Ryan Kerrigan aims to correct mental errors; Brian Orakpo encouraged

In his third preseason game, Washington Redskins rookie linebacker Ryan Kerrigan exhibited more positive signs as he continues his transition from college defensive end to NFL linebacker. But he also showed his youth, jumping offsides twice.

Kerrigan recorded a sack for a second straight game and notched a preseason-high six tackles. But his mental errors weighed on him more than anything.

“I’ve got to eliminate the mistakes, especially pre-snap penalties like offsides penalties. Those are the ones that kill you,” the 6-foot-4, 263-pound Kerrigan said. “I just wasn’t keying the right things, wasn’t keying the ball. I need to close my ears and open my eyes a little more.”

Meantime, fellow linebacker Brian Orakpo expressed confidence in Kerrigan, knowing that the rookie will correct his mistakes.

“It’s preseason, man. Guys are still learning,” Orakpo said. “Doesn’t mean anything. You just learn from it so next time we do see something differently and we get off the field sooner.”

Orakpo, like Kerrigan, played defensive end in college and then made the move to linebacker. He sees Kerrigan experiencing fewer growing pains than he did himself.

“He’s doing great. He’s making the transition very well — faster than what I was when I first got here,” Orakpo said. “He’s just out there playing ball. I’m here for him when he has questions, help him get his ears better, get his eyes better. But I just let him play his game. I’m very confident in him.”

Mike Jones covers the Washington Redskins for The Washington Post. When not writing about a Redskins development of some kind – which is rare – he can be found screaming and cheering at one of his kids’ softball, baseball, soccer or basketball games.

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