For second time this year the Panthers have had a player win an individual award. Ironically, it’s their kicker who earned this award. After all the kicking issues the Panthers have faced this season it finally seems the Panthers found a gem with Murphy whose only pro experience comes a cup of tea in the AAF with the San Diego Fleet, and in the Spring League.
Murphy, a mid-season addition replaced Michael Carrizosa, who despite be an accomplished punter was absolutely terrible as a kicker. Carrizosa was 1/4 on field goals and 0/2 on extra points, while Murphy has been perfect on his three field goals and four extra point attempts so far. With Carrizosa the Panthers had lost 3 games by five points or less. With Murphy the Panthers have opened up their kicking game tremendously. Carrizosa is most famous right now for missing a 21-yard field goal against the Stars, which would be the last professional game he played in and was released shortly after.
Murphy’s impact has been immediate not only in his kicking prowess, but also, he also showed he’s a pretty good punter as well. Murphy punted 6 times for 232 yards in his Panthers debut and also threw a nine-yard pass to Cam Scarlett for a first down. Murphy followed his week 5 performance with a week 6 player of the week award that included a 56-yard field goal.
With the Panthers currently 1-5 and their playoffs hopes dwindling, it seems the addition of Murphy might be too little too late. However, if they do make this playoff run, Murphy and the special teams unit will definitely play a major role moving forward. Regardless, for Panthers fans even though it might be too little too late, at least they do have the privilege of viewing Cole Murphy convert on 50 plus yard field goals for the next four weeks.