A pleasant surprise, New Orleans Saints rookie Marcus Murphy can do it all
If, and again, that’s IF C.J. Spiller is unable to go when the regular season arrives, the New Orleans Saints may be in good hands. Rookie Marcus Murphy has been a pleasant surprise for the Black and Gold.
From outstanding kick and punt returns, to his abilities as a pass-catcher out of the backfield, to finding holes and breaking runs as a rusher, the Saints’ seventh-round pick out of Missouri has done it all through training camp and three preseason games, likely locking himself into a roster spot.
“I like the player (Marcus Murphy). He’s making this team,” head coach Sean Payton said during Sunday’s post-game press conference following Murphy’s magnificent performance versus the Houston Texans.
Murphy led the team with eight carries Sunday afternoon, running for 43 yards (5.4 average) with a long of 14. He also caught three passes for 67 yards and returned a punt for 11 yards before having another one he almost took to the house called back on a penalty.
He’s doing these things day in and day out. Marcus Murphy reacted humbly when he heard Payton said he was making the team.
“You know, it’s a great feeling, but at the same time I just know I need to get better every week,” Murphy said. “As a rookie, I still got a lot of things to learn, so I’m just looking forward to learning all I can and just moving forward from here.”
Coming out of the draft, Murphy drew comparisons to former Saints all-purpose stud Darren Sproles. New Orleans found themselves without a certain spark after the team parted ways with the little man in 2014.
C.J. Spiller was signed during the offseason to fill the void left behind by Sproles, who is now shining in Philadelphia, however, the Week 1 status of Spiller is uncertain at this time after undergoing a knee scope two weeks ago. Murphy, an All-American in the SEC for his all-purpose talents a year ago, could indeed be the guy who picks up the slack.
Marcus Murphy has been described as one of college football’s most dynamic all-purpose backs. New Orleans could certainly make use of his athleticism both out of the backfield and in the return game for years to come. He has proven to be an excellent commodity in those aspects through three games. He’ll get his chance to continue it at Lambeau Field when the Saints travel to take on the Green Bay Packers Thursday night for their preseason finale.
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