ASHBURN, Va. (AP) — Ryan Kerrigan nonetheless known as Washington’s facility by its outdated title, despite the fact that he was carrying a shirt bearing the new emblem of the franchise’s rebranding as the Commanders.
That wasn’t the solely reminder of the outdated days that weren’t that way back.
Seeing his outdated teammate at Commanders coaching camp introduced punter Tress Way, the group’s longest-tenured participant, again to the days of Kerrigan flexing after making a sack again when Washington was generally known as the Redskins.
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Kerrigan was the ultimate standout participant beneath the outdated title, and his retirement again in the acquainted burgundy and gold colours marks the finish of that chapter for a franchise attempting to recapture long-lost glory.
“It’s a brand new era of football right here in Washington, and I’m hoping which means so much of wins in the future, some playoff wins — one thing that I sadly did not get to expertise right here,” Kerrigan stated at his retirement information convention Saturday. “I’m simply hoping which means good issues for the staff transferring ahead and a great factor for the guys in the locker room.”
That locker room has modified considerably since the ultimate sport Kerrigan and his teammates performed with the outdated title on Dec. 29, 2019. Just 11 of 91 gamers in camp performed when Washington was the Redskins, a product of Ron Rivera’s roster overhaul since taking up as coach and head of football operations on New Year’s Day 2020.
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Kerrigan, who performed one season for Rivera with what was known as the Washington Football Team the previous two years, is a hyperlink to the group’s previous as a lot as the rest.
“Obviously, Ryan spent most of his time right here beneath the outdated title, however us honoring him as the Commanders I feel simply continues on the legacy of that title and our staff as an entire and simply reveals that we’re nonetheless the identical group of guys , whether or not the title has modified or not,” stated heart Chase Roullier, one of those that have performed beneath all three names in Washington. “There’s so much of cultural modifications, so much of issues which have modified, however we’re nonetheless in a position to honor Ryan as such an essential half of this franchise and what he has performed for us.”
Kerrigan is Washington’s profession sacks chief, though his departure for one ultimate season with Philadelphia additionally gave method to pass-rushers Montez Sweat and Chase Young. Together they have been half of the protection two seasons in the past that ranked second in the NFL on the method to profitable the NFC East and making the playoffs.
Several key items have modified since then, together with Carson Wentz at quarterback, and Kerrigan’s message to the staff was optimistic about its route.
“What’s actually cool is Kerrigan comes out for someday and he is speaking about what he sees simply with us and in the locker room, in the constructing, on the area, and he stated the phrase ‘momentum,'” Way stated. “I’m fairly biased as a result of he is one of my greatest associates, however I’d argue the identical factor. You simply really feel a sure momentum, so it is only a matter of whether or not we will execute and win some video games and maintain that going.”
That’s what Rivera has been tasked to do since being named coach previous to the pandemic and the summer season of 2020, when a nationwide depending on racism in the US prompted the staff to drop the outdated title amid strain from sponsors and after a long time of criticism from Native American teams.
For what it is value, Kerrigan is a fan of the new title. He’s additionally proud to be generally known as one of the ultimate nice Redskins gamers.
“I do know this staff means so much to so much of individuals, and it is one of the older groups, one of the older franchises in the league and had so much of nice gamers come by,” Kerrigan stated. “It’s actually cool.”