By Tarik El-Bashir
With Brian Orakpo sidelined for the season, this is no time for the Redskins to feel sorry for themselves, fellow linebacker Ryan Kerrigan said Wednesday.
Each player on the team's reeling defense must dig a little deeper – and, according to Kerrigan, that begins with him.
Through two games, opponents have scored 63 points and Kerrigan has recorded four tackles, the ninth highest total on the team. He has also recorded one sack. In the Redskins' first two games a season ago, Kerrigan had eight tackles to go along with a sack.
“I definitely have got to raise my game,” Kerrigan said. “I haven’t played up to my standards the first couple of weeks. With Rak down now, I got to make more plays now and really, really play well.”
Last season, Kerrigan occasionally benefitted from opposing teams double-teaming and scheming to account for Orakpo, a two-time Pro Bowl selection. Now, though, that extra attention could be turned on Kerrigan.
“If that is the case, so be it,” he said. “I’m ready for the challenge. I’m up for it.”
Kerrigan said if attracts more double teams, he anticipates that it will open up things for Rob Jackson, Chris Wilson and Markus White.
“I’m confident they can take advantage of matchups if that is the case,” Kerrigan said.