After spending the last 3-1/2 weeks training at his college and waiting for some resolution to the NFL’s labor dispute, Washington Redskins first-round draft pick Ryan Kerrigan will finally get to work out with his new teammates.
Kerrigan, taken 16th overall in April’s NFL draft, will be among 40 to 45 Redskins who will gather for three consecutive days of player-led workouts Tuesday through Thursday.
It will be the next best thing to organized team activities, which would be in full swing by now if it weren’t for the NFL lockout. Instead, the gathering will mark only the second round of group workouts the Redskins players have participated in this offseason, and the first time that Kerrigan and his fellow rookies and the veterans will be together.
“I’m definitely excited for the opportunity to get to know the guys and see what an NFL offseason workout is like,” said Kerrigan, who played defensive end at Purdue, but will convert to outside linebacker for Washington. “I’ve been itching to get out there. You go through the draft and all of that excitement, and then you just go back to working out at your school and waiting because of the lockout.”
The Redskins held an informal two-day mini-camp at a high school in Northern Virginia last month. Roughly 20 players turned out for the first day, and 30 players took part on the second day.
Redskins co-captain/linebacker Lorenzo Alexander said some players who weren’t able to attend last time have told him and fellow captain London Fletcher that they will be there this week. Alexander added that the majority of the 12 rookies who were drafted by the Redskins last month have confirmed that they will attend.
Last time the Redskins worked for roughly two hours, going through position drills and then running plays using an old script. The NFL’s lockout was briefly lifted the following week, so players were able to obtain updated copies of the team’s playbook, which should help preparation.
It also should help the rookies start becoming acclimated to the Redskins’ system. Kerrigan received a playbook during his visit to Redskins Park on April 29 – the day after he was drafted. But the lockout was reinstated later that afternoon, so his fellow rookies didn’t. Quarterback John Beck spent time with rookie wide receiver Leonard Hankerson, throwing pass-routes to the Miami product in San Diego last week. Beck also shared some plays with running back Evan Royster, who was drafted out of Penn State.
The player-led camp won’t be as efficient as coach-run workouts, but they are certainly better than nothing. Coach Mike Shanahan last month praised the initiative of his players for organizing workouts despite the lockout. And last Friday, General Manager Bruce Allen said coaches are eager to work with players, but must wait because rules prohibit the two sides from having contact.
“Our coaches are itching to get the rookies on the field and help them develop into the players that we want them to be, let them learn what Redskins football is, and the sooner we can do that, the better,” Allen said.