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Interview: Defensive End Ryan Kerrigan

via Redskins

June 11, 2020

On if he is excited to still be a member of the Redskins:

“I obviously hope to be here for the duration of my football career, however long that is. I’ve got to talk to [Head] Coach [Ron] Rivera a couple of times over the phone, haven’t really been able to meet him in person yet because of the whole lockdown and what not. Hopefully I’m here for the long haul. I want to be here. They know where I stand and I want to be here.”

On if he is excited to switch to the 4-3 defense:

“I definitely plan on still being a big part of it. I’m excited to get to work in a 4-3 for the first time in my NFL career. I’ve been a 3-4 guy my whole career and to have the chance to play in a system like this is really exciting. Just going through the Zoom meetings this past couple of months and getting to learn what they expect from us on the edge, it’s exciting. I’m hoping, obviously, to be a big part of this team and this defense.”

On his interaction with the coaches thus far:

“We’ve been having our Zoom meetings four times a week since, I think, April 20th or so, that’s when we started. Getting a lot of familiarity with [Defensive Line] Coach [Sam] Mills, our d-line coach. A good amount of familiarity with [Defensive Coordinator] Coach [Jack] Del Rio too, he hops in in our meetings quite a bit. I think it’s exciting for us upfront because they want us playing fast, they want us playing physical, they want us playing in our opponents backfield and that’s kind of similar to how they used myself and my teammates in college. That kind of way upfront. It’s really exciting for me.”

On how much better he thinks he can be in a 4-3 defense:

“Well I don’t feel as though I was misused over the years I feel like, you know, that’s what the defense calls for is sometimes they wanted us in rush and sometimes they wanted us in coverage. That’s really all defenses, that's 4-3s included. So every now and then you’re going to have to drop, but just probably not quite as much as you would, as we did in the 3-4. I’m excited, I’m hoping, they said they want us going forward and doing what we do best so that’s what we’re excited about doing.”

On if he thinks he will be in more high probability passing situations:

“I guess we’ll just see how it plays out when the game times come. Rotations and what not are kind of largely dictated by what’s going on in the game and different things like that. I’m hoping to make as many plays as possible. I think this defense will give us that opportunity upfront.”

On being the face of the defense and now helping to usher in a new era of leaders on the defense:

“I mean, that’s kind of the way the NFL works. You play a long time and your fortunate in that regard but people, especially when you’re as a team, not having the success you want to as a team, fans and people look for new reasons to get excited. Fans should be excited about guys like [DE] Chase [Young]. Hell, if I had the number two pick I would have done the same thing. There’s reason for that, we’ve got other guys coming in too. I think our fans and everyone should be excited about our young guys and new coaches we’re bringing in. I think that’s, like I said, kind of the way the NFL works. When your team isn’t delivering the way you want to they look for new reasons to be excited and those are very legitimate reasons to be excited.”

On his impressions of DE Chase Young so far:

“I feel like in a way, maybe, but I know how I feel, I know what I can do. I’ve seen, what I did last year was definitely not what I ever want to put on film again. I got away from some fundamental things that really prevented me from being productive like I usually am. Chase has been really impressive. I mean I’ve only gotten limited interaction with him because we’re on calls like this, getting to interact. He seems to pick up the defense pretty well so far. That’s what I’m always usually impressed with a lot of guys when they come in the league is how quickly they can pick things up mentally. You know the physical talent is there but can they pick things up mentally. I think Chase has shown that so far.”

On what are the things from last year that he doesn’t want to put on tape again:

“Just like some fundamental things that I kind of got away from last year, angles to the quarterback and maybe not changed up my game plan mid-game if something wasn’t working. Just things like that that ultimately could have helped me be more productive that I couldn’t do. I’ve seen them on film now and I know what to do to correct it so I’ve just got to do it now.”

On the expectations are for this defense on paper:

“It’s really tough to say, because we haven’t even been together physically yet so it’s tough to say what reasonable expectations are. We have a lot of talent, that’s for sure. We look real good on paper right now but that will only get you so far. We have to go out there and prove it, go out there and work during training camp or whenever it is that we get together and make it happen.”

On the signs that can point towards the defense making strides this season:

“How we fare against our offense will be one thing, how consistent we are. Are we having one good day against our offense or one bad day, are we stacking good day after good day after good day? If you’re doing that then you kind of get the sense of, we’re going to be pretty good. That consistency will be a good telling point I think for us.”

On if there is a quality or trait that he hopes the 2020 Washington Redskins have that the 2019 Washington Redskins didn’t:

“How we get that done I guess. It takes each individual making a commitment, being accountable, doing everything that you need to do, to be prepared and then some. You’ve got to go that extra mile in the NFL to be good. Whether that’s studying more film or doing more treatment to make sure you’re rested for practice the next day, you’ve got to do those little things and hopefully everyone can really buy in and make that commitment and we can really make it happen this year.”

On what he hopes to see from the defensive line this season:

“Hopefully a lot of production on the edge. We’ve got the talent there, everyone knows what [DE] Chase [Young] can do. [DE Montez] Sweat, I think he’s an extremely talented guy, he finished strong last year. We’ve got a chance to be pretty effective and pretty productive on the edge, but again like I said, with our entire defense, we’re all good on paper right now. We’ve got to go out there and prove it. Training camp, and the preseason, and the regular season.”

On the showstopper celebration:

“I mean I started in 2014, my buddy, [LB] Will Compton at the time, kind of told me I should do that when I get a sack and what not. I wasn’t a big sack dance guy back, my first three and a half years in the league. Compton was in my ear about it a bunch, and I kind of finally obliged and it just kind of stuck. People seemed to like it so I’ve kept it up and hopefully there will be more of it to come this year.”

On some of the creative ways he has stayed in shape during the lockdown:

“The first three or four weeks when the lockdown first hit, and the gyms all closed and what not, had to get kind of creative around here. I had a couple of dumbbells, those adjustable dumbbells, but they only went up to 55 pounds. Luckily they were here, the previous owners of the house left them here, so thank goodness or I wouldn’t have had anything to work with. Tried to get creative with those, didn’t have a sled to push so I’d push my car. I’d have my wife sit in the driver seat and I’d push the car. But other than that it was kind of a lot of push ups, core work, jump rope, just things you could do around the house. Don’t have a gym at home. Luckily my gym opened back up after about four weeks or so, and I’ve been able to get back training since.”

On pushing his car as a workout:

“We did have a video of it, but it sounds like a great feat, it’s not that bad. It’s not that heavy it’s more of the distance that got me. It was just trying to be resourceful. I don’t have a sled or anything to push so had to get the conditioning and strength in somehow.”

On what he has been focusing on this offseason individually:

“I got my trainer out here, Ryan, he’s really forward thinking with mobility and stuff like that, especially hip mobility. So I’ve been doing a lot of different exercises that I’ve never done before with hip mobility and range of motion and things like that, just trying to stay limber and stay mobile. That’s been a big point of emphasis for me.”

On what Father’s Day means to him being a fairly new father:

“I’m very excited for it. I told my wife, all I really want for Father’s Day is just to play golf. I haven’t got to play any golf this offseason so I just told her, let me play 18 and I’ll be good. It definitely is more meaningful nowadays, having a 15-month-old. She’s the light of our lives, and just makes our day so much better. It’s an honor to be her father and it’s cool that I get to celebrate Father’s Day because of her.”

On what conversations he is having with his teammates about the Black Lives Matters movement:

“Well I know [Head] Coach [Ron] Rivera is working on getting those townhalls, working together. We’re forming the program to be able to address some of these issues a little better. We’ve discussed it a little bit on our Zoom meetings this past week, and kind of gave the guys the floor to tell us how everyone feels. I think, one of the things, we’re all on the same page. We’re all against racism and I think that’s one thing that we’re all uniting in, we don’t want anyone to feel that they’re not equal to others just because of race or skin color. We’re all on the same page with that.”

On if there are any specific examples he can share from his meetings with his teammates about the social injustices taking place:

“I think just, for me specifically, it was just realizing, it’s just sad to think that we’re still here. It’s 2020 and we’re still at this point in society. I was fortunate to grow up in a really diverse community. We were friends with everybody, Black, White, Mexican, we were all just friends. Race was never an issue or a talking point just because we were all friends, we’re just classmates, peers, whatever. So when I think about it like that, when I think about those people I grew up with and people I’ve been in locker rooms with, it’s like man, how do we as a society still make these individuals feel this way, at this time. That’s one of the things that’s just been a bummer to kind of reflect on and think about over these couple of weeks.”

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