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Kerrigan Key To Stopping Roethlisberger

Posted Oct 28, 2012

After being held without a sack in the last three contests, Redskins OLB Ryan Kerrigan will need to have a big day against All-Pro Steelers QB Ben Roethlisberger.

During a season that is the 80th anniversary for both teams, the Redskins have traveled to Pittsburgh to take on a Steelers (3-3), ranked second in the AFC North. 

Led by quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, the Steelers boast an 11th ranked offense in the league.

Through the first seven weeks, Redskins linebacker Ryan Kerrigan has 20 tackles 3.5 sacks and one interception that was returned for a touchdown. 

Kerrigan recognizes the Steelers offense can be dangerous but is looking forward to the challenge of containing the All-Pro quarterback.

“[Roethlisberger] scrambles to create plays with his arm, not necessarily to run, but he scrambles to keep the passing plays alive,” Kerrigan said.  “He’s as good as anybody in the league, not necessarily seeing the rush, but feeling the rush and being able to avoid it.”

The defense has struggled to manufacture pressure against the quarterback this season, after Brian Orakpo went down in Week 2. 

With the Steelers struggling to field a healthy running back, Kerrigan knows that attacking the passer is more important than ever this week.

“I think collectively at the wide receiver position you’re not going to find many groups as fast as them, Kerrigan said.  “Up front, we’ve got to make sure there’s even more emphasis on getting to the passer this week to not allow those receivers so much time to get open.”

With linebacker Orakpo on the injured reserve, defensive coordinator Jim Haslett does see opposing teams playing against Kerrigan differently.

“I see guys chipping him. I see extra guys looking at him,” he said.  “The back last week was kind of hanging around him the whole day. He’s always going to have that issue right now.”

The Redskins have been tied or in the lead against opponents going into the four quarter in all of their games this season.  Kerrigan explained that it was tough to only have three wins, but he’s optimistic about the games to come.

“Every game has been such an emotional rollercoaster.  We’re a confident bunch and we’ve just got to be resilient and bounce back.”

“We’ve played much better defensively in the recent weeks,” Kerrigan said.  “We’ve really reduced the number of big plays and have held teams to a lot fewer points.

“Our offense is still putting up a lot of points so we’ve got to make sure we hold teams to even fewer points defensively.”

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