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Ryan Kerrigan press conference: I want to be here through the good and bad and I want the all-time franchise sack record

He also thinks the name change is “kinda cool”

Ryan Kerrigan stepped up to the microphone on Tuesday to talk about a range of topics in a quick-paced media session with local beat reporters.

As Kerrigan enters his tenth year in the league, he talked about how “weird” this off-season has been — and don’t forget that he was drafted in the 2011 lockout year. Kerrigan talked about his teammates, spending time answering questions about Chase Young and Dwayne Haskins in particular, but he also talked quite a bit about himself, his goals and his future with the team.

Ryan Kerrigan wasn’t shy about saying that he wants to set the franchise all-time sack record this season as part of achieving all of his goals. He reiterated that he likes being a Washington player and that he hopes to stay around beyond 2020, which is a contract year for him. He discussed the challenges of continuing to impress people as an ‘older’ player, and spoke frankly about the need to impress the new coaching staff.

The veteran defensive end also talked about his role as a leader, saying that he’s never been particularly vocal, but that he has always tried to lead by example, and that he has found that many of the younger players like Chase Young are eager for knowledge about how to take care of their bodies and stay healthy year after year. Kerrigan says he has shared his experiences freely.

This discussion led to a question about the end of Kerrigan’s “iron man” streak of consecutive games that had dated back to his 2011 rookie season, but which came to an end with an injury last year. Kerrigan talked about being disappointed, but also philosophical, saying that all he can do is get back to work.

He also talked about leadership and teamwork in protecting everyone in the organization from the COVID pandemic, saying that the protocols at Ashburn are strict enough to maintain everyone’s health, and that the real concern is what people do away from the headquarters. He almost laughed about being settled down with a family, saying that he and other older players pretty much stay at home with the family every night anyway, and that he imagines that it’s more of a struggle for the young single guys on the team.

Of course, he wasn’t going to get away from the podium without a question about the name change, and RyKer surprised me a little bit by saying that the Washington Football Team moniker is “kinda cool”. He said that he sometimes slips and still refers to the team as the Redskins, but that he’s open to the new direction.

This was a good interview with a guy who clearly commands respect from his teammates, his coaches and the media members asking the questions. There was an underlying tone of recognition in the Q&A session of Ryan Kerrigan being closer to the end of his career than the beginning, but it was a discussion that the player didn’t shy away from. He clearly has come to grips with his leadership role, his changing on-field role, and the challenges of proving to everyone that he still has what it takes to get it done on an NFL playing field.

He seems to be positive, upbeat, looking forward to the coming season, and signing another contract that will keep him in Washington going forward.

The weirdest part

The defense

The franchise sack record

Football Teamer for life

The interruption to the iron-man streak

Coping with COVID

Dwayne Haskins

Locker room leadership

Chase Young

The name change is “kinda cool”