Ryan Kerrigan has been playing competitive football since fifth grade, and up until last season, he had never intercepted a pass.
Sack the quarterback? Sure, he’s had ton of those in his football career; but, for whatever reason, the interception had eluded the Hoosier native.
And now with two NFL interceptions to his credit, Kerrigan is pretty much another Rod Woodson.
OK, maybe not quite, but one thing’s for sure: whether it’s getting to the quarterback or defensive touchdowns, Kerrigan certainly has a knack for making big plays.
Kerrigan on Sunday picked off Atlanta Falcons quarterback Matt Ryan and returned the ball 28 yards to the end zone, jumping into the waiting arms of the fans in the first couple rows of the FedExField stands.
The play was very similar to his first-career interception last season against the New York Giants in Week 1, when he tipped an Eli Manning pass, snagged the ball out of the air and rumbled into the end zone in Kerrigan’s first-career professional football game.
“I saw the offensive tackle give me a little free ride, like most tackles do when it’s a screen pass and I saw the back scatting and I also tried to trail him a little bit,” Kerrigan explained after the game. “Fortunately, I was right in the throwing lane and I was able to make the play.”
Kerrigan’s teammates weren’t surprised that he came up with another big play.
Defensive end Jarvis Jenkins threw some hefty praise Kerrigan’s way after the game.
“That guy is special,” Jenkins said. “He deserves it, as hard as he works. He’s in before everybody and leaves after everybody, and he’s a Pro-Bowl player. If he keeps going like this, he’s going to be a legend in this league.”
I’d have to agree with Jenkins when it comes to Kerrigan’s early Pro Bowl status. Through five games, he leads the Redskins in sacks (3.5), and has fought through several double teams each game as the team’s top pass rusher. His interception against the Falcons sure doesn’t hurt the old résumé, either.
As for that celebration…
It wasn’t quite the Lambeau Leap, but Kerrigan said his little jump into the FedExField stands — which is being referred to as the “Landover Leap” — was just as satisfying.
“The first thing I saw when I got into the end zone was the fans,” Kerrigan said. “I’ve always wanted to go into the stands after a score, and when the opportunity presented itself, I jumped at it — literally.”
Kerrigan said he kept the football from his second-career touchdown. It’ll find itself in a case, right next to the ball from his memorable first touchdown against the Giants last season.
Tags: ryan kerrigan, touchdown celebration, washington redskins
Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments »