Just completing his fifth full season of starting,
Veteran linebacker Ryan Kerrigan believes that there is a lot to build off of from the Redskins' 2015 season.
After winning the NFC East and surpassing everyone’s expectations, Kerrigan believes the team is "building something great here.”
Despite the success, Kerrigan warns against the team becoming complacent and satisfied with the past, referencing the 2012 season and the slump that followed.
“Yeah, just don’t take making the playoffs for granted, because I thought I’d be back every year after that 2012 season and you saw what happened in ’13 and ’14, so just got to keep working to get better," Kerrigan said at the end of the season. "Got to still have that chip on our shoulder like we did coming into the season.”
During his fifth season with the Redskins, the Purdue product contributed 42 tackles and 9.5 sacks. In addition to his dominant on-field performance, he also contributes in a big way off the field.
Kerrigan was named the Redskins’ Walter Payton Man of the Year for his involvement in the community.
During his time in Washington, he has launched “Ryan Kerrigan’s Blitz for the Better Foundation.”
His organization aims to provide opportunities, resources, support and encouragement to seriously ill, physically challenged and special need children and their families. Blitz for the Better serves more than 18,000 children annually.
Obviously the Redskins did not get the desired out come in their first round playoff game, but despite the disappointment, Kerrigan is optimistic about the future in Washington where he believes that there is a lot to build on.
“Yeah, there is, good year," Kerrigan said. "Really showed a lot of promise down the stretch, hopefully we can use this loss as fuel for the fire as we train for next season.”
When asked if the momentum will carry into next season, Kerrigan believes it will.
"We won our division, no one thought we’d be able to do that and finish with a winning record which we hadn’t done in a couple years," Kerrigan said. "So I think there’s a lot of positive to take in the offseason.”
And even though he believes that the energy will naturally carry over, he acknowledged the fact that there will need to be ample preparation in the offseason to ensure that the team is ready to go come training camp.
Kerrigan’s favorite moment was one that many players and fans can probably agree with. It was the culmination of a season’s worth of effort and passion, winning the division.
“Winning the NFC East was awesome," Kerrigan said. "We won on the road; we hadn’t done well on the road all season and hadn’t done well under the lights. Went on the road, beat Philly and won the division. That was a highlight.”
Late in the season, there was a buzz in the Washington, D.C., area. Riding high on the recent success of the Redskins, Kerrigan was reminded of how loyal the team's fan base is.
“They were awesome," Kerrigan said. "Ever since we won the division, it’s been pretty cool just being out in public and you start to see a little more Redskins hats, more jerseys around town, so it’s cool to see how this city really gets excited about us when we’re doing well. So hopefully we can give them a reason to be excited next year.”