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Wake Up Washington | Ryan Kerrigan enjoys 'competitive aspect', chance to mentor in new assistant coaching role


Ryan Kerrigan was named the Commanders' assistant defensive line coach on Monday, a move that came after weeks of the former Washington standout shadowing the defensive line at training camp. During the time navigating the transition from player to coach, Kerrigan has relished the opportunity to stay involved in the game he loves.  

"Being in the competition aspect," Kerrigan said. "You can't replace that. You can't replicate that outside of coaching and playing. So, that's definitely been the biggest thing for me is just still having that competitive aspect." 

In delving into coaching, Kerrigan follows a path that many retired pros have made once hanging up the cleats. Having coached the franchise's all-time sack leader just a couple seasons ago, Coach Ron Rivera is uniquely familiar with what Kerrigan can bring in this new role and was excited to bring him on board.  

"The one thing about Ryan is that from the time I got here and watched him in 2020, just how much of a true pro he is. A veteran pro. A guy that does things the right way takes care of himself the right way," Coach Rivera said. "I think that'll be very important to our young guys to learn from his example and his experience." 

Making the switch from player to coach has come with an adjustment to a different kind of workload for Kerrigan.  

"It's just interesting how your mindset shifts. You're used to seeing the schedule, the daily schedule from a player's standpoint and you're like, okay, like practice done at noon," Kerrigan said. "And then it's like, no, practice is done at noon. And you got a meeting at 12:15, and that's gonna go until it's done…it's just seeing the schedule through a different lens has been the biggest thing for me." 

When in player mode, there's more focus on what an individual has to do in the building and on the field every day to get better. There's room for a little bit of selfishness. As a coach though, it's a different story. Processing the change while embracing his strengths, Kerrigan is eager to bring this defensive line group to the next level.   

"It's all about them. It's not about me anymore. That's one of the things Coach Rivera told me as well," Kerrigan said. "When I initially met with him, he's like, coaching is...serving the players. You're of service to the players. And so that's kind of the mindset I'm taking into it."

The 8-month-old English black Labrador retriever is in the midst of training to become a service dog through veterans service organization K9s for Warriors. (Photos by Emilee Fails, Kourtney Carroll, and Joseph Noyes/Washington Commanders)

Here's a morning roundup of what the local and national media have to say about the Washington Commanders on Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2022. All reports, rumors and conjecture are a reflection of the media conversation and are not endorsed or confirmed by the Washington Commanders.

The reports and deals expressed in this article have not been confirmed by Washington, nor do they reflect any insider information from anyone in the front office.

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