- Catholic League slams Obama: ‘Do Christian lives mean so little to you?’
- National laboratory cancels ‘Southern Accent Reduction’ classes after outcry
- U.S. woman with Ebola is stable, improving, son says
- Belgium pushes for clear labeling of goods from Israeli settlements
- ‘Queen of Mean’ Leona Helmsley’s former home hits market for $65M
- Florida beach-goers told to beware flesh-eating bacteria in water
- Lundergan Grimes uses ‘war on women’ strategy to attack McConnell
- Rep. Jeff Miller: ‘Ain’t no leash for VA’
- Al Qaeda nets $125M from ransom payoffs from Europe since 2008
- Ohio Gov. John Kasich cruising to re-election: survey
Ryan Kerrigan feels the pressure with Redskins’ pass defense struggling
Getting to QB is just as important as pass coverage
Question of the Day
Big plays, long drives, demoralizing results: The passing yards allowed have added up for the Washington Redskins. Dead last in the league at 314.2 a game, they’re on pace to have the worst pass defense in the history of the NFL.
And while the secondary has been much-maligned for an inability to cover, the lack of a pass rush deserves at least part of the blame. Defenders are eager to avoid setting that kind of record.
“That definitely would bother me because I’m part of that defense and a pass rush is every bit a part of a defense as the secondary. And we haven’t gotten to the passer very well this year,” linebacker Ryan Kerrigan said. “That’s been as big a problem as anything. We need to improve on getting to the quarterback and make sure we keep those [passing] numbers down.”
The onus is on Kerrigan to make a difference. He can’t totally compensate for a defensive line that has combined for two sacks, but the second-year pass-rusher needs to find ways to create more pressure, especially in the absence of Brian Orakpo.
“He’s going to draw attention because he’s the guy. He’s going to have to try to overcome some of the things,” defensive coordinator Jim Haslett said. “We’re moving him inside and doing different things with him. But when you’re the guy, they’re going to try to find ways to try to neutralize you, if you’ve got one guy like that.”
The attention is a “little bit more” since Orakpo went out for the season in Week 2, Kerrigan said. Statistically, Kerrigan is doing better than his rookie season; with 4½ sacks he’s on pace to beat last year’s total of 7½ .
“Even with teams focusing on him, he’s still getting the job done,” defensive lineman Kedric Golston said.
But not to Kerrigan’s standards and not enough for the defense to be successful. Orakpo’s not around to draw extra attention from opposing offenses, and as much as Rob Jackson and Chris Wilson can do against the run, they’re not as intimidating against the pass.
Injuries happen, though, and it changed the way Kerrigan had to approach his role.
“There’s definitely a greater sense of urgency now,” he said. “That sense of urgency has been there but even more so now that I need to pick it up, not for myself but just for the defense in general.”
But since it hasn’t performed close to preseason expectations, it’s worth considering what Kerrigan hasn’t been able to do.
“I think the thing with me, I’ve just got to get off the blocks quicker because I’m getting a decent push a lot of the time on the offensive tackle, but then I’m allowing him to hold onto me and just kind of drag me by the quarterback,” Kerrigan said. “So I think the big thing for me is just to make sure I finish the play and not just create the push. I’ve got to actually get off the block and get to the quarterback.”
In Sunday’s loss to the Pittsburgh Steelers, Kerrigan was around the ball but couldn’t make a significant impact. Haslett said the 24-year-old got moved around plenty but was often dealing with extra protection.
“He’s doing all right with it. He still gets his pressures in different ways,” Haslett said. “Obviously it’s a lot easier on him last year when he had ‘Rak running around. It’s just a different dynamic right now and he has to deal with that. I think he’s doing fine.”
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- WHYNO: Tomas Vokoun gets unexpected Stanley Cup shot with Penguins
- Brandon Meriweather, Redskins' secondary ready for bounceback year
- Kirk Cousins embraces role as Redskins' offseason starter as RG3 rehabs from injury
- Capitals notes: Realignment won't prompt roster remake
- Despite Caps' first-round playoff exit, Adam Oates' first season as coach left a positive taste
Latest Blog Entries
- Redskins injury updates (5/23): WR Pierre Garcon, CB Josh Wilson each had labrum surgery
- Capitals 'love' Matt Hendricks, but how much?
- Wojtek Wolski signs in Russia's Kontinental Hockey League
- Tom Poti won't return to Capitals, plans to continue his NHL career
- Is Tom Wilson ready to be a regular for Capitals?
- Patent workers paid to exercise, shop, do chores: report
- Boehner rules out impeachment: 'Scam started by Democrats'
- CARSON: Rudderless U.S. foreign policy
- Obama thanks Muslims for 'building the very fabric of our nation'
- Fla. mom arrested for allowing 7-year-old son to walk to park alone
- Smugglers, rainstorm combine to poke holes in border fence
- Obama mum on where illegal immigrant children are sheltered
- Federal judge grants 90-day stay in D.C. gun case
- Defense lawyer: McDonnell's wife had 'crush' on CEO
- CARSON: Costco and the perils of politicizing business
Obama's biggest White House 'fails'
Celebrities turned politicians
Athletes turned actors
20 gadgets that changed the world