The Cincinnati Bengals’ pass rush has been a big part of their success this season. In the early part of the season, they essentially won the Bengals a game against the Los Angeles Rams and helped close out the victory over the San Francisco 49ers.
With Trey Hendrickson and Sam Hubbard having phenomenal starts to their seasons, it has helped mask a lack of opportunities for 2023 first round pick Myles Murphy. Murphy saw double-digit snaps in three of the first four games of the season, but didn’t record a ton on the stat sheet.
In the Seahawks game, Murphy logged just one snap, and this past Sunday, in the win over the San Francisco 49ers, he played just nine snaps. When Hendrickson went into the medical tent after getting his ankle stepped on, it looked like Murphy was going to possibly play a significant role before Hendrickson returned.
The transition from college to the NFL isn’t an easy one, but it appears Murphy is attacking it with the right mindset.
“It’s been a big learning curve, but honestly, as the weeks go, I’m getting more comfortable,” Murphy said after the game via Jay Morrison. “Processing things is getting a lot easier, both in terms of our scheme and knowing what the other team’s offense is thinking about and wanting to do. The game’s getting slower for me.”
With a “first round pick” attached to their name, fans expect more from a player early on than is sometimes fair. Working against Murphy is having two very good players in front of him on the depth chart, something defensive coordinator Lou Anarumo mentioned himself.
“It’s really all the same conversations we had last year with Dax,” Anarumo said. “We’re not displeased (with Murphy). He’s coming on. It’s just we’ve got a couple guys in front of him that are pretty good,” Anarumo said.
Rather than being upset with his lack of playing time, Murphy seems to be using every chance he gets to improve and make an impact.
“It’s really exciting, honestly,” said Murphy. “My mind isn’t going crazy or nothing like that. I’m not going out there playing not to mess up. I’m going out there to make plays, and it feels great when I am out there.”
“One thing I’ve taken from this is just bloom where I’m planted,” Murphy said. “If you get 100 plays in a game or you get just five or six snaps, make an impact when you’re out there. That’s my mindset.”
When a young, very athletic player chooses to approach the game that way, he will be just fine more often than not.