Buffalo Bills running back Marcus Murphy is not a household name. The former Missouri Tiger has been buried down the Bills’ depth chart the last few months, but since the pads have gone on, his skills have carried him right back up it.
Murphy has made the most of his opportunities. His willingness to do whatever it takes for the team has caught the eyes of not just fans, but also of his head coach.
Running back Marcus Murphy has been one of the best players all of #Billscamp. Will it carry over into game #2 of the preseason? It could go a long way into solidifying a roster spot. #Bills #Billsmafia pic.twitter.com/zw5qgIr1Si
— Cover 1 (@Cover1) August 17, 2018
His hard work on special teams paid off against the Browns. Murphy received the punt, then used his vision and burst to get to the wall that had been set up to the near sideline and took it 39 yards into Browns territory. His return made it very easy for the offense to capitalize with a field goal near the end of the first half.
As a former running back, I will say that vision is by far the position’s most important trait, especially when that running back is in the 5’9″ 200-pound range. His stature makes it very difficult because he can get lost behind the line.
So far this preseason, Murphy has shown us that vision is his strongest trait. He does such a great job of being cognizant of free defenders making their way into the backfield, making his reads as he is pressing the line of scrimmage and even seeing into the second and third level to set up blocks for his receivers. Then, when the moment of truth occurs and he needs to convert that patience into yardage, he has the burst to get north/south.
On only 11 attempts, he has registered 74 yards and one touchdown, which is 6.7 yards/attempt. Murphy has also pitched in through the air with four receptions for 47 yards. Per Pro Football Focus, those touches have landed him in the top-10 of their elusive rating stat with a 101.8 rating, and a solid 3.82 yards per attempt AFTER contact.
He is indeed the 2018 Training Camp darling, and rightfully so. Murphy is grabbing his opportunity to shine, and not only is he a lock to make the roster, but I believe he is coming for the number two spot behind LeSean McCoy.
Let’s jump into the film room to take a look at his traits as a running back.