There were other developments in Washington’s second preseason game. Outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan came up with another interception return for a touchdown. Beginning his third year, Kerrigan makes it easy to understand why he is so important to the defense. Rookie safety Bacarri Rambo could help a lot, too, but he’s got to pick up the pace on tackling.
On offense, another standout tight end could be emerging. Grossman had to direct the offense longer than anyone anticipated Monday. Let’s start with the game’s most important position: quarterback.
Rex to the rescue?
After failing as a starter, Grossman is still on the roster because he understands the offense. It also doesn’t hurt that he has a good relationship with play-caller Kyle Shanahan, whom Grossman also played under in Houston.
Coach Mike Shanahan has said Griffin will not play in the preseason. Until the Redskins know the extent of Cousins’s injury, Grossman is No. 1 on the depth chart.
Grossman has big-play ability. Problem is, the turnover-prone passer has often kept both the Redskins and their opponents in games. Grossman has proved he cannot be trusted to direct the offense efficiently.
Against the Steelers, Grossman completed 10 of 16 passes for 133 yards with a touchdown. However, he also had one of his signature sharp-quarterbacks-don’t-make-that-decision interceptions.
Kerrigan is listed at 6 feet 4 and 260 pounds. He was a hand-down 4-3 end in college. When you think of NFL defensive players who make big plays against the pass, Kerrigan isn’t the first guy who comes to mind. But Kerrigan gets it done in coverage.
He returned an interception for a touchdown in each of his first two seasons, and Kerrigan’s highlight-tape turnover in the first quarter Monday resulted in the game’s first touchdown. Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger locked in on running back Jonathan Dwyer, who ran a swing route out of the backfield, and it appeared Roethlisberger didn’t see Kerrigan, who leaped to catch the ball and bobbled it for about seven yards while running untouched for the 22-yard score.
Kerrigan’s interceptions during the regular seasons occurred on similar plays. He displayed his smarts against Pittsburgh, breaking off his rush on Roethlisberger once he recognized the pattern. Kerrigan also had a big night rushing the quarterback.
Using both speed and power moves, Kerrigan applied constant pressure. On one play in the second, Kerrigan sped past Steelers starting right tackle Marcus Gilbert and slapped the ball out of quarterback Bruce Gradkowski’s hand, and the Redskins recovered the fumble.