Ryan Kerrigan helping out at Commanders camp, ‘getting a feel’ for coaching

Kerrigan 'getting a feel' for coaching at Commanders camp originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington

ASHBURN, Va. — During his retirement press conference Saturday morning, Washington Commanders all-time sack leader Ryan Kerrigan made it clear that while he no longer will be strapping on the pads, he hopes to remain involved in football moving forward.

“I wanna stay in football, so I’m excited to find out where football is gonna take me next,” Kerrigan said Saturday. “Coaching is something I want to explore because I just feel like I love the environment too much. I love the football building environment. I love being around the guys too much. And I love being able to impart some of the things I’ve learned over the past 11 years on people.”

Well, it didn’t take long for Kerrigan to get his first taste of the coaching world.

When the Commanders returned to practice on Monday following an off day Sunday, Kerrigan was back on the sidelines sporting Washington colors. During team drills, Kerrigan was front and center next to the defensive unit.

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After practice, head coach Ron Rivera said that Kerrigan is going to stick around for a few weeks to get a true sense if coaching is something the four-time Pro Bowler wants to get into.

“Ryan came and specifically talked about wanting to see if coaching is something that’s possible in the future,” Rivera said. “And so we say, ‘Hey, look, let’s put together a little bit of an idea, give you a couple weeks to kind of go through it, see what the grind is all about, see if it works for you.”

Rivera understands directly how Kerrigan is feeling, as Washington’s head coach played in the NFL for nine seasons. Once Rivera retired, he said it took him a year and a half before he decided to enter the coaching world. It’s a tough transition and Rivera wants to make sure it’s something Kerrigan truly wants to do.

It doesn’t sound like Kerrigan wants a break between transitioning from player to coach, however. During his press conference on Saturday, he made it clear he hopes to stay in football in the near term. 

“I’m a worker. I like to be busy. I like to work,” Kerrigan said. “I’ve been at home for like five weeks now when I made the decision. I think those four are ready for me to be outta the house a little bit. Yeah. I definitely want to get to something. I love football too much. I just love football too much to not be involved in it in any capacity. And so that’s, that’s what I’m, I’m hoping to do.”

During his final season in Washington in 2020, Kerrigan was the veteran in the defensive line room full of first-round picks. Kerrigan made a lasting impact on the unit during that season, as Chase Young, Montez Sweat, Jonathan Allen and others have all spoken at length about No. 91’s impact on and off the field.

Kerrigan enjoyed playing that veteran role towards the end of his career and believes that’s another reason why coaching could be in his future.

“One of the cooler things the past two years is that being an elder statesmen, guys wanna learn,” Kerrigan said. “They come up and they’re like, ‘Hey, what do you see here? What do you see here? What do you do to help you with this?’ And it’s been cool to be able to pass that on to guys. And so that’s something I wanna explore further. I wanna stay in football in some capacity. I think coaching would be a good route.”

Kerrigan spent Monday’s practice largely working with the defensive ends. But for now, he doesn’t have a coaching title with the Commanders. Rivera wants to use the next few weeks as a trial period to see how Kerrigan fits in. Then, they’ll go from there.

“He wanted to get a feel for [coaching],” Rivera said. “We’re gonna give him a couple of weeks and then we’ll reassess, reevaluate and see where he is.”

This article was written by WTOP’s news partner, NBC Sports Washington. Sign up for NBC Sports Washington’s free email subscription today.

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