With the start to the 2011-2012 season right around the corner, the Washington Redskins are speeding things up at training camp.

First round draft pick Ryan Kerrigan returned to practice this week after sitting out with a knee injury. The transition to left outside linebacker is still a work in progress for the college defensive end, but Washington linebackers coach Lou Spanos has been working closely with the rookie to get him up to speed.

The rookie missed several on-field assignments in camp this week, prompting a few yelling sessions from Spanos. Kerrigan is expected to start this year, regardless of how he performs in camp, and said his needs are simple.

“Just more coaching,” Kerrigan told sbnation.com. “Being a rookie, and making a position change to outside linebacker, I need all the help and pointers I can get.  We do that every day whenever I’m not on a certain special team, go to the side and furthers my knowledge of the position.”

While Kerrigan was busy getting up to speed, quarterback Rex Grossman was busy making guarantees. The signal caller made news when he promised reporters that the Redskins, who finished 6-10 last season, would win their division this year.

“We’re fine being the sleepers right now,” Grossman told reporters Aug. 9. “You know, we’re just waiting in the wings, ready to take over the NFC East. Nobody’s talking about us. That’s right where we want to be. You look at us from top to bottom out here, there’s a bunch of great players. And we don’t need people saying we’re the best right now, but when it’s all said and done, I really feel like this team’s going to win the East.”

Grossman finds himself in a battle with John Beck for the starting position. Although the race hasn’t been decided, Jason Reid of The Washington Post said he expects Beck to be named the starter regardless of how Grossman performs in the preseason. 


Stephen D. Riley

Special to the AFRO