The Washington Redskins draft picks, signed college free agents and those hoping to get a spot on the team on a tryout basis took part in the team's second rookie minicamp day Saturday, May 17, 2014.
It didn't take long for the Washington Redskins' top top picks from the 2014 NFL Draft to get to know each other wearing the burgundy and gold.
Linebacker Trent Murphy and offensive lineman Morgan Moses went one-on-one against each other on several different occasions Saturday at rookie minicamp practices, and although both are keen on showing their teammates and the coaching staff their individual talents, they know their battles will make each better.
Moses, taking snaps at right tackle, and Murphy, lining up on the left side of the defense, squared off against each other at the Senior Bowl in January. While the goal of the annual game is to give prospects the opportunity to impress scouts, rookie minicamp gives the first-year players a chance to work with their new teammates and assist each other in the adjust process.
"It's not the first time we've met," Morgan explained to the media. "We went against each other at the Senior Bowl. We're just trying to come out here every day and get each other better every snap."
Murphy echoed his draft classmate's sentiment.
"He's a phenomenal player, so it's fortunate for both of is that we get to go against each other at this camp," Murphy said. "We're going to make each other better, so I'm excited about that."
As each rookie continues to get acclimated to life as a professional, they are also adjusting to the possibility of new roles with the Redskins.
Moses is lining up at right tackle for the first time since 2012, a position at which he says he has three years worth of experience, and Murphy is familiarizing himself with a variety of positions and stances at outside linebacker.
For Moses, the former University of Virginia Cavalier, technique is a point of emphasis. He understands that you can't just rely on athletic ability in the NFL.
"Just getting back in the right-handed stance and going over the techniques," Morgan said of his technical focus. "Technique is what's going to get you through this league. Everybody's athletic, so just learning the different techniques and just getting situated back on the right side and getting that feeling back."
While Moses' familiarity with the position will help initially, Redskins head coach Jay Gruden wants to be methodical with his insertion into his offensive system.
"He's moving over to right tackle and we're introducing him to the outside zone the way we want it, the protections the way we want it and it's going to take him some time, but we're happy with his progress," Gruden said after the afternoon session on Saturday. "He's got a major, major upside with his size."
Murphy, who recorded an NCAA Division I-high 15 sacks in 2013, lined up with his hands in the dirt on some plays, while standing up on others.
While he doesn't know what his role will be during his rookie season just yet, Murphy said he's 'comfortable' generating pressure from both.
"I spent high school and my first year of college with only my hand down," Murphy said. "Then three or four years on two-point. I'm comfortable doing both things, which gives me the dynamic ability to do both."
On one play in particular during the morning session, Murphy displayed his high-level athleticism. As the quarterback rolled out of the pocket, Murphy broke through the line, stretched his arm out and forced a bad pass.
It was a play the coaching staff had been working on with the second-round pick during rookie minicamp.
"Basically to keep my outside hand up on the boot and one arm is longer than two to just put that big mitt up there so quarterbacks can't see and maybe bat a ball down," Murphy told the media of what the coaches instructed him to do in that situation. "Then of course there's the old saying 'no jumpies,' which means when you're running after a quarterback don't jump up there because if he tucks and runs and you're in the air, you can't do anything."
Regardless of where he is lined up and what defensive coordinator Jim Haslett has planned for him, Gruden said the coaching staff is "very excited" with Murphy's versatility.
"He is another element out of the pass rush that we very drastically need and he did some good things coming around the corner," Gruden said. "He's got good inside moves. He's got a good spin move. Everything we saw on tape he demonstrated out here in just four practices. He's only going to get better.
"The ability to move him around and do some things we can do with him defensively, I think, is exciting."