- Climate change could bring back smallpox, researchers say
- Shoe-bomb witness to speak from London at N.Y. trial
- New evidence could threaten Army sex assault case
- George Zimmerman signs autographs at Orlando gun show
- GOP lawmaker faces fire for NBA crime tweet
- Taliban vow to ‘use all force’ to disrupt Afghan elections
- Atheists sue to remove ‘Ground Zero Cross’ from 9/11 museum
- Bishop in Aleppo: ‘We Christians live in fear in Syria’
- Oscar Pistorius vomits during graphic testimony
- Toronto Mayor Rob Ford flubs daylight saving time advice: ‘Turn your clocks back’
Foundation formed for Redskins’ Ryan Kerrigan
The blueprint for Ryan Kerrigan as a Washington Redskins rookie was Brian Orakpo. Like Kerrigan, Orakpo made the switch from defensive end to linebacker and was there to offer advice in the transition.
“Ryan, I think he’ll be fine. He’s going into the same defense for the second year,” Orakpo said. “He’s already learning a lot, already experienced a lot throughout the last season. And he’s going into the same system to get better.”
All Kerrigan has to do is build on a strong foundation.
“I just want to be more consistent. I think last year I did some good things, but I also had some games where I kind of didn’t really do much at all,” Kerrigan said. “I want to be more consistent, play each game at a high level and be a productive member of the team.”
Kerrigan was a productive starter in his rookie year with 63 tackles and 71/2 sacks. Middle linebacker London Fletcher went to the Pro Bowl, but Kerrigan showed flashes of the kind of player he can become.
Those flashes aren’t enough. Kerrigan, whose performance tailed off late in the season, wants to be a factor every game. That process starts now.
“I just got to be detailed at practice and really, really hone in on my skills because I know what I need to do,” Kerrigan said. “Now it’s just a matter of improving on it and doing it.”
Continuity is on Kerrigan’s side. Jim Haslett’s 3-4 defense remains intact, and the starting linebacking corps of Kerrigan, Orakpo, Fletcher and Perry Riley already has chemistry. The starting defensive line of Adam Carriker, Barry Cofield and Stephen Bowen is back, too.
“I think he’ll just be able to do the stuff better because he understands what his role is, what his responsibility is,” Fletcher said. “He’s not learning a new position this year. He went from a hand-in-the-dirt rush defensive end in college to a stand-up outside linebacker. He’s going to be so much better this year.”
As Kerrigan settles in with a full training camp to prepare for his second season, there’s a concern even if his development progresses unabated: As Kerrigan said, “I’m not a rookie anymore,” and his game is no longer a secret.
Opposing offenses will start keying on Kerrigan, and he’ll have to adjust.
“You got to. It’s kind of tough. You’ve got to continue to play your game, but at the same time, you’ve got to learn different things, do different things to be effective because, obviously, when you’re a new guy you don’t have that much film on you,” Orakpo said. “Then when you do have film on you, you’re doing good, that’s when teams start to key on you and start to know how you play. Something he has to adjust to for Year 2 to make those big plays happen.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- WHYNO: Tomas Vokoun gets unexpected Stanley Cup shot with Penguins
- Brandon Meriweather, Redskins' secondary ready for bounceback year
- Kirk Cousins embraces role as Redskins' offseason starter as RG3 rehabs from injury
- Capitals notes: Realignment won't prompt roster remake
- Despite Caps' first-round playoff exit, Adam Oates' first season as coach left a positive taste
Latest Blog Entries
- Redskins injury updates (5/23): WR Pierre Garcon, CB Josh Wilson each had labrum surgery
- Capitals 'love' Matt Hendricks, but how much?
- Wojtek Wolski signs in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League
- Tom Poti won't return to Capitals, plans to continue his NHL career
- Is Tom Wilson ready to be a regular for Capitals?
Taxpayers must pay the freight for over-budget train projects
- Kim Jong-un calls for execution of 33 Christians
- Senate Democrats, Republicans spar over restoring unemployment benefits
- CURL: Today's GOP really is Reagan's 'Big Tent' party
- Mitch McConnell on beating tea party: 'We are going to crush them'
- Rand Paul wins 2014 CPAC straw poll, Ted Cruz finishes a distant second
- Arrest made in Ohio bar shooting that killed 3
- SAUERBREY: Taxing Marylanders until they flee
- As Crimea falls, Obama takes Key Largo golf vacation, Biden hits Virgin Islands
- Charges filed against accused 'shadow campaign' financier
- Bill Clinton poses for photo with Bunny Ranch prostitutes
Pope Francis meets his 'mini-me'
Celebrity deaths in 2014
Winter storm hits states — again