Redskins

Quick Links

Ryan Kerrigan will play less in 2020 but could produce much more

Ryan Kerrigan will play less in 2020 but could produce much more

The Redskins drafted Chase Young with the second overall pick and reality dictates that the rookie will take snaps away from veteran pass rusher Ryan Kerrigan.

That could actually be good news for Kerrigan.

For the first nine years of his NFL career, Kerrigan never missed a game. That’s incredible. In 2019, his streak of 139 straight starts ended as a concussion and a heel injury forced him to miss four games.

Expected back fully healthy this fall, the question now becomes what will Kerrigan’s role be in a crowded group of pass rushers that includes Young as well as 2019 first-round pick Montez Sweat.

"You're fired up for having all of these guys, but then they can't all go on the field at the same time," Redskins defensive coordinator Jack Del Rio said about his glut of pass rushers. "So that is part of it, like being able to deal with that aspect of it, having guys understand, 'Hey, you're not going to play all the time.' Or, 'You're not the starter.' Those are things to me, that always get settled best with competition and once guys earn what they've earned I think everybody in the room pretty much understands that."

Here’s the thing - even at 31 Kerrigan keeps himself in elite physical shape. He’s two years removed from a 13-sack season and in three of the previous four seasons he registered at least 11 sacks.

Even though he logged just 5.5 sacks last year, the four-time Pro Bowler can still play, and in the new defensive scheme Del Rio and head coach Ron Rivera intend to deploy, Kerrigan can play to his strengths too.

"We're going to ask our guys to be more penetrating and disruptive," Del Rio said. 

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE REDSKINS TALK PODCAST

For the first time in his career Kerrigan likely won’t be the focal point of the Redskins defensive front. In fact, with Young, Sweat, Ryan Anderson and a gang of talent rushing from the interior like Daron Payne, Jonathan Allen and Matt Ioannidis, Kerrigan might be a bit of an afterthought.

That’s a great place for him to be.

Focused just on rushing the passer and without being asked to chase running backs and tight ends downfield in pass coverage, Kerrigan can play to his strengths. And strength is his strength.

"The other part about coaching is kind of keep guys out of positions that they're not good at," Del Rio said. "Accentuate the positives and try and keep your guys out of situations that they are not good in and put them in more of the situations that they are good at."

If offensive tackles are constantly dealing with the speed and athleticism of Sweat and Young, then Kerrigan comes in for clear passing situations with his patented bull rush and rip move, the results could be formidable.

Of course 2020 has also become a contract year for Kerrigan. The previous regime might have already worked toward an extension, but Rivera has been clear since his arrival in January that things will be run differently.

It’s possible with consecutive first-round picks spent on pass rushers that Rivera does not consider Kerrigan part of his long-term rebuild. The opposite is also possible, that Rivera will want Kerrigan around for the long haul as a third-down pass rusher and veteran leader for the team. Kerrigan doesn’t say much but he works extremely hard on the practice field and in the weight room. That has a lot of value.

Questions for 2021 aren’t important yet. Kerrigan can go out and prove Washington needs him next year with solid play this year.

There will be fewer snaps, that’s obvious, but that doesn’t mean there won’t be production.

MORE REDSKINS NEWS

Quick Links

NFL bans jersey swaps in latest round of health measures for 2020 season

NFL bans jersey swaps in latest round of health measures for 2020 season

The NFL sent a list of game-day protocols for the 2020 season to all 30 teams Wednesday night that included a ban of postgame jersey swaps and restricting media from entering the locker room, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reported Thursday.

With training camps expected to begin at the end of July, the NFL and players union have been discussing health and safety protocols for putting on a season amid the coronavirus pandemic. Talks have been reportedly slowing down due to disagreements over factors such as the length of the preseason—including holding one at all—and how often players are tested.

As San Francisco 49ers cornerback Richard Sherman showed on Twitter, not all players are on board with Wednesday’s restrictions.

For players who still want to find ways to swap jerseys, they make have to take a page out of rookie pass rusher Chase Young’s book. Young swapped jerseys with fellow DeMatha Catholic High School alumnus Paul Rabil, who plays in the Premier Lacrosse League. The two stars reconnected over Twitter and mailed their jerseys to each other.

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO SPORTS UNCOVERED

Stay connected with the Redskins in the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

MORE REDSKINS NEWS:

Quick Links

Why one branding expert believes the Redskins should go with Washington Football Club for now

Why one branding expert believes the Redskins should go with Washington Football Club for now

While the Washington Redskins are having internal conversations about their name and the potential replacements for that name, fans and pundits everywhere are taking part in groupthink around the same topic.

Names like the Redtails, Red Wolves and Braves have been some of the most recycled name ideas on social media and media outlets. The connection between those names and the team’s current moniker are clear -- they either keep the word ‘red,’ or they keep a Native American theme, which an ESPN report said the team would avoid.

Keith Scully, CEO of Strategic-Noise Group, a marketing, branding and business development company, thinks developing a moniker based on the current name rather than the team’s location is a mistake. In other words, ‘Washington’ should dictate the new name, not ‘Redskins.’

“I don’t like any names that have a color in it right now. Anything with the word ‘red’ right now, I think it’s lending itself to not having a clear definition of what a brand could be for them. So that ‘Red Hogs,’ or the ‘Red Hawks,’ etc. I’m not a big fan of that,” said Scully, who is also a graduate adjunct professor at Georgetown and American universities. “What I would be a fan of is something for the local culture on what it makes sense to go with. Taking a look at the ‘Americans,’ something like that. Something that’s wholesome and it’s Washington, D.C. How do you go ahead and develop an emotion that goes along with the country? I think they’re in the only place in the United States that can do it. Why not try? i.e. Nationals, the way that they did it.”

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO SPORTS UNCOVERED

The Nationals and Capitals both have names that lend themselves to the teams’ location. And while it may seem like a generic idea, each of those teams have developed passionate and loyal fan bases over the years. Another thing those teams have in common, along with the Washington Wizards and Mystics, is the red, white and blue color scheme. But that’s where Scully draws the line as far as synchronization with the Washington theme.

Though a recent report said the team plans to keep its burgundy and gold colors, Scully believes a fresh and distinctive look would be a welcomed change. He also doesn’t think the current social climate should dictate the team’s name and brand. The team has to pick a name that will be acceptable 100 years from now.

Team owner Dan Snyder has said in the past that he believes the term Redskin to represent honor, respect and pride. But his belief of what it means has conflicted with others who see it as a derogatory term. Going with a name that evokes thoughts of the city could avoid that same conflict in the future. People have suggested the area’s former baseball team, the ‘Senators,’ as a potential name. The ‘Monuments’ has surfaced as a potential option. And the parent company of the Harlem Globetrotters offered to sell the rights to the Washington Generals.

RELATED: WHAT DAN SNYDER HAS SAID ABOUT THE TEAM'S NAME

Still, Scully thinks there’s a chance the actual name Washington lands on hasn’t been thought of yet. He said the process of rebranding properly could take time the Redskins don’t seem to have if they plan to change their name before the start of the 2020 season, as reported.

“They have an incredible opportunity right now. But I’ll just say that there are two big challenges to start off with. First of all, the team needs to go ahead and keep its current customers as close as possible. Trying to go ahead and bring on a lot more customers is more expensive than keeping the ones you have. So, part of the process could be that [Snyder] actually brings in opinions on what the new name should be. I’ve read about a few of the different names that keep coming up, and I don’t think they’ve hit yet, personally,” Scully said. 

“And, the second part is the timing that it takes to go ahead and do this correctly. The Washington Football Club, I think it’s an excellent Band-Aid because they should be taking six, eight months to go ahead and develop the new name that’s going to be comfortable for the league, for the fans, as well as for society.”

Additionally, Scully said getting it right the first time around is vital. As a student of Snyder’s stance on the name over the years, he believes the current change in heart is financially motivated rather than a moral stance. Picking the wrong name is simply bad for business.

“On a business level, you don’t want to make two decisions on this,” Scully said. “If you do it too fast and you do it wrong, it’s going to cost not only on a financial basis a lot more to go ahead and re-change it with everything from the brand guidelines to the naming and the tagging and the marketing collateral that’s needed, the brand identity, the website, everything to go with that. But it’s also just a failed attempt on really trying to grow the team. I mean, again, the revenues have been down. Use this to your advantage now. How can you go ahead and use it to go ahead and make better decisions to go ahead and make more money?”

CLICK HERE TO SUBSCRIBE TO THE REDSKINS TALK PODCAST

Stay connected with the Redskins in the MyTeams app. Click here to download for comprehensive coverage of your teams.

MORE REDSKINS NEWS: