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Deal done, Kerrigan excited about revamped defense

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Deal done, Kerrigan excited about revamped defense

RICHMOND—Now that Ryan Kerrigan is signed and sealed as a member of the Washington Redskins through the year 2020 he is starting to get excited about playing football.

The fifth-year linebacker missed the entire offseason program after having a procedure done on his knee. He said that he is “champing at the bit” to get out there and get into the action. 

Kerrigan said that the contract negotiations weren’t a distraction but because he’s human and there were tens of millions of dollars at stake there had to be something about it in the back of his mind. That can now be eliminated as something that would even have the potential to interfere with his focus on getting ready for the season.

Kerrigan will be setting his sights on learning the revamped Redskins defense. New coordinator Joe Barry is bringing in an aggressive scheme that should fit what Kerrigan—just about any defender, really—likes to do.

“It’s a defense that allows the front guys to play in the opponent’s backfield a lot,” said the team’s first-round pick in 2011. “That's always a great thing when you can put an opponent in a negative yardage situation. That’s the thing that has excited me the most about this new defense.”

As anyone who has followed the Redskins for any length of time knows, the promises of a more aggressive, attacking defense in the spring and summer have usually faded away when the autumn winds start blowing. So we will have to see if Barry sticks with his program.

Even if the attacking nature of the defense is being oversold, Kerrigan should benefit from the revamped defensive line playing in front of him. Nose tackle Terrane Knighton will eat up a lot of space, giving Kerrigan more room to operate. New end Stephen Paea could also clear a path for his teammate to get into the backfield. 

But if the defense is more aggressive it should be a lot of fun to watch Kerrigan execute the scheme. Despite the schemes that Jim Haslett ran for his four seasons with the Redskins, Kerrigan has led the team in sacks (38) and forced fumbles (15) since coming to Washington. He also has two interceptions and he returned both for touchdowns.

If he is truly unleashed, to borrow a term from a year ago, Kerrigan could do some serious damage to other teams’ offenses.

RELATED: Examining red flags surrounding cut star who will visit Redskins

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Need to Know: The best cornerbacks the Redskins will face in 2018

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Need to Know: The best cornerbacks the Redskins will face in 2018

Here is what you need to know on this Friday, July 20, six days before the Washington Redskins start training camp.  

The five best cornerbacks the Redskins will face in 2018

This week we’ll be looking at the best of what the Redskins will face during the 2018 season. Today the cornerbacks are up. They are roughly ranked by Pro Football Focus’ coverage metrics, although I did some juggling based on interception totals and other factors. Prior to this, we looked at the best teamsreceivers, running backspass rushers, and quarterbacks

1. Patrick Peterson, Cardinals—The athletic Peterson has been All-Pro three times and has been selected to the Pro Bowl in each of his seven years in the league. He hasn’t had a big interception total since he got seven in 2012, but that is mostly because quarterbacks only throw his way about once every ten snaps he is in coverage. 

2. Jalen Ramsey, Jaguars—I could easily have ranked Ramsey over Peterson. I went with Peterson because he’s been doing it for longer and he’s only 28. Ramsey has justified his No. 5 selection in the 2016 draft. His long arms and ball skills serve him well. He has the size to defend the bigger receivers and the athleticism to be effective against shifty and speedy receivers. 

3. A.J. Bouye, Jaguars—If Alex Smith tries to throw away from Ramsey he will encounter trouble on the other side. It’s been trendy to say that Bouye is underrated for so long he’s in danger of becoming overrated. But he’s not there yet. Bouye was one of four full-time (played at least 60% of snaps) cornerbacks who did not allow a touchdown pass last year and he had by far the most plays in coverage. 

4. Malcolm Butler, Titans—If the Brady-Belichick Patriots don’t win another Super Bowl, the coach’s decision to keep Butler on the bench as Nick Foles shredded the New England secondary will be marked as the end of that era. Maybe Butler isn’t good enough to have made a difference, but it would have been interesting to see. He’s with the Titans now and he will give Smith problems in December. 

5. Marshon Lattimore, Saints—Last year’s defensive rookie of the year plays an aggressive style both in press man coverage and when tackling receivers who have caught the ball. An ankle injury sent him out of the game against the Redskins early, perhaps one of the reasons why Kirk Cousins was able to light them up for 322 yards and three touchdowns. 

Best of the rest: Desmond Trufant, Falcons; Brent Grimes, Bucs; Logan Ryan, Titans;k Jaire Alexander (rookie), Packers

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  @TandlerNBCSand on Instagram @RichTandler

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Timeline 

Days until:

—Training camp starts (7/26) 6
—Preseason opener @ Patriots (8/9) 20
—Roster cut to 53 (9/1) 43

The Redskins last played a game 201 days ago. They will open the 2018 NFL season at the Cardinals in 51 days. 

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Ranking the 2018 Redskins Roster: Revealing 16-30

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Ranking the 2018 Redskins Roster: Revealing 16-30

At NBCSportsWashington.com, we projected the Redskins’ 53-man roster (offensedefense) right after minicamp.

Now we are taking it one step further and ranking the 53 players we think will make the team.

The rankings are determined by who we think will have the most impact on the 2018 Redskins. No consideration was given for past performance or for what a particular player might do down the road. We’ll be revealing the rankings between now and the start of training camp. 

<<CLICK HERE FOR OUR 2018 REDSKINS RANKINGS, PLAYERS 53-16>>

Today we are continuing to reveal the list of the players we ranked from 16-30.

Here are some of the players in our latest update:

—The team’s top draft pick (but not the second pick, who is in a higher-ranked group).  

—Two of the anticipated starting offensive linemen

—The team’s leading rusher from 2016

<<CLICK HERE FOR OUR 2018 REDSKINS RANKINGS, PLAYERS 53-16>>