Sean Murphy-Bunting’s name was called in the second round of the NFL draft this year, and Buc Fandom immediately called the selection into question. No one had heard of Murphy-Bunting nor wanted to take cornerback that wasn’t named Greedy in early rounds. Arians praised the young corner’s abilities in practice, but fans have heard this kind of talk from coaches before just to be let down. See Vernon Hargreaves III. He had his share of ridicule through weeks 1 and 4. “He can’t cover!” they’d say and “Why is he out there? He’s making so many mistakes, He sucks, he’s another bust,” they’d cry, but in week 5 people began thinking a little differently and the coaches did as well. He earned the first start of his career the following week against the Panthers. Although his first few starts did not go as well as anyone hoped they would, and the ridicule began to rear its ugly head again, Murphy-bunting kept on trucking along.
On October 6th in New Orleans, Sean Murphy-Bunting recorded the first interception of his young career. Interceptions are nice, they are exciting, and they make fans happy. He went from playing 19% of the total snap counts in the previous 4 games to playing 86% of them during that game in New Orleans, and the extended time showed that he has what it takes to make it in this league. It also showed signs that he could be great. Over the nine games that followed, if he was able to play, he saw 46% of the snap counts up to 100% of them.
Last week in the motor city, Murphy- Bunting came through with a clutch interception for a 70-yard touchdown. It was not a game-winning pick-six, but it stopped a Lions comeback drive that could have tied the game 24-24, extended the Buccaneers lead, and capped off one hell of a game. I’d at least call that the icing on the cake.
For his performance in that game against the Lions, Murphy Bunting has been nominated for Pepsi Rookie of the Week! He will join, kicker Matt Gay, who was nominated in Week 4, his teammate Devin white, who joins him on NFL.com’s Defensive All-Rookie Team and was nominated for Pepsi Rooke of the Week three times this year; Weeks 9,12, and 13.
Vote for Sean Murphy-Bunting by clicking the link here: Week 15 Pepsi Rookie of the Week!
In case you missed it here’s the pick six!
— Tampa Bay Buccaneers (@Buccaneers) December 15, 2019