Play 3: @ Utah, 2nd quarter, 0:36 remaining, 2nd & 3
What the offense is running: On Murphy’s side (top of the screen), it’s just a quick out from the slot receiver and a go route by the outside receiver to clear space.
What the defense is running: Cornerback blitz with shallow zone coverage underneath with two deep safeties.
What Murphy is tasked to do: Play shallow zone coverage on the outside.
What happens: Well, as you can see, Murphy laid the boom on an innocent slot receiver. This was a calculated hit by the cornerback as he was sitting in a shallow zone, saw the route concept develop, and sniffed out where the pass was going to.
This is a tone-setting, hard-hitting play that changes the outcome of the game. These types of plays were one reason why he was rated so highly. However, again, this isn’t just a hit stick tackle, it’s Murphy diagnosing precisely what is going on before the receiver realizes he’s there. Although these types of hits won’t translate as well in the pros, it’s nice to see that he’s hard-nosed for a slightly undersized cornerback
- This wasn’t exactly a coverage play, but it’s impressive. Most cornerbacks are not attempting a tackle like that.
- His hard-hitting demeanor and burst that he showed should translate well to the inside. Why? It shows he’s willing to play big, and it shows excellent agility, explosiveness, and quick-diagnosing in short areas; traits that he’s known for.
- Awesome hit, but Murphy has shown on tape that he tends to attempt these hits too much to the point where he’s missing tackles. The Cardinals will want to coach this out of him, instead urging him to textbook tackle more.