Ryan Kerrigan says he’s encouraged by the vibe he felt at Redskins Park on Monday as the team's offseason workouts got underway.
“I think we’re actually hungrier than you are when you’re come off a losing season because we got a taste of success, and now we know we have the ability and we have the team that can get back to the point that we were at, and take it even further than that,” Kerrigan said in a conference call with local reporters. “Hopefully, we can have a good rest of the offseason and build toward the regular season.”
Something else that Kerrigan was pleased to see was the number of familiar faces in the building. Unlike some previous offseasons, management focused on retaining its own players rather than spending big on free agents. In fact, 17 of the 22 players who were listed as starters in the Wild Card loss to the Packers are back.
“That’s what makes this year something to look forward to, as well, because we have a lot of continuity, especially on the offensive line and the offensive side of the ball, generally,” Kerrigan continued. “Same thing goes for [defense] because we’re returning most of the same starters that we had last year. Obviously, you’re going to miss guys like Jason Hatcher and Terrance Knighton. [But] we’ve got continuity, and I think that will be a big thing for us.”
A few of the losses, as Kerrigan noted, are significant ones on and off the field. Kerrigan, however, says he’s confident that new leaders will step up to replace Hatcher, Knighton and Dashon Goldson, all of whom were respected voices in the locker last year.
“I’d say Kirk would probably be a good candidate to fill those roles,” Kerrigan said. “He’s a guy who does things the right way. He leads by example but he can also speak really well, so I imagine he’ll fill a lot of that void from an offensive perspective. I also think a guy like DeAngelo Hall, who has always been a vocal leader with us, I imagine he’ll continue to expand his leadership role.”
Monday marked the beginning of the first phase of an offseason program that’ll ramp up in the coming weeks and months. All of the workouts are voluntary until a three-day veteran minicamp in mid-June.
And although attendance wasn’t 100-percent on Day 1, Kerrigan said he was pleased with the turnout.
“We had a really good attendance, and the guys that were here were working really hard and that’s certainly all you can really ask for,” he said.