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Ryan Kerrigan - A Man on a Mission

Matthew Emmons-US PRESSWIRE

The Redskins defense has been under some harsh criticism for the first four weeks of the 2013 season, and that criticism is justified. The defense is one of the worst in the league, and is on pace to become one of the worst in the history of the NFL.

Third year outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan is the exact opposite of the teams defensive identity. He is fundamentally sound, disciplined, high energy, and is a supreme playmaker.

So far on this young season, Kerrigan has 24 combined tackles(18 solo), five sacks, two forced fumbles, three stops for loss, and one pass defended. His biggest play came in week one against the Eagles, where he had a batted pass on the games opening drive that resulted in a fumble that was returned by DeAngelo Hall for a touchdown. The Redskins lost that game, but it was to no fault of Kerrigan, who finished the game with eight tackles, one sack, two tackles for loss, and the batted ball that went for the touchdown.

Kerrigan was the top 3-4 outside linebacker in the NFL in quarterback hurries last season, being credited with 50. He had 8.5 sacks, 54 tackles, two forced fumbles, eight pass breakups, and one interception that was returned for a touchdown on his way to a Pro Bowl birth. Most of these numbers were put up without having fellow 3-4 outside linebacker, and Pro Bowler Brian Orakpo opposite him. With Orakpo now healthy, and causing his own havoc on the right side of the defense, Kerrigan is off to an even better start in 2013.

For a defense with few bright spots to celebrate, Ryan Kerrigan's star is sure shining brilliantly. I have a feeling the best is yet to come for the 25 year old budding superstar.