Kerrigan and Johnson happy to finally be teammates


Every April, when the NFL released the upcoming season’s schedule, Ryan Kerrigan would look for one thing.

Well, actually, two things.

“Whenever the schedule would come out, I’d look at when the two games against Philly were because I knew those were going to be the real battles against (Lane Johnson),” Kerrigan said. “For a guy that big to be able to move like that, you don’t find that that often. It was really cool to battle him all those times, and now we’re on the same side. … It was as tough as I had on the schedule every year.

“He’s a damn good right tackle. I’m glad it was a fun matchup for the fans to watch because that was a tough one to be a part of. That’s a hell of a right tackle over there. … We’d try to beat the hell out of each other during the play, and then after the play it was all respect.

Kerrigan, who signed with the Eagles earlier this week, appeared on the most recent episode of Takeoff with John Clark and not only spoke about Johnson but spoke with Johnson, who also jumped on Clark’s pod to talk about his long-time rival.

Kerrigan and Johnson have battled each other since 2013, Kerrigan’s third season in Washington and Johnson’s rookie year.

“What makes Ryan so good, he’s a smart player so the more he plays you, the more he picks up on you,” Johnson said. “One good thing about it, he gets off the ball quick and he understands getting off the line of scrimmage and once I think this goal is once he sees that tackle turn his shoulders, he’s going to take the path of least resistance and really pry open that inside shoulder.

“He’s beaten me I think a few times around the edge, but a lot of times he gets his pressure if I overset. He’ll pry you open and that’s what he’s been good at. I’ve seen him do that to many people over the years. Yeah, man, it’s one of those players that, you know, when you go up against him you just know it’s going to be a battle, no way around it. I’m glad he’s on my side now. I’m anxious to pick his brain so he can tell me stuff about guys maybe, the rushers, what they’re trying to do against me and maybe I can help him out, too.”

Kerrigan has been one of the NFL’s top edge rushers for a decade, and Johnson has been one of the NFL’s top right tackles.

Kerrigan’s been to four Pro Bowls and Johnson’s been to three.

Kerrigan has 13 1/2 sacks in 19 career games against the Eagles, the 7th-most sacks ever against the Eagles.

He has 8 1/2 in nine games where he didn’t match up with Johnson and five in 10 games where he faced Johnson.

“It was just like, ‘Hey I’ve got to get off the ball and hit him with my best stuff,’ and go from there,” Kerrigan said of facing Johnson. “That was the thing. Whenever we played each other, it was going to be a battle each snap. Neither one of us was going to take a play off because we knew we couldn’t. I knew I couldn’t be slipping against him because if I was, I was going to look bad. It definitely makes you better and I’m hoping that’s the case this year, going against him in practice will make the games a lot easier.”

Kerrigan is Washington’s all-time sack leader with 96, five more than Dexter Manley. But Washington didn’t attempt to sign him in free agency, and he signed a one-year deal with the Eagles on Monday.

Johnson was surprised but relieved Washington let Kerrigan walk.

“I couldn’t (believe it) they let him go, somebody that leads the franchise in sacks and has been the heartbeat of that team for 10 years,” he said. “The NFL’s a business, but like I said I’m glad to have him on my team and I know those are going to be two games he’s really riled up for, so I’m excited for him.”

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