It’s been anything but Groundhog Day for New England Patriots lineman Bill Murray in his third NFL training camp, as the former No. 97 has made the change from defense to offense.
Now donning a No. 62 jersey, Murray is working with the offensive line in an effort to finally crack the Patriots’ initial 53-man roster for the first time. According to head coach Bill Belichick, the move has been thought through for quite some time.
“Thought he’d be a good fit over there,” Belichick told reporters Thursday. “He has a lot of good traits we look for in an offensive lineman. We’ve talked about it before at other points in time during his career, and just felt like this is a good opportunity for him.”
The opportunity for Murray is a welcomed one, as the William & Mary alum has been relegated to practice squad duties in each of the last two years as a defensive lineman. One thing the Patriots are making sure of, however, is that things won’t get lost in translation for the 25-year-old.
“We’d be able to give him reps, we felt like we’d given him enough of a look on defense to know where he is, but also to know if we had to move him back, that he would be able to do that,” Belichick said. “We’d have enough time to do it. So, if that’s in a couple weeks, I think we could get him ready to play on defense. He’s smart, he knows what we’re doing. He’d have to sharpen up his skills and so forth, but I think we could get to that point if we had to. And maybe somewhere along the line there’s some type of combination, but right now he’s an offensive lineman and we’ve worked him there exclusively. Those are the plans going forward. Could they change? Possibly, but right now that’s what it is.”
Making the switch wasn’t exactly a passion play for Murray, as he made it clear he just wants to help the team in any way possible.
“I’m just here to help the team out in any way possible,” Murray said after Saturday’s camp practice. “Coach wanted me to try out offensive line, so I’m going to give it everything I’ve got and help out the team any way I can.”
Through almost two weeks it looks like the young veteran has started to earn his stripes, making steady improvements playing a position he hasn’t sniffed in nearly a decade.
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