Ryan Kerrigan and the Double Swipe – 13.5 Sacks

Dec 22, 2014
Samuel Gold


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The former Purdue standout, Ryan Kerrigan has put together an impressive season collecting a team-high 13.5 sacks in 15 games. This post will breakdown how he used a variety of pass rushing moves to record sacks, with the double-swipe as his most notable pass rushing move.

Stats – 13.5 sacks, 8 QB hits, 47 QB Hurries, #3 overall 3-4 outside linebacker in pass rushing productivity according to ProFootballFocus with +12.9 score

Play 1
Situation: 1st and 10 at JAX 43
Description: Q2 – (7:04) (No Huddle) C.Henne sacked at JAX 36 for -7 yards (R. Kerrigan). Penalty on JAX, Illegal Formation, declined.

Henne in singleback formation runs play-action bootleg to the right. Redskins rush four pass rushers with Kerrigan lining up as the left outside linebacker.

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Kerrigan reads the handoff and only momentarilly gets pulled inside on the fake.

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He then angles his pursuit to prevent QB Henne from running further outside of the pocket collecting the sack.

Play 2
Situation: 2nd and 10 at JAX 20
Description: Q3 – (8:24) C.Henne sacked at JAX 15 for -5 yards (R. Kerrigan).

The Redskins rush five pass rushers against Henne in I-formation. Kerrigan lines up wide left on the line of scrimmage.

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Kerrigan takes three steps up the field. RT78 Bradfield steps outside in an attempt to block him on a speed rush around the edge, but Kerrigan wisely cuts inside on his third step taking advantage of the off-balancd Bradfield attempting to seal the edge from a speed rush.

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RT Bradfield attempts to hook Kerrigan with his left arm, but Kerrigan shoves him off.

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He then turns on his speed and chases down Henne for the sack.

Play 3
Situation: 3rd and 15 at JAX 15
Description: Q3 – (7:45) (Shotgun) C.Henne sacked at JAX 8 for -7 yards (R. Kerrigan).

This was the Redskins’ favorite pass rush formation before Orakpo was injured for the season with a torn pectoral muscle. In this formation, Redskins line up their four best pass rushers across the defensive line: LB91 Kerrigan and LB98 Orakpo as the defensive ends, DE97 Hatcher as the 3-tech, and LB93 Murphy as the 1-tech. Normally, NT96 Cofield would occupy the 1-tech in this situation, but he was injured the previous week and wouldn’t return until Week 11 versus Tampa Bay.

Redskins line up with six defenders on the line of scrimmage with Kerrigan outside of RT78 Bradfield. Kerrigan uses the double-swipe to collect the sack.

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Kerrigan takes a hard three steps up the field towards Bradfield and uses both of his hands to swipe away Bradfield’s hands.

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He then uses his speed to get around Bradfield. Bradfield never engages with Kerrigan directly due to the double swipe, so he loses balance trying to extend himself to stay with the Kerrigan.

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Kerrigan gets around the edge of Bradfield using his inside arm to keep Bradfield from hooking him to collect the sack.

Play 4
Situation: 1st and 10 at JAX 27
Description: Q4 – (1:46) (Shotgun) C.Henne sacked at JAX 23 for -4 yards (R. Kerrigan).

Redskins rush four pass rushers against Henne in shotgun. Kerrigan lines up in the 3-tech position on the defensive line and uses the bull jerk to collect the sack.

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Kerrigan takes a hard step toward RG65 Linder. Kerrigan angles his bull-rush against the outside shoulder of RG Linder. This is meant to unbalance the offensive lineman.

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Kerrigan pushes Linder hard into the backfield. At the top of the bull-rush, Linder is too upright in his stance so Kerrigan uses his weight against him and jerks Linder to the side.

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Kerrigan finishes the sack by reaching across Linder with his inside arm to grab Henne.

Play 5
Situation: 1st and 10 at WSH 35
Description: Q2 – (:18) (No Huddle, Shotgun) E.Manning sacked at WAS 40 for -5 yards (R. Kerrigan).

Kerrigan lines up in the left defensive end position in the Redskins favorite pass rushing formation. Unlike Play 3, LB93 Murphy and DT97 Hatcher switched positions to attack the offensive line.

In this play Kerrigan uses the hump move to collect the sack against Manning. The credit for this sack should also go to LB93 Murphy for his pentration against RG77 Jerry.

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Kerrigan uses his hands to push RT67 Pugh’s outside shoulder backwards causing him to become unbalanced. Meanwhile, Murphy speed rushes through the hole between RT Pugh and RG Jerry.

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RG Jerry follows Murphy’s speed rush into the backfield. Manning sees that Murphy has clearly beat RG Jerry, so Manning steps up into the pocket to avoid him.

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Kerrigan cuts inside and has a clear running lane to collect the sack against Manning. Murphy gets credit with the QB hurry, while Kerrigan records the sack.

Play 6
Situation: 3rd and 9 at WSH 39
Description: Q1 – (:36) (Shotgun) R.Wilson sacked at WAS 46 for -7 yards (R. Kerrigan).

Kerrigan lines up in the 3-tech position against RG64 Sweezy. Kerrigan uses a speed rush around the right guard to collect the sack.

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This play is made possible by the free blitzer LB56 Riley who penetrates between LG77 Carpenter and C63 Schilling. QB Wilson sees Riley blitzing through the open hole, so he avoids him moving inside the pocket to the right.

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Kerrigan penetrates the offensive line past RG Sweezy and then raises his arm to prevent Sweezy from grabbing his shoulder. Kerrigan then cuts inside and sacks Wilson trying to escape the pocket.

Watch LB98 Orakpo. He speed rushes around the edge, and then realizes his responsibility is actually to cover the flat and RB24 Lynch. Orakpo abandons his rush and chases down Lynch. Fortunately the pressure by LB Riley up the middle is enough to stop Wilson from seeing this clear mistake by Orakpo.

Play 7
Situation: 3rd and 8 at ARI 48
Description: Q4 – (3:56) (Shotgun) C.Palmer FUMBLES (Aborted) at ARZ 44, and recovers at ARZ 43. C.Palmer sacked at ARZ 41 for -7 yards (sack split by R. Kerrigan and J.Hatcher).

In this play, Kerrigan attempts to speed rush around the edge, but RT70 Massie does a great job stopping him from making progress. QB Palmer fumbles the ball off of the snap so Palmer is never able to fully start his progressions.

DE97 Hatcher eventually penetrates on RG74 Fanaika by shifting left and right to off-balance him. Palmer tries to escape the pocket, but Kerrigan and Hatcher close down for the sack. Really it’s an opportunity sack split by Hatcher and Kerrigan as opposed to a sack created by a technical pass rushing move.

Play 8
Situation: 3rd and 3 at DAL 44
Description: Q2 – (:23) (Shotgun) T.Romo sacked at DAL 32 for -12 yards (R. Kerrigan).

Kerrigan runs a stunt from the left outside through the A-gap between RG70 Martin and C72 Frederick.

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Romo doesn’t see Kerrigan in time to avoid the sack.

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Good play design by the Redskins and great execution by Kerrigan to move around the line without the offensive line picking him up.

Play 9
Situation: 2nd and 10 at SF 44
Description: Q2 – (1:30) (Shotgun) C.Kaepernick sacked at SF 40 for -4 yards (R. Kerrigan).

This is my favorite sack by Kerrigan all season. Kerrigan lines up wide left in the two point stance.

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Kerrigan takes three steps forward and engages with RT71 Martin in the bull rush. Meanwhile, LB93 Murphy speed rushes through the B-gap and pushes Martin from behind.

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Martin becomes unbalanced and Kerrigan bull-jerks him out of the way, while Murphy continues to penetrate the pocket.

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Murphy’s penetration causes the HB and LG to turn and block him out of the pocket, so Kerrigan has a clear running lane towards Kaepernick for the sack.

Amazing teamwork. I’m surprised we don’t see this more often from defensive lineman actually. It’s a very simple play and more teams would benefit from using it.

Play 10
Situation: 1st and 10 at IND 24
Description: Q1 – (14:55) A.Luck sacked at IND 14 for -10 yards (R. Kerrigan). FUMBLES (R. Kerrigan), RECOVERED by WAS-J.Hatcher at IND 15. J.Hatcher to IND 15 for no gain (A.Castonzo).

This sack came on the first play against the Colts.

Kerrigan lines up outside RT78 Cherilus and uses the double-swipe move to collect the sack on QB Luck.

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Kerrigan takes a hard step up the field aiming at the outside shoulder of RT Cherilus. Kerrigan swipes Cherilus’ hands out of the way and speeds around the edge sacking Luck.

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Kerrigan again uses the double-swipe to great effect. On this play, Kerrigan forces the fumble and prevents Luck from recovering it as well.

Play 11
Situation: 2nd and 4 at WSH 4
Description: Q2 – (6:59) S.Hill sacked at WAS 9 for -5 yards (R. Kerrigan). FUMBLES (R. Kerrigan), recovered by SL-T.Mason at WAS 6. T.Mason to WAS 6 for no gain (P.Riley).

Kerrigan speed rushes unimpeded from the outside left for a quick sack on QB Hill. RB27 Mason is supposed to pick up Kerrigan on the blitz pick-up, but Kerrigan is way too fast. Kerrigan strips the ball, and Mason is able to redeem himself by diving on the fumble.

Play 12
Situation: 2nd and 9 at WSH 37
Description: Q2 – (2:00) (Shotgun) S.Hill sacked at WAS 43 for -6 yards (R. Kerrigan).

Kerrigan speed rushes around the edge against RT72 Barksdale. Kerrigan is way too fast for the right tackle as Kerrigan beats him almost immediately off of the snap.

Play 13
Situation: 2nd and 9 at WSH 42
Description: Q3 – (8:56) E.Manning sacked at NYG 46 for -12 yards (R. Kerrigan).

This is the same exact sack as Play 1. Kerrigan reads the fake on the play-action bootleg to the right and takes down Manning almost immediately. Great read on the fake handoff.

Play 14
Situation: 3rd and 14 at WSH 47
Description: Q1 – (11:48) (No Huddle, Shotgun) M.Sanchez sacked at PHI 47 for -6 yards (R. Kerrigan). FUMBLES (R. Kerrigan), RECOVERED by WAS-R. Kerrigan at PHI 47. R. Kerrigan to PHI 47 for no gain (A.Gardner).

Kerrigan lines up outside of RT65 Johnson.

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Kerrigan uses the double swipe to stop Johnson from engaging on him during his speed rush around the edge.

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Johnson gets off-balanced by Kerrigan’s speed rush and his inability to grab Kerrigan, so he misses his block completely following Kerrigan around the edge.

Kerrigan slaps the ball out of QB Sanchez’s hand for the sack-strip-recovery on the play.

Kerrigan has shown throughout his career with Washington that he is their best and most consistent pass rusher. He should be a building block for the Redskins as they look to clean house this off-season getting rid of defensive coordinator Jim Haslett. Based on Kerrigan’s skill set he’d fit nicely as a 4-3 defensive end or in another 3-4 scheme as an outside linebacker.



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About The Author

Samuel Gold
Sam founded NFL Breakdowns after working his way through the journalist farm system and is enjoying life in the big league. Growing up outside of Washington, D.C., Sam didn’t choose the Redskins, the Redskins chose him. Out of a love for the game and an insatiable curiosity to determine why his beloved team was underperforming, Sam turned to studying film in NFL Breakdowns. Follow me @SamuelRGold. For all of Sam's articles: Click Here. Sam is a guest contributor at Upvoted.com by Reddit, InsideThePylon, and RedskinsCapitalConnection.

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