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Ryan Kerrigan 'fired up' to join former rival Eagles: 'I really feel wanted there'

The Washington Football Team moved forward without Ryan Kerrigan, the club's all-time sack leader. Its loss is Philadelphia's gain.

The new Eagles pass rusher said his former rivals recruited him heavily during free agency.

"I'm fired up," Kerrigan told the Takeoff with John Clark podcast. "I've been talking to Fletcher Cox and Brandon Graham a good amount. They were really gracious and reached out to me, even when I was just visiting the team and were encouraging me to come on board. That really meant a lot. That was honestly one of the big factors in coming to Philly, along with the defensive scheme, was just guys reaching out. The coaches were reaching out constantly, and that really felt good. I really feel wanted there, and I'm happy to be a part of it."

In his first extended comments since joining his former NFC East rivals, Kerrigan said defensive coordinator Jonathan Gannon's scheme should be the perfect fit.

"I just felt like this was the scheme defensively that I fit in the best of the teams that I was looking at," Kerrigan said. "And coach Gannon, I think, is a really bright young mind as a defensive coordinator, and he's a guy that I feel like I'm going to be able to learn a lot of ball from. I know he's going to put myself and all the other guys in positions that we can be successful."

The 32-year-old Kerrigan joins a defensive line headlined by edge rushers Graham, Derek Barnett and Josh Sweat and interior stalwarts Cox and Javon Hargrave.

With Gannon running a defense for the first time in his career, the former Colts cornerbacks coach was eager to add a veteran presence like Kerrigan to the defensive line rotation.

" I wanted to get Ryan here a lot," Gannon said. "But super excited, the versatility that he brings and the production that he brings. He's got, what, 95, 96, 97 sacks, I think, in his career. He's a hard guy to block. He's extremely intelligent. I'm looking forward to getting our hands on him and working with him."

Kerrigan compiled 95.5 sacks in 10 seasons with Washington. After being a full-time starter his first nine seasons, the club moved him to a rotational role in 2020. The veteran still compiled 5.5 sacks despite limited snaps. It's a role the Eagles envision Kerrigan playing in Philly.

Having played in just three playoff games in his career, Kerrigan is comfortable joining an Eagles squad admittedly in a transition period. The veteran believes the turnaround could happen quickly.

"I think people are pretty quick to forget that the Eagles made the playoffs in three of the past four seasons and just won the Super Bowl a couple years back," he said. "I don't think anybody knows that better than me having played the Eagles all those times. People that want to write off the Eagles, I don't think they're on top of it like they should be."

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