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Redskins' Kerrigan excited about addition of Manusky, return of Galette

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Redskins' Kerrigan excited about addition of Manusky, return of Galette

After going without an outside linebackers coach last season, the Redskins filled the vacancy a few months ago by hiring veteran defensive mind Greg Manusky.

And while the move wasn't met with much fanfare, it made one key player extremely happy.

Ryan Kerrigan enjoyed a career year working with Brian Baker in 2014. Now, he hopes Manusky will have a similar effect on his game in 2016. 

“I mean, it’s just the specificity of it, getting individual attention in the meeting rooms, getting individual attention on the practice field,” Kerrigan said this week. “It helps with all the finer aspects of being an outside linebacker. We had that a couple years back with Brian Baker. I thought that was very effective to have a specific coach for that.”

MORE REDSKINS: CULLIVER TELLS THE TRUTH ABOUT ODELL BECKHAM

Under the tutelage of Baker, Kerrigan produced a career-high 13.5 sacks (seventh best in the NFL) and five forced fumbles (tied for first). He also saw a spike in his quarterback pressures and quarterback hits, according to ProFootballFocus.com. Kerrigan often credited Baker with helping him better understand angles to quarterback, counter moves and many other finer points of pass rushing. 

Baker, however, was not retained when head coach Jay Gruden shook up the defensive coaching staff following a four-win 2014 season, and the position went unfilled last season. In January, the team turned to Manusky, a former Redskins’ linebacker who spent the previous nine years as the defensive coordinator in San Francisco, San Diego and Indianapolis.

“I’m really excited to work with Coach Manusky,” said Kerrigan, who was hampered with injuries last season and finished with 9.5 sacks. “Got to spend a little time with him in the meeting room [Monday]. He really is on top of his stuff. He really knows football and wants us to know football, not just know what we have to do, but understand why we have to do it and what others around us are doing as a result.”

As excited as Kerrigan is about the addition of Manusky, he’s equally excited about the prospect of lining up opposite Junior Galette in 2016. Galette, of course, suffered a ruptured Achilles’ tendon last August and missed the entire 2015 campaign.

“I’ve been seeing him all offseason because we’ve both been here training at Redskins Park and he looks good,” Kerrigan said of Galette, who totaled 22 sacks with the Saints in 2013 and 2014. “I mean, he looks as explosive as ever. He looks strong. He’s kept his weight on, which is good because that’s always a struggle when you have surgery and you can’t train like you normally can.”

Added Kerrigan: “It’s definitely a very exciting prospect to have because you could tell early in training camp last year that this guy would have been a difference maker for us on the defensive side of the ball and it stunk when he got hurt because any time you have an injury like that to a player like that, it’s really hard on your team. But having him out there, it should make us better upfront, better all over the field defensively.” 

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Need to Know: Five safe draft picks for the Redskins

Need to Know: Five safe draft picks for the Redskins

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, April 22, four days before the 2018 NFL draft.  

Five safe picks for the Redskins

Sometimes teams try to hit home runs with their draft picks. They may hit a few but they also will strike out a lot. Teams often are better off trying to hit solid singles and doubles. Here are five picks who would are unlikely to make many Pro Bowls but the Redskins would not regret the pick if they turned in the cards with their names on it. 

RB Kerryon Johnson, Auburn—I’m starting off here with a player who would be a safe pick in the third round. Of course, the Redskins don’t have a third right now but if they do swing a trade and get one, Johnson would be a good pick. He doesn’t have breakaway speed, which is one reason why he might be available in the third. He is a grinder who will be an upgrade over Samaje Perine and Rob Kelley. 

DL Vita Vea, Washington—There is plenty of hand wringing over whether Vea is a three-down player or just a base defense nose tackle. But even if he can’t rush the passer very well his floor is a player who can go a long way towards helping the Redskins stop the run, a chronic weakness. This is why a lot of fans and media are urging the Redskins to not overthink this and take a player that will, at a minimum, bolster one of their weakest areas. 

OL Billy Price, Ohio State—He started 55 games for the Buckeyes, the most of any player in the storied history of the program. He did suffer the partial tear of a chest muscle in the combine but that will be fully healed by training camp. When he’s ready, he’s an explosive, smart, and powerful player. Just plug him in at left guard and the Redskins’ O-line is set with all home-grown talent. 

LB Leighton Vander Esch, Boise State—He doesn’t have the ceiling that the more heralded Roquan Smith and Tremaine Edmunds have. However, he may have a higher floor. Smith is undersized, and Edmunds will be highly drafted based more on potential than on production. At 6-4, 256, Vander Esch has plenty of size, and he racked up 141 tackles last year on his way to defensive player of the year honors in the Mountain West. 

 CB Isaiah Oliver, Colorado—The All-Pac-12 selection has the size and athleticism that add up to a safe pick in the second round. He needs some work on technique, but he has enough natural athletic ability—he competed in the decathlon—to be a productive cornerback right out of the gate. One other plus that fans will appreciate is that his strength is press coverage, not off man. 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCSand follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCS.

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Timeline  

Days until:

—OTAs start (5/22) 30
—Training camp starts (7/26) 95
—Redskins @ Cardinals (9/9) 140

In case you missed it

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—All-Redskins mock, fast-fading interest in Dez

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—All-Redskins mock, fast-fading interest in Dez

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, April 21, five days before the 2018 NFL draft.  

The Redskins week that was

A look at some of the most popular posts and hottest topics of the week on Real Redskins and NBC Sports Washington

Should the Redskins pursue Dez Bryant? This topic was one like a meteor, very hot for a short period of time before it quickly faded out. It started to heat up as soon as the Cowboys cut Dez (about a month too late) and when it was reported that he wanted to play against Dallas twice a year it really picked up steam. But then people started to actually think and figured out that signing Bryant didn’t make much sense for the Redskins. Add to that the reports that the Redskins had no interest and would not look into signing Dez in the future and the Redskins fans quickly lost enthusiasm for the topic.

Seven-round Redskins mock draft—I think that most Redskins fans would be happy with this mock. Well, I’ll say some Redskins fans, most is a pretty strong word in this case. 

Is the draft pool deep enough for the Redskins to trade back? There is plenty of talk about the Redskins trading down in the first round to recoup the third-round pick they gave up in the Alex Smith trade. But they need to be careful. Many consider the draft to be top heavy and they may lose their chance to pick up an impact player if they trade back too far. The question then becomes one of quality vs. quantity. 

Three questions as offseason workouts get underway—There will be plenty more questions that we can ask about this team. But we don’t really know what to ask before the draft, particularly when it comes to the defensive line and running back. One the personnel settle into place we will know what we don’t know. 

Tweet of the week

On Chris Cooley’s thought that the Redskins might try to trade back and get Da’Ron Payne in the draft and the use the assets obtained to move up to get Derrius Guice. 

This is related to the questions about trading back. On paper it looks like a good idea, assuming the Redskins want Payne. We’re pretty sure they would like to have Guice but we haven’t heard as much about the Alabama defensive lineman. 

I had many reply that Guice won’t be there in the second round. It’s possible, perhaps even likely, but you just don’t know. There was zero chance that Jonathan Allen would be there at No. 17 last year, right? 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page, Facebook.com/TandlerNBCS and follow him on Twitter  @TandlerNBCS.

Timeline  

Days until:

—OTAs start (5/22) 31
—Training camp starts (7/26) 96
—2018 NFL season starts (9/9) 141

In case you missed it