Linebacker Ryan Kerrigan
On the start of the offseason program:
"It was real good. I've been here all offseason, so the weight room's been pretty barren. We only have eight or nine guys here that stay throughout the offseason. Having all 90 here – well, having mostly everybody back – it makes it a lot more fun. Especially to see some of the guys that were injured all of last season and to have them back in the mix, back with the group, just getting to spend time with them was good."
On players that stood out to him during workouts today:
"I thought Adam Hayward looked really good after missing basically all of last season with the exception of a couple preseason games. He looked good. He was doing basically everything we were doing in the weight room, so he didn't seem to have many – if any – restrictions on him. I thought Trent Murphy looked good. He's obviously working with the D-line a little bit more now, but he looked good. He looked big and strong. Guys came back looking like they're in pretty good shape, so that's a good start to the offseason."
On the team's feeling returning after last season:
"I think we're actually hungrier than you are when you come off of a losing season because you got a taste of success, but now we know that we have the ability and we have the team that can get back to the point we were at and take it even further than that. Hopefully we can have a good rest of the offseason and build toward the regular season."
On which players can be vocal leaders this season:
"I'd say probably Kirk [Cousins] would be a good candidate to fill those roles. He's a guy who does things the right way. He leads by example but also he can speak really well, so I imagine he'll fill a lot of that void from an offensive perspective. I think a guy like DeAngelo Hall has always been a vocal leader with us, so I imagine he'll continue to expand his leadership role as well."
On the benefit of having a dedicated coach for outside linebackers in Greg Manusky:
"I mean, it's just the specificity of it, getting individual attention in the meeting rooms, getting individual attention on the practice field. It helps with all the finer aspects of being an outside linebacker. We had that a couple years back with Brian Baker. I thought that was very effective to have a specific coach for that. I'm really excited to work with Coach Manusky. Got to spend a little time with him in the meeting room today. He really is on top of his stuff. He really knows football and wants us to know football, not just know what we have to do but understand why we have to do it and what others around us are doing as a result."
On the areas in which the defense can improve:
"I just think we've got to be more consistent. We had some games last year like the Atlanta game, for example, where we gave up a ton of rushing yards. We also have got to rush the passer more consistently. We had a number of games where we didn't get enough hits or pressures on the quarterback. We've just got to be more consistent, have got to consistently win one-on-one matchups more upfront, make it easier on our guys in the back end."
On the team's 2016 schedule, particular the turnaround from a Sunday night game in Week 11 to a Thanksgiving game in Week 12:
"Yeah, I mean that kind of caught my eye because I would have thought that would have been a 1:00 game since we have to travel. We do have to take a long flight to Dallas for a Thursday game. But at the same time, it's exciting because Green Bay ended our season last year and we get to play them at home on Sunday Night Football so what a perfect time to avenge that loss from last year. Some other things about the schedule, it's exciting to open up on Monday night against a playoff team like the Steelers. It's actually a really exciting schedule coming up this year for us."
On if today felt different with the return of the players that were hurt last season:
"Yeah, absolutely. I think that was probably the most exciting thing was because we did have so many guys that went on IR so early in the season last year, to have them back in the mix being with us now every day is an exciting thing because a lot of these guys were good friends too, like Adam Hayward, Shawn Lauvao. Those guys went on IR so early in the season last year and you don't get to see them as much, so getting to spend time with them this morning in the weight room, in the meeting rooms and just getting them back in the mix is a big thing for us."
On keeping the core of the team intact during free agency:
"Yeah, I think that's what makes this year something to look forward to as well because we have got a lot of continuity, especially on the offensive line. On the offensive side of the ball in general, we're returning most of the same players that we had last year, so I imagine the offensive unit will just continue to improve. The same thing goes for us because we're returning most of the same starters we had from last year. Obviously you're going to miss a guy like Jason Hatcher, Terrance Knighton, guys like that, but at the same time we have got the guys that are going to fill in for those guys like Ziggy Hood, Trent Murphy, guys like that. We've got some continuity and I think that'll be a big thing for us."
On linebacker Junior Galette:
"I've been seeing him all offseason because we've both been here training at Redskins Park and he looks good. I mean, he looks as explosive as ever. He looks strong. He's kept his weight on, which is good because that's always a struggle when you have surgery and you can't train like you normally can. So he's looked good and, I mean, he's still got four months until the season and I imagine by the time the season rolls around he's going to look great."
On how anxious he is to have Galette on the field with him:
"Yeah, it's definitely a very exciting prospect to have because you could tell early in training camp last year that this guy would have been a difference maker for us on the defensive side of the ball and it stunk when he got hurt because any time you have an injury like that to a player like that, it's really hard on your team. But having him out there, it should make us better upfront, better all over the field defensively."
On the importance of attending offseason workouts:
"Ultimately, the season is still months away so it's not a huge deal, but at the same time it is good to be here if you can because this is our job. You get to spend time in the meeting room with the coaches, so there's learning involved. It's not just working out, lifting weights and running; you're laying the groundwork for the playbook for the season. I think there is an importance to it, but at the same time I don't think it's a huge thing if some guys aren't here early in the offseason."
On if there is excitement for General Manager Scot McCloughan's second draft with the team:
"Oh, definitely. You look at our first three draft picks last year, [Matt] Jones, Preston [Smith] and [Brandon] Scherff, those guys were all humongous contributors for us in their first year with us, so it's definitely exciting to know that that was the first draft that Scot had here. I can imagine it's just going to get better."
On if he was pleased or disappointed by attendance:
"No, I wasn't disappointed. We had really good attendance, and the guys that were here were working really hard and that's really all you can ask for."
On if he has noticed any change in quarterback Kirk Cousins:
"He's the same guy – joking around at lunch today – that we've had in his first four years here. If anything, any change that comes from him I think will be a positive one. I'm excited to see him continue to grow and continue to lead this team like he did last year."
On the importance of finalizing his contract extension prior to the season last year:
"It was a big thing. It was obviously a big deal, a very awesome time in my life. But at the same time, I knew I was still under contract for the 2015 season, so my mentality wouldn't have been different had I gotten an extension or not. I knew I still needed to go out and perform whether I had gotten the extension or just had the one year left on my deal. Different guys handle it differently, but that was my approach to it."