The Redskins didn’t do much right defensively in 2010. Amidst a tricky transition to the 3-4 defense, the unit finished the season ranked 31st. The change in philosophy was made more difficult by the lack of true 3-4 personnel, and so naturally Mike Shanahan made wholesale changes during the offseason.
It started in the draft when Shanahan passed on several quarterbacks and selected Ryan Kerrigan to bolster the NFL’s 25th ranked pass rush.
The Redskins envisioned him forming a solid outside linebacker tandem with Brian Orakpo, and thus far it’s been effective as the two have combined for 14.5 sacks and 73 quarterback pressures through 14 games.
Kerrigan himself leads the team in sacks with 7.5 and has 48.5 combined quarterback hits, pressures and sacks, putting him in the upper echelon of rookie pass rushers. Only two other rookies -- Von Miller (58.5) and Aldon Smith (55) -- have higher totals.
Kerrigan also has four forced fumbles, leads all rookie linebackers in passes defensed ...