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Read-Option Mixed Bag For Ryan Kerrigan

Posted by Stephen Czarda on August 28, 2013 – 1:59 pm

(AP Image)

(AP Image)

Since being taken in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft, Ryan Kerrigan has gone from a football player who doubles as a long-haired model to a terrorizing, clean-cut football player that is an offense’s worst nightmare for 60 minutes.

Sure off the field his is one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet and already has the approval of teammates to date their hypothetical daughters, but on the field, snap after snap, No. 91 comes through like a runaway freight train determined to make players cower in their knee-high socks.

In two games against the Philadelphia Eagles last season, the Pro Bowler accumulated eight tackles and three sacks, two of which came in a game with the highest of stakes where the weather provided more goose bumps down the spine than the always callous Philadelphia crowd.

Kerrigan hopes to not only duplicate his success that was, but continue his current trajectory towards being a top-five linebacker. He chatted with Pro Football Talk Live’s Erik Kuselias about preparations for the Monday Night Football opener against the division rivals.

On January 16th, the Philadelphia Eagles rung in a new era when they announced the hiring of college football offensive guru Chip Kelly. In his four years in Eugene Kelly’s Ducks were all the rage, routinely ranking in the top-five in yards per game including an NCAA-high 530.7 in 2010. Now the question will be how successful can Kelly be in the NFL with such an unorthodox offensive playbook especially with guys like Michael Vick, LeSean McCoy, and DeSean Jackson at his disposal.

Since hearing confirmation that Vick will start against the Redskins on September 9th, Kerrigan said that the defense has been speeding through drills, ready to disarm all of the Eagles’ weapons.

“We’ve been facing the hurry up offense a little more in practice to try and get ready for that and you can see guys get kind of acclimated more to that kind of speed and getting used to getting lined up quick,” Kerrigan told Kuselias. “So we’re going to have to keep doing that over the next couple of weeks to get ready for Philly.”

As for that read-option trend that’s being copied and pasted into playbooks and was started by a certain team. Shhh–I won’t give away any secrets as to who that is.

“We see it every day in practice. It’s something that the league is going to continue to do as long as offenses are having success with it. It’s something that this whole league is going to have to adapt to because as these quarterbacks get more athletic, it’s something that’s going to be seen more often.

“I like playing against it but at the same time it’s kind of frustrating because it’s kind of like a trick. It’s like ‘oh who has the ball.’ If you’re hitting the running back you don’t know if he has the ball, if you’re hitting the quarterback you’re not sure if he has the ball, so it’s kind of a little bit of a gimmick so it’s tough to play against but that’s why offenses are running it.”

Kyle Shanahan’s smiling from ear to ear right now.

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