Washington Redskins outside linebacker Ryan Kerrigan became just the fifth player in team history to record a second double-sigit sack season.
Following another season of consistent excellence linebacker Ryan Kerrigan was awarded with the 2016 Sam Huff Defensive Player of the Year Award Wednesday at the Redskins Welcome Home Luncheon.
Kerrigan, who led the Redskins in sacks for a third consecutive season with 11 takedowns of the quarterback, remains the cornerstone of the Washington defense. He also forced two fumbles and had two pass deflections to go along with 33 tackles.
The Purdue product dealt with a handful of injuries in 2016 but started every game for a sixth consecutive season. He's now played in all 98 Redskins games, including two playoff contests, since being drafted by the Redskins in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft.
"Yeah, you know, not a lot people talk about Ryan anymore," Redskins head coach Jay Gruden said of Kerrigan during training camp this year. "He's just always there, he's a mainstay for us and he's a very productive player. He's an excellent player against the run, which goes unnoticed sometimes by a lot of people. But he sets the edge extremely well. It's hard to run to his side, and then his pass rush is still pretty darn effective. So, I think he's still going to be a double-digit sack guy for us."
Since entering the league in 2011, Kerrigan has the fifth-most sacks in the NFL, trailing only J.J. Watt, Von Miller, Cameron Wake and Justin Houston. Fittingly, a sack master in his own right – former Redskins defensive end Dexter Manley – was at the luncheon to hand Kerrigan the award.
Manley had four consecutive double-digit sack seasons for the Redskins from 1983-1986, including his career-high 18.5 sacks in 1986 that earned him First-Team All-Pro honors. Kerrigan trails only Manley and Charles Mann on the Redskins all-time franchise sack leader list.
"It's gone really fast," Kerrigan said of his first six years in the NFL. "Just yesterday I was getting drafted it seemed like and playing with guys like London Fletcher and Lorenzo Alexander. Now here I am, the elder statesman of the (outside linebacker) group. But it's cool. It's been fun and hopefully there's many more years to come here."