Of one of the bigger surprises from this weekend's cutdowns came when the Bucs released veteran kicker Connor Barth for free agent Patrick Murray. While many Bucs fans may have been caught off guard, don't count Murray as one who was surprised he earned the starting job.
If you had polled Bucs fans prior to training camp and asked how many thought free agent kicker Patrick Murray would beat out incumbent Connor Barth not many votes would have been cast for the Matwah, NJ native.
But Murray would have voted for himself, and told the media on Monday he never even considered anything other than winning the job.
“I wasn’t surprised because I came in here believing I was going to be a starter,” Murray said. “I believe if you come in thinking a different way it’s just not going to happen. But a credit to Connor [Barth] he pushed me every single day and he is a great kicker and I know he is going to land somewhere very soon but I am excited to be part of this organization.
“The fact that I came in from day one with the same approach that I was going to win the job and nobody was going to beat me no matter what they threw at me. Coach put me in some good situations and I excelled at them, thankfully I am part of this organization.”
Murray was asked if his versatility was a factor in getting the nod over Barth.
“I believed that it helped, that’s for sure,” Murray said. “The fact that I can kick field goals, punt and kickoff is definitely an asset that not many people have. And hopefully I can utilize that to help this team win.”
Being confident is something successful NFL kickers need to be and Murray has that part of the equation covered.
“To be a kicker in this league you have to have mental edge and you have to be mentally tough and that comes from my father,” Murray said. “He is a hard working man form Northern Ireland and we grew up pretty tough ourselves, he wasn’t easy on us that’s for sure. That definitely helps and I think it will help me throughout my career.
“It is just a normal game week for me. I am just going to approach it just like it I approached the preseason games one through four. We are going to beat Carolina and I am excited to be a part of it.”
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