Redskins Ryan Kerrigan seeks to produce sacks on a consistent basis

Redskins Finding First Round Gold, But Still Need Late Round Help





Obviously, its a lot easier on him last year when he has Rak running around with him, Haslett added. But its a different dynamic this year. I think hes doing fine. . . . Hes going to draw attention because hes the guy, and hes going to have to overcome some things. Weve moved him inside, doing different things with him. But when youre the guy, theyre going to find ways to neutralize you like that. Kerrigan, on the other hand, wasnt so sure that the attention from opponents has increased significantly from his 71/2-sack rookie campaign.





Lorenzo Alexander, Ryan Kerrigan reflect on first Pro Bowl appearance





But the coolest part was getting to know guys on a personal level. Everybody out there was real cool. Had a good time with [Minnesotas] Jared Allen, seeing how silly he really is, Alexander added. Chad Greenway from Green Bay was cool. Getting to know Earl Thomas from Seattle was good. That secondary in Seattle gets a bad rap, but he was actually a real cool guy. Kerrigan agreed with Alexanders assessment. 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.





Redskins must bring pass rush back to life





Photo via the Caps. While the Capitals were busy scoring a touchdown of their own, Washington Redskins linebacker Ryan Kerrigan took in the game, then paid a visit to the locker room for a meet and greet with the players. Though its not uncommon for D.C. athletes from different sports to support each other at games, this wont be a one-time thingfor Kerrigan. Ive been a lot this year, he said, asCaps players introduced themselves, including Eric Fehr, who talked at length with him about football. Kerrigan was shown on the big screen during the game, and fans shouldnt be surprised if they see more of him.When told of former teammate Chris Cooleys shenanigans at the Caps games, like coming down to the locker room and interviewing players , hanging out in the press box, or racing Fred Davis on tricycles , Kerrigan was amused.





Kerrigan enjoying 'Skins' success





On the other side is Kerrigan, the No. 16 overall pick in the 2011 draft. The night the Redskins picked Kerrigan, their vision was of a hyper-athletic, two-pronged pass-rush that would force teams to pick their poison. Commit extra blockers to Orakpo, Kerrigan and his incredible raw pass-rushing instincts would get you. Commit extra blockers to Kerrigan, and Orakpo feasts. Kerrigan collected 7.5 sacks as a rookie and 8.5 more last season, in spite of having to play without Orakpo in the final 14 games. With the fear of Orakpo removed, teams were able to commit those extra blockers to Kerrigan all season long. Though he flashed his playmaking ability, the Redskins didn't get the consistent, week-to-week quarterback pressure on which their defense is designed to rely.





Ryan Kerrigan hangs with the Caps





But during this offseason, he's playing a different role, of doctor, checking in on injured Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III. "I get in there and put him through some tests," Kerrigan joked Friday afternoon at the Birch Boilermaker Golf Complex. "Nah, he's doing well. He's always in there working out with us and he's coming along pretty well." While the Redskins' success in 2013 and beyond might rely heavily on Griffin, who is recovering from an ACL injury suffered late last season, it might too be on Kerrigan. The third-year linebacker is one of a core of up-and-comers on the Skins' defense, one that was dealt a host of injuries last season but is expected healthy next. 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.









The Redskins didnt have first-round selections in 2008 or 2006, but cornerback Carlos Rogers, the first of their first-rounders in 2005, went to the Pro Bowl last year with the 49ers. That makes quarterback Jason Campbell, chosen after Rogers in the first round in 2005, the last Washington first-rounder not to have made a Pro Bowl. Late free safety Sean Taylor (2004) was chosen in 2006 and 2007. The Redskins didnt have a first-rounder in 2003 so quarterback Patrick Ramsey (2002) is the last player they chose with their only first-round pick who didnt eventually wind up in Hawaii. And since Washington shipped its first-rounders this year and next to St. Louis in the 2012 deal which allowed Griffin to become a Redskin, the streak will keep going barring a trade up into the first round in 2013 or 2014. Receiver Rod Gardner (2001) never made a Pro Bowl, but both of Washingtons first-rounders in the 2000 draft, outside linebacker LaVar Arrington (2001-03) and left tackle Chris Samuels (2001-02, 2005-08) were multiple selections. So was 1999 first-rounder Champ Bailey (2000-03 before being traded to Denver for whom he has been selected to another eight all-star games). The Redskins also didnt have a first-round pick in 1998.





Redskins Defensive Improvements: Ryan Kerrigan





Throughout the rest of the 2012 season, Kerrigan, along with the rest of the defense, would be plagued with inconsistency. It seemed like he would be able to overcome the loss of Orakpo, as he had 3.5 sacks in the first four games. However, he would only record 5 more sacks in the remaining 12. There were eight games this year that he didnt record a sack, including two different 3-game stretches without a sack, and oftentimes struggled with getting off his blocker, sometimes even if it was a single lineman. Although he ended the year with the same sack total as his rookie campaign, I think we can all agree that prior to the season starting we were hoping for more.