Kerrigan enjoying 'Skins' success

And, provided Griffin returns to form, Washington could be one of the NFC's favorites. In 2012, the Redskins started only 3-6 - defensive stars Brian Orakpo and Adam Carriker were injured - before winning seven straight to make the playoffs. "We had a bunch of injuries and you saw that in the way our defense played," Kerrigan said. "But as guys were able to fill in more comfortably, and adapt to the defense and get more comfortable with the repetitions, you saw us improve. And now we'll have a lot of depth this year." The injuries forced an accelerated maturation for Kerrigan, who was in his second season as a linebacker after playing defensive end, and being an All-American, at Purdue. It went exceedingly well, with the 6-foot-4, 260-pounder making 54 tackles and 8.5 sacks and being named to his first Pro Bowl. "It's been a really fun couple years, especially going from the disappointing end to my rookie year to my second year," he said. "It's really something special. You see the ground work being laid for us to do some really good things in the coming years." Kerrigan is in West Lafayette this week to host the Ryan Kerrigan/12th Boiler Golf Outing, with proceeds going toward the 12th Boiler Scholarship Fund and the NFF Scholarship Fund. Friday, he dodged the rain in West Lafayette enough to get in his 18 holes of golf at the Ackerman Hills course.





Purdue's Russell driven by Den tradition





Its nothing fancy, but it does the trick for him. He gets to the stadium and does some running and stretching roughly two hours before kickoff. Hell return to the locker room, say a few prayers, suit up, and just before re-emerging, the second-year pro scrolls through his iPod and selects Ice Cubes It Was a Good Day. Kerrigan uses the 1993 hit to help him both focus and relax. I try to get myself in the mind frame that its going to be a good day, said Kerrigan, whom the Redskins selected out of Purdue with the 16th overall draft pick in 2011. I heard the song one day in the offseason and I was going to play some golf, and I heard it and I said, You know what, this is going to be a good day. And I played pretty well, for me.





Redskins Ryan Kerrigan wants to prove hes full of good days with Brian Orakpo sidelined





It was an awesome week because you get to know guys, the second-year pro said. You see them on TV all the time, but you dont really know them. Just getting to hang out by the pool, and talk to them, and see everybodys just real humble, and just like you, it was pretty cool. Kerrigan said he was most impressed with how normal Peyton Manning was. You see him on TV, doing all these commercials, and you actually talk to him and see, Wow, hes a regular guy, just like me. Alexander wound up playing extensively at inside linebacker as well as on special teams. He said it became apparent early in the week that he would get a chance to play on defense as well. He made the most of the opportunity by leading the NFC with five tackles. It was pretty easy, picking up a different defense, Alexander said.





Lorenzo Alexander, Ryan Kerrigan reflect on first Pro Bowl appearance





Jan 25, 2013 10:17 AM @ fuglyflorio Shut your mouth. You know nothing. This guy is a class act player. I wish the NFL had more characters like Kerrigan then it wouldnt be such a joke. He makes a great play, gets up, hands the ball to the ref and goes right back to the huddle. No need for the celebration when you make a great play, the play speaks for itself. G Kenyon says: Jan 25, 2013 10:32 AM I think most Redskins fans would agree with his comments. Love his work ethic and personality, and while his play shows flashes of brilliance, there would be games where he wouldnt have an impact. I expect Yoururl.Com him to improve and be more of a factor next season with some help from Orakpos return. larrydavid7000 says: Jan 25, 2013 10:36 AM I am a huge Redskins fan and noticed Ryan game was off in the first half of the season due to Rakpo injured.





Ryan Kerrigan wasnt thrilled with his play this season





The 6-foot-5, 275-pound junior will enter his third season as a starter and his first under Purdue's new coaching staff. After recording 33 tackles and making 11 starts as a redshirt freshman in 2011, Russell had 37 tackles, including 8.5 for loss and four sacks, last season. "Hes got a power-to-speed ratio that's good for him to be a factor," defensive coordinator Greg Hudson said. "He can play the run, but he's got that end build and speed where he can also affect the passer. "He's got that prototype look and ability." Russell might look the part, but like many of his teammates, he needs to get stronger. His speed and lower-body strength are in good shape, and he has fully recovered from knee and ankle injuries, but his upper body "isnt really where I would like it to be." After practicing alongside Kerrigan as a true freshman in 2010, Russell understands the gains he needs to make. "Ryan Kerrigan was one of the strongest people I've ever met," Russell said, "so when that's the standard with the Big Ten, Purdue defensive linemen and defensive ends, we definitely and myself personally have a long way to go." Kerrigan led the country in tackles for loss (26) in 2010, finished third in sacks (12.5) and tied for second in forced fumbles (5). Russell observed firsthand the relentless motor that drove the Boilers' star. When one pass-rush move didn't work, Kerrigan would simply move to the next and the next until the whistle blew. "Pass-rushing a lot of the time is a mentality, going 110 percent, outworking somebody all the time, every play," Russell said.