Phillip Tanner said he had the same reaction Saturday night when he was asked to carry 14 times as he did last week when he was asked to carry no times.
Just following orders.
“I wouldn’t say surprised,” he said, then smiled. “But I was just as surprised last week when I didn’t play.”
Tanner said last week he was a “company man,” there to do whatever the company asks. His job, he said, was to be ready.
“It’s all about, when your number is called, adapting,” he said. “They just came over and said, ‘Thirty-four, you’re going in.’ I just said, ‘OK.’ Just like last week. They said, ‘Thirty-four, you’re not going in.’
“You know. It’s just football.”
Tanner said Murray didn’t pout on the sideline.
“He was there for me,” he said. “He’s been supportive of me since we got here. We’re a close group. Everything that I have been able to establish is because of DeMarco, from him telling me about different game experiences, how to do things and what reads to make. So I give all credit to D-Mo as far as helping me be able to do what I did tonight.”
And Tanner said he was not surprised at all to see Murray perform proudly in the second half.
“That’s D-Mo, man,” Tanner said. “We came in together, we’re a real close family. We’re a real close brotherhood. I knew it the whole time, as soon as he got back out there, he was going to take advantage of the opportunity like he’s been since he got here three years ago.”
And Tanner’s reaction to Murray’s touchdown, when he beat five defenders?
“Man, that’s DeMarco Murray at his finest,” Tanner said. “That’s what he does, night in, night out, every day at work.”
-- Carlos Mendez