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Kerrigan: Mindset Is There, Not Execution


One season after a magical run to the playoffs, the Washington Redskins are standing on the brink of mathematical elimination, needing a miracle turnaround to stay in the hunt.

At 3-8, much has been questioned over the course of the season, as the team has yet to win back-to-back games or a division contest.

Looking for signs of surrender, the media has probed veterans with questions of offseason and next year, a notion that Pro Bowl linebacker Ryan Kerrigan is unwilling to accept.

"We've got to be professionals, whether we're 0-11 or 11-0 or 3-8 like we are, we got to go out there and try to win a football game," he told ESPN 980 this week. "It's still a Sunday Night Football stage and you don't get too many primetime games in the NFL.

"They're a division rival; they've kind of turned their season around so we would love to get a win against them."

Kerrigan's is another voice of confidence that has not shown signs of fracture in the huddle or locker room.

He told the team's flagship station that the team's mindset was the same as last year, but that the team has been unable to execute the gameplan so far this season.

"The mindset has been there it's just the execution that hasn't been," he said. "We played well against the run but [the 49ers] hurt us in the passing game.

"You've got to do it all, you cant just rely on stopping one facet of the game. You've got to do it all; the mindset is there we just haven't executed all of the time."

Over the last five games of the season, the Redskins play three more division games, including two cracks at the New York Giants.

Kerrigan understands that when it comes to division matchups, every team's records and stats can be thrown out the window.

"We're professionals and that is our job is to play football. No matter what our record is we got to go out there and play football," he explained. "We also realize that you only get so many opportunities to play the game each year.

"You only get 16 guaranteed games a year so any opportunity you get to play you got to make the most of. We've got to treat these games like we have every other one and go out there and prepare and try to get a win."

Kerrigan has enjoyed a stout season, collecting 42 tackles, 6.5 sacks, three passes defensed and three forced fumbles over the first 11 games.

In order to best his career marks, he needs 21 tackles, two sacks, five passes defensed and a forced fumble over the final five contests.

"I've got to finish this year strong," he said bluntly. "I have to go out there and continue to work on getting after the quarterback, continue to get more stout in the run game and continue to fine tune my craft each day.

"Every practice rep, every game rep it's another opportunity to better myself and help the team get better. I'm going to treat each rep at practice and in the game like that."

While he can't explain the first 11 games of the season, Kerrigan has faith in his squad for the final five.

"We got five games left and we're going to fight our hardest. That's for sure," he said.




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