Kerrigan becoming Redskins' all-around best defender

Posted Sept. 14, 2012 @ 4:05 p.m.
Posted By Eric Edholm

It perhaps hasn’t happened yet, but OLB Ryan Kerrigan just might be the Redskins’ best defensive player by season’s end.

As London Fletcher hits his twilight and although Brian Orakpo might be stronger now (and certainly gains more notoriety), Kerrigan’s early play suggests he just might be the team’s most versatile and valuable defensive player.

The front seven is the key to the Redskins’ season defensively with a spotty secondary, and it’s predicated on getting a rush. He cranked it up in the second half of the Week One victory over the Saints, and it appears that he has worked on lowering his pad level and getting underneath blocks better. Kerrigan also drew two holding penalties and had a pressure (one of many he had in the game) off a stunt that led to an interception.

It’s this kind of disruption that has allowed Kerrigan to become such an impact defender so quickly, early in his second season. Kerrigan has shown maturity in his game, especially on dropping in coverage and playing the run from a two-point stance, that typically isn’t there for a player transitioning from college 4-3 defensive end to pro 3-4 outside linebacker.