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Ryan Kerrigan is a really good pass rusher with only one good ear

Ryan Kerrigan is a really good pass rusher with only one good ear

If you ever get the chance to talk to Ryan Kerrigan, do your best to avoid standing on his left while you do so.

That's because the standout defender is almost completely deaf in his left ear, which is something he noticed all the way back in kindergarten. On Saturday at training camp, Kerrigan told the media trying to communicate with him in loud places on his weaker side is like trying to communicate with "a brick wall."

"If I put a headphone in there and turn it up — like super-freaking loud — I can hear," he said.

This is something that was originally reported on back when No. 91 just broke into the NFL, but that was before Twitter became Twitter. So some — myself included, and by the way, sorry to the writers who were trying to get Kerrigan to answer real questions for derailing his session entirely once he revealed this — didn't know about it until now. 

Preston Smith, however, has been aware of it for a while. And like the O-lineman who face Kerrigan every Sunday, Smith has had issues getting a hold of him in the past.

"I was talking to him one time, standing on his left, and I was trying to get insight on the play," Smith remembered. "Then, he turned so he could hear. And I was like, 'Man, I've been talking this whole time and you didn't hear me.'"

But what should you do if you do come across the 29-year-old and have no choice but to speak to him from the left?

Well, doing your best DJ Swearinger impression is a solid place to start. That's one person who has no trouble getting through to Kerrigan.

"He's pretty loud," Kerrigan said of the safety. "Even a guy with one funtional ear like me can hear him."


If you aren't listening to the Redskins Talk podcast every day during camp, you need to fix that right now. Listen to one episode below, then subscribe so you can hear the rest.

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Bill Callahan reveals plans to start Case Keenum at least until Redskins Week 10 bye

Bill Callahan reveals plans to start Case Keenum at least until Redskins Week 10 bye

The Redskins drafted Dwayne Haskins 15th overall but still seem reluctant to start the rookie quarterback. Case Keenum has started all but one game for the 1-6 Redskins this season, and interim head coach Bill Callahan seems intent on keeping it that way. 

"Case is still our quarterback, and that’s where we’re at currently, and I don’t see anything changing in the future," Callahan said Monday in an interview with the Redskins Talk podcast.

With a game coming Thursday night, it seems far fetched for the Redskins to go to Haskins on a condensed time frame this week. But after Thursday's game against the Vikings, Washington will have a 10-day break before a game in Buffalo. Could that be the spot to finally give Haskins the start? Not for Callahan.

"We believe in Case, what he’s done, and what he’s capable of doing," Callahan said.

So the Redskins will go to the bye week without making Haskins the starter? 

"That’s the direction we’re heading in right now."

Keenum has hardly impressed this season. He has completed 66 percent of his passes and thrown nine touchdowns against just four interceptions, but five of those TDs came in the first two weeks. In Weeks 3 and 4 Keenum turned the ball over six times in six quarters before being benched for Haskins. The rookie did not impress in the second half against the Giants either, throwing three picks, before Colt McCoy was named the starter for Week 5 against New England.

After a loss to the Patriots, the Redskins fired head coach Jay Gruden. Once Gruden was gone, the team went back to Keenum, and it sounds like that will be the plan for the foreseeable future. 

At 1-6 and with virtually all playoff hopes eliminated it would not be a surprise if Haskins gets the call after the bye week when the Jets come to FedEx Field. For now, however, that seems like anything but certain. 


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Exclusive: Bill Callahan reflects on loss to 49ers, ready to turn attention to Vikings

Exclusive: Bill Callahan reflects on loss to 49ers, ready to turn attention to Vikings

Following every Redskins game of the 2019 season, NBC Sports Washington's JP Finlay will sit down with an exclusive, one-on-one interview with interim head coach Bill Callahan to discuss the team's performance.

Here's what Callahan had to say following the team's Week 7 loss to the San Francisco 49ers.

JP Finlay: Through two weeks now, record is 1-1, how do you feel your team is playing?

Bill Callahan: They’re playing better. From what we saw yesterday, especially from the defense perspective. You saw great effort, intensity, production and it went through four quarters. The consistency of the performance is there. We just need to find ways to close out and make a few more plays to put us in a position to win the game.

JP: Offensively, I understand that you want to run the football. But do you need more out of the passing game?

Callahan: You know, that’s a great question. There’s a fine balance to that question. We were in a situation yesterday, based on the elements, where we were running it pretty successfully. There were a couple opportunities where we could have done better in the passing game. There are a couple plays I know Case [Keenum] would love to have back. Unfortunately, we weren’t quite as productive as we wanted to be. I think overall, we’re on schedule of where we want to go. If we can improve that aspect and fix that aspect of our game, I think we’ll be right on track.

JP: You said after the game that you’re sticking with Case, have all of the faith in the world in him running your offense.

Callahan: Absolutely right. 

JP: About Dwayne though. At what point, at 1-6, I know it’s 1-1 in your tenure, but at what point does his development not become kind of the goal for the organization?

Callahan: That’s a good question. And we’ve discussed it many of times, because we did draft him in the first round. At this point, I think it’s important for him to continue to study, continue to prepare and learn from not only Colt, but Case. And I think he’s doing that. He’s made strides. I mentioned that to the media last week. He continues to make strides. Case is still our quarterback, and that’s where we’re at currently, and I don’t see anything changing in the future.

JP: Not on the short week, I imagine, it’s not the right spot for a rookie?

Callahan: Even still. We believe in Case, what he’s done, and what he’s capable of doing.

JP: So long term, at least past the bye week, I’m guessing? 

Callahan: That’s the direction we’re heading in right now.

JP: Let’s talk about the short week then. A guy on the other side of the field you might have heard of, Kirk Cousins. How interesting is that for this organization to have to face Kirk, considering everything that’s happened at quarterback here since Kirk’s departure?

Callahan: It’s interesting, as always, but this is how the league is these days with free agency and players having the ability to go where they want to go and be paid. I think the players get that, and I also think that the players don’t play into that. They look at it as the next challenge against another quarterback they have respect for. And that’s the name of the game, let’s go play. It is Kirk. We know him. There are some similarities in terms of what their offense does and what we did here. But by in large, it’s a different challenge. They’ve also got a fine running back that we need to contain. We’re addressing those kinds of things now as we’re getting ready for Minnesota.

JP: The road to a win in Minnesota is…still rushing attempts?

Callahan: I think it’s balance. Every game is different. You would love to have the balance in your run and your pass. Some games you’re fortunate to run it more than you throw it, and other games you’re going to need the passing game. So I don’t ever dismiss the fact that you need the passing game and that it shouldn’t be at the forefront. I think there are times where you are featuring one or the other. So that doesn’t mean you’re going to go in that direction. It’s always great to have that run identity and establish the run, but you’re going to need big plays out of the passing game. You need the passing game to win. That’s the nature of our league.

JP: Your D-Line is starting to deliver on some of the promise that we thought they showed some of us saw in the preseason and all the talent there. How important are those guys to get out of Minneapolis with a ‘W’?

Callahan: It’s huge. I think our defense provides that role and leadership for our football team. Just based on this last performance, if we can carry that over into Thursday night, on the national stage, that would be huge. They’ll provide that catalyst for us, and we’re hopeful, but we have a huge challenge with the running back in [Dalvin] Cook.

JP: Short week and your time is condensed, but quickly, World Series prediction.

Callahan: Nats, of course.

JP: How many games? Who’s the MVP?

Callahan: I don’t know who the MVP is, but I just want to come away with a World Series for this town, this city.

JP: You know if you win Thursday night, you can probably get tickets Friday night at Nats Park?

Callahan: Well I’m more focused on my team. That’s my focus. I wish them all the luck in the world.