Ryan Kerrigan now stands as the second-leading sack artist in Washington Redskins history.
Selected number 16 overall in the 2011 Draft, Kerrigan came out of Purdue University pegged as versatile run-stopper who could play in both a 3-4 and 4-3 system. He was also known as a strip-sack specialist, leaving the Big Ten as the all-time leader in forced fumbles.
Now he is on the brink of Redskins lore.
With a two-sack performance against the Jacksonville Jaguars, he surpassed Charles Mann (82.0) as the team’s second best pass-rusher with 82.5 sacks for his career.
Known for a lunch-pail mentality, Kerrigan has proven to be a pillar of consistency in a Redskins uniform.
Kerrigan has started every game since arriving in 2011. His best season was 13½ sacks in 2014, but has recorded at least 7 ½ sacks each season prior. With his performance on Sunday, he now has 11 sacks on the season. This marks the fourth-time in his eight year career that he has surpassed the double-digit mark.
The “Heartbreak Kid” broke into the league as member of the 2011 All-Rookie Team and has made the Pro Bowl three times in his career (2012, 2016, 2017).
He is now 8.5 sacks away from holding the crown as the all-time sack leader for the Redskins. If he continues his pace of roughly eight sacks per season, he should pass Dexter Manley at some point during the 2019 season.
It would be remiss to celebrate Kerrigan without tipping the cap to one of the all-time Redskins, Charles Mann.
Standing at 6-6, Mann was chided as rookie for his slight frame. He came into the league as a beanstalk, weighing in around 230 pounds. This was well under the average weight of 270 pounds for lineman of that era.
He was selected in the third round in the 1983 draft, and by his second season he was starting at the left defensive-end position opposite of Dexter Manley. This tandem terrorized the NFC East and it’s opposing quarterbacks for the next six years.
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Altogether, Mann started started 145 of 163 games for the burgundy and gold, reaching a watermark of 14.5 sacks in 1985.
He left the game as a three-time pro bowler and three time Super Bowl Champion. You can also see his name in the Ring of Honor at Fed-Ex Field.
However, “The Secretary of Defense” is the gold standard when it comes to pass rushers in the nation’s capital. It has been 29 years since Dexter Manley graced the burgundy and gold, but old and new fans alike gleam when they reflect on this animal.
Selected in the fifth-round of the 1981 draft, Manley stands as the Redskins all-time leading sack specialist with 91. He also holds the record for the best individual season for a Redskins pass rusher with 18.5 sacks.
Manley was consistent as well. In seven of his 10 NFL seasons, Manley had at least nine sacks.
An enigma off the field, Manley tried the patience of Coach Joe Gibbs. It is well documented that he was illiterate, had struggles financially, and had bouts with drug abuse. In fact, he failed a drug test for a third time in 1989, forcing the team to release him after a league mandated suspension.
But this is also the reason why fans loved him. He was “real”, he was endearing, and his physical prowess left you in awe.
Dexter left the game a two-time Super Bowl champion and was shockingly only a pro bowler once, in 1986. That same year he was a first-team all pro.
Unofficially, Manley has 103.5 sacks for his career. He had six sacks his rookie season in 1981. One year before sacks became an official statistic.
He now patiently waits as Kerrigan approaches his team record. Will Kerrigan break it?