind of just that tough, blue-collar mentality, winning, playing together, just competing. Just was talking to the strength coach about the offseason plans about how it’s a little bit more- almost like college again; we’re competing and we’re getting better, but we’re splitting up into teams and everything’s a competition. We’re just stirring up that culture and I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of it.
Q: What’s the status with your knee?
A: Really good; it’s all been going, looking really well, right where I need to be. It might be fairly limited when I first get here on April 16th, but from that standpoint, [it’s] right on board with where we need to be and I’m expected to make a full recovery.
Q: It will be 13 months since the injury, so you envision you’ll be pretty good?
A: Yeah, I mean, I’ll let the trainers kind of make the timeline from that standpoint of what they expect, but the goal is to play in the season. That’s my goal and I’ll be ready to compete and contribute from that standpoint.
Q: Can you expound about the fit that you talked about? It’s a good fit for you, why exactly? What do you see yourself doing with this defense?
A: I mean, I think that their biggest goal is to bring in and help the guys that are here already be more disruptive and disrupt the passer, [and] disrupt the backfield. I think when you can get after the quarterback and get TFLs and do your job from that standpoint, stop the run and put pressure on the passer – you’re talking about winning games from that standpoint. I think in the scheme and what he wants me to do, I’m excited to try to compete for a job and find a way on the field and help out the team any way I can.
Q: As excited as you are to sign here yourself, just seeing how the d-line had just taken shape here in the last three or four days with Kyle [Williams] coming back, Star [Lotulelei], you have Jerry [Hughes] on the other side. Just the thoughts that start running through your head as a defensive lineman knowing the guys you’re likely to be lining up alongside?
A: From that standpoint, you almost cant help but to start salivating, knowing who you’re working with. The type of mentality those guys have, their work ethic….Lorenzo [Alexander] was already in the weight room grinding it out this morning, so knowing that that’s the expectation, that’s what I’m coming in to, these guys are going to want to work, find new ways to pass rush, new ways to beat guys, I couldn’t be happier about it. As an individual, yeah you want to push yourself, but when you have guys that are going to push you too, you can push them and work together, that’s what it’s all about.
Q: Two part question – were you concerned at all that the suspension you had last year, last summer, would be a problem for you going forward possibly with the team you’re on or with your potential new employer? And what was the discussion about that with the Bills?
A: I let my agent handle most of the discussions directly with the Bills, so I don’t know if that came up fully, but I served that last year and kind of put it behind me. I knew that it was a learning point, learned from that and I could move forward and put myself in the best position so it could never happen again. That’s been served and taken care of so I’m full force moving forward.
Q: When we look at you missing an entire year, the year you had in 2016…How much do you feel you might have to prove all over again and how eager are you to get back out there?
A: I’m the type of player that always has a chip on my shoulder and its really just kind of how I play and how I get better, but after 2016 and people saying that I could have been a fluke and “we’re not expecting him to do that,” I was humming in training camp and ready to have an even better season. I couldn’t have been more excited so I was heartbroken when in the first week, the sixth play of the preseason game, but knowing the foundation I had laid down and the work and where I’ve been rolling this offseason - I couldn’t be more excited to prove to everybody here right that I’m who they think I am, prove my family right, the team, make all the fans proud to have me on their team. I couldn’t be more happy and it’s only more motivation to grind out the rest of this offseason and get here and get working.
Q: I know you went up and down in playing weight because they wanted you to get bigger, was it 267 pretty much in 2015 and 2016?
A: I was pretty much 265. I kind of fluctuated between the 258-265 range.
Q: You mentioned toughness and we know about your background in Arizona. Was it McDermott that kind of sold you on toughness and talked about that blue collar mentality?
A: I’ve been hearing that repeatedly, so I don’t think it’s just him selling the toughness approach anymore. I sat down in his office and what he is looking for and why he was sold on me, and I think it’s just that toughness and that passion. He said he’s kind of followed my career and seeing it at Stanford, the Redskins, saw how hard I played at the Senior Bowl – just bringing that kind of relentless passion every play and that’s how I play the game. That’s how I think it’s meant to be played. I couldn’t be more excited to bring that here.
Q: On that injury back in that play back in the preseason, what were the circumstances?
A: Basically the circumstances were it was kind of a lead play to my side, I was setting the edge off of the right side and the inside linebacker came and pretty much blasted the fullback and decleated him into my leg, so you can’t blame anybody because he did his job the best he could of done it, but the outcome was basically someone’s entire body thrown into my knee planted when I was doing my job as well. Unfortunate circumstances, it’s really nobody’s fault so you just have to fight another day.
Q: You talked earlier about the depth of defensive lineman. This team is filled. Do you have any expectation in terms of playing time and how that might be juggled?
A: I just want to compete. Compete and find a way on the field, really. At the end of the day, help the team win, so however that happens, however that plays up, I hope I can hit the opposite color.
Q: You’ve been on both the end and the interior as a pass rusher. Do you feel comfortable either way kind of doing any of that or regarding situational or anything like that?
A: Like I said, compete at any position I can get on the field or whatever the coaches draw up, different packages, I would be happy to do them both. I feel comfortable inside, outside, moving around. At the end of the day, you kind of have to beat hands and get down the edges of guys so I’m excited for either.
Q: There’s reports that a bunch of teams were interested or they called your agent on you. What sense do you have on that and how does that make you feel that there was a bidding spree?
A: I definitely took a lot of pride that everyone kind of recognized the work and caliber player I was after the injury and the offseason and how many teams expressed interest. For me, the Bills are the most aggressive and it’s where I wanted to be so it was a no brainer – that’s why we got to it so quick.
Q: Was there any anxiety about that? I’m talking about recurring this injury, knowing that this is such a long time table and teams have to some degree take a leap of faith if you’re going to be everything they want you to be come September? Did that go through your mind and what was your thought process like through these last few days?
A: I’ve had a lot of great coaches over the years that have taught me that you can’t control what you can’t control and just focusing at the task at end. I think it’s tougher for my family and loved ones to kind of see their son or brother in limbo and not know about the future. For me, I put myself in kind of a hole in the wall in Columbus, Ohio and I’ve just been dragging sleds and grinding it out and I couldn’t be more at peace the entire time so just knowing that I put myself in a good situation that whatever team took the leap of faith and recognized what I could bring to the table, they were going to get not only what they expected but more. It’s kind of the approach I took.
Q: What do you know about the area and the fan base?
A: Every day I learn more and more but so far, the fan base is incredible. I mean, talk about an opened arm welcome and a passionate fan base. I’m super stoked to have that behind me and be part of that family now. That’s really as far as I’ve gotten. I drove in last night at 1:30. I took the drive up here because I couldn’t get wait and drove through the snow and that’s about all I could see. I’m pumped. From some of the tweets and Instagram posts and everyone reaching out, I couldn’t be more excited.
Q: Did you do any homework on how the history of this scheme has performed?
A: Yeah, you kind of always want to look at the picture from top to bottom, but there are so many uncontrollable in this league especially with injuries. With how it all plays out, it is hard to ever figure any of that out. I was excited about the passion. The way the team’s direction is moving. It is kind of on the rise. I wanted to be a part of something exciting and I couldn’t ask for more.
Q: What connection do you have to Ohio State?
A: I don’t, I just found an old school gym there that is kind of salt of the earth. I knew it was kind of what I needed right now, so that is where I went.
Q: How did that connection come up?
A: I grew up reading about this gym when I was a kid to be honest. Had an invitation to go and train there and knew it could be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. It could add a gear that I have never even had before on the field. I was very excited. It was something new, kind of anxious about, ‘Man this is a small risk.’ I think it is going to pay off big time. I could not be happier to rehab and train there.
Q: How long have you been there for?
A: Probably been there 10 or 11 weeks now.
Q: What is your training regimen like there?
A: It is very old school. It is a lot of work volume. I would have to get the numbers for you, but it is pretty ridiculous. Dragging sleds, squatting and doing different things. For where I am at out of the injury, it is definitely remarkable some of the turnarounds that they have had.
Q: How much are you squatting?
A: Last week was the first time I got under the bar and squatted 475.