After watching Ryan Kerrigan’s play on Friday night I would have to say that, yes, his debut was a success. The Redskins’ top draft pick did just fine for a rookie in his first game.
The most important observation for me was that Kerrigan showed the ability to play in space. This was a big concern for me coming into the season as I thought he might be too big and stiff to play in a stand-up linebacker stance in the NFL. But he showed that he not only can play standing up but, if he continues to improve, that he might actually have a large impact on the Redskins defense.
He also showed the ability to hold his own at the point of attack and was able to get off blocks and contribute on some tackles.
Of course, it wasn’t all perfect; there were some mistakes made. He was caught peeking inside on some run plays or pushed too hard down the line and wasn’t able to maintain containment, which allowed the Steelers offense some success running the ball.
But if those are the most serious mistakes from the rookie, then I believe Kerrigan is in good shape.
He seemed big and strong on the field and, more impressive than that, he fit right in. Believe me, that’s important! This means he has the belief that he belongs out there.
I need to see him improve on his reads, pass rushes, drops and run contain, and after all that, I want to see it with consistency.
But I must admit I came away from the game being impressed by the play of the young fellow.