Rams OT Pace Murphy has beaten the odds

Posted Sep 16, 2016

Learn the story of undrafted rookie offensive tackle Pace Murphy.

By Jim Gehman
Player Engagement Insider

In the world of football, it is much farther than the actual 1,691 miles from Natchitoches, Louisiana, the home of Northwestern State University, to Los Angeles, California, home of the Rams. But offensive tackle Pace Murphy made the trip and has beaten the odds to make the team as an undrafted rookie free agent.

A Houston, Texas native, Murphy trekked west to follow his dream of playing in the NFL with solid encouragement and sound advice from his family and friends.

“They have my back,” Murphy said. “They would support me no matter what happened. That they were behind me and they were going to push me, they’re going to help me, and they’re going to pick me up if I ever get down. Fortunately, that didn’t happen. They were just a great team of support and motivation through the whole process.”

Murphy also found support and was motivated during training camp from his new offensive line teammates.

Rob Havenstein has been a great help. Rodger Saffold. Really the entire group has been a huge help,” Murphy said. “Any questions I have, they help me. Even questions I don’t ask. If they see something technique-wise, they’ll say, ‘Hey, you can try this out.’ And then they help me practice it before and after practices. They’ve been a huge help.

“I think some (of the best advice I’ve gotten from them) is do extra, keep working hard. Don’t get comfortable where you’ve been and just drive to be all you can be.”

Murphy learned he made the Rams when he received a telephone call from head coach Jeff Fisher.

“He said congratulations and welcomed me to the team,” Murphy said. “He said I did the right things and he let me know that I can keep improving on my strength. And again, don’t be comfortable with the position you’re at. Congratulations, but there’s still a lot to be done. We’ve still got 16 weeks to keep improving.

“It was awesome. I was just kind of flabbergasted. I sat back and emotions kind of hit after I put down the phone. Then I made calls to my girlfriend and my family and her family to let them know and tell my friends.”

While the Rams opened the 2016 season in San Francisco on September 12th, Murphy’s first game in the league was put on hold when he was placed on the game’s inactive list.

“I was inactive for that game, but that doesn’t mean I couldn’t help out with seeing different things on the field and helping guys with technique,” Murphy said. “But I was extremely excited, goosebumps during the national anthem as always. It was awesome. It was an incredible feeling.”

Murphy may have been sidelined against the 49ers, but he took that as a chance to witness everything that surrounds a regular-season NFL game.

“I’ve heard of the change in speed from the preseason to the regular season, so I wanted to watch and see what happens faster,” Murphy said. “The blitzes, do they show it later? The people, are they doing different moves than we’d seen on film? I definitely took the opportunity to try to get the best out of the game I could.

“I think that helped me adjust to the pace and see how fast things truly are during the regular season. I definitely think it will have a positive affect. It’s always good to kind of get out there and watch and find everything. It was definitely a positive experience.”

Whether his first game in the NFL comes on September 18th when the Rams host the Seattle Seahawks at the Los Angeles Coliseum or later, Murphy isn’t complaining. “I’m achieving a dream and have a great group around me.”