Ravens sign Nick Murphy to punt (Updated)

Ravens sign Nick Murphy to punt (Updated)

OWINGS MILLS -- Nick Murphy, who had been selling insurance in Arizona, is the Baltimore Ravens' new special-teams insurance policy while punter Dave Zastudil recovers from a separated shoulder over the next three to four weeks.

Murphy emerged as special-teams coordinator Gary Zauner's choice from a pool of nine punters who tried out Tuesday and Wednesday. The Ravens looked at former Maryland punter Brooks Barnard as well as NFL veterans Ken Walter, Mark Royals, Dan Stryzinski and Lee Johnson.

"I think he's a good athlete and a good punter," Zauner said. "Of all the guys we tried out, he was the best. I went with my gut instinct."
Murphy is a two-time All-NFL Europe selection who led that league in punting average over the last two seasons with 41.0 and 42.4 averages with the Scottish Claymores and Barcelona Dragons, respectively.

Murphy tried out Tuesday along with three other punters and was told to stay overnight in case Baltimore wanted to sign him. He didn't expect the Ravens to try out five more punters Wednesday before signing him to a contract.

"I'm just really happy to get the opportunity," Murphy said. "It's been a long road. You do what you can do. I try to worry about what I can control."

The former Arizona State player was familiar to Zauner from his two tryouts with the Minnesota Vikings, where Zauner used to coach. Murphy was recommended by Philadelphia Eagles special-teams coach John Harbaugh, who coached him this summer.

Murphy, who played collegiately with Todd Heap and Terrell Suggs, is also capable of holding on field goals and extra points.
"Part of the process and evaluation was, 'Can the guy hold?' because we didn't want Kyle [Boller] holding," Zauner said.

Aaron Wilson writes for Ravensinsider.com and the Carroll County Times

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