“Vodka, whiskey, beer, tequila, more beer, more vodka, more whiskey and more beer,” Redskins linebacker Ryan Kerrigan shouted into an NBC Sports Washington camera as he headed toward the locker room following Washington’s 26-24 win over the 49ers on Sunday.
No, Kerrigan wasn’t listing a few ways for San Francisco fans to drown their sorrows after their winless team’s fifth straight loss by three points or fewer. Kerrigan’s fellow wrestling fans knew that he was channeling his inner “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, right down to the WWE Hall of Famer’s accent. Austin himself loved it.
Kerrigan sacked 49ers quarterback C.J. Beathard on Sunday to bring his season total to 3.5. He celebrated his third-quarter takedown as he has most of his sacks since 2014, stretching out one leg and flexing his biceps — a nod to another wrestling legend, “The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels.
“[Redskins linebacker] Will Compton has been kind of getting in my ear for a while to do the Shawn Michaels from wrestling — the HBK,” Kerrigan explained in 2014 after registering a career-high four sacks and breaking out the celebration against the Jaguars. “All he kept saying was, ‘Hit the HBK, hit the HBK.’ Finally, I did right by him and hit the HBK a couple times. On the second and third ones, when I didn’t do it, he was giving me a bunch of hell on the sidelines, like, ‘Why didn’t you do it? You need to trademark it.’ I’m like, ‘Well, I can’t trademark it, it’s HBK.’ But that’s where it came from. You guys can thank Will Compton for the motivation for that one.”
Kerrigan has since adapted his sack celebration to include a tribute to yet another wrestling great; before hitting the HBK, he gives a thumbs up, just as “Hacksaw” Jim Duggan used to do in the ring.
Ever since the Washington Redskins selected Purdue product Ryan Kerrigan in the first round of the 2011 NFL Draft, the Muncie, Ind., native has been everything the team had hoped for and more in a 16th-overall selection.
He’s been selected to two Pro Bowls, he’s already third in franchise history in career sacks and now he’s started his 100th consecutive game dating back to his regular season debut against the New York Giants on Sept. 11, 2011.
With this milestone, Redskins.com looks back at some of the highlight moments from Kerrigan’s first time in Washington to date.
April 28, 2011: Kerrigan is selected by the Redskins with the 16th pick in the first round of the draft after four standout years at Purdue University.
Sept. 11, 2011: Kerrigan made his NFL debut, starting at outside linebacker against the New York Giants. Early in the third quarter, he got a piece of an Eli Manning pass, hit it up in the air, caught it on its descent and then ran nine yards for a go-ahead pick-six. The Redskins would go on to win the game, 28-14.
Sept. 29, 2011: Following his first month of NFL action, Kerrigan was named Defensive Rookie of the Month for September. In games against the Giants, Cardinals and Cowboys, he recorded seven total tackles, one sack, one forced fumble, one interception and one touchdown.
Nov. 13, 2011: Kerrigan records two sacks, two forced fumbles and five total tackles in a loss to the Dolphins. It was the first multi-sack game of his career as well as the only time he has forced multiple fumbles in a game. The two forced fumbles gave Kerrigan four on the season, which remains the most by a Redskins rookie since 1993, when the statistic was first tracked.
Dec. 18, 2011: In the Redskins’ Week 14 game against the Giants, Kerrigan records a sack, giving him 7.5 on the year. His 7.5 sacks were the second most by a rookie in Redskins history at the time, a mark that has since been passed by Preston Smith in 2015.
Jan. 16, 2012: Kerrigan is named to Pro Football Writers of America’s All-Rookie team after starting in all 16 games in 2011. During his rookie campaign, he tallied 41 total tackles, 7.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, one interception and one touchdown.
Oct. 7, 2012: Kerrigan records the second interception of his career and, once again, brought it back for a touchdown. In the second quarter of the Redskins’ Week 5 matchup against the Falcons, the edge defender got past his blocker and perfectly anticipated a screen pass from quarterback Matt Ryan, catching it in the air and running it back 28 yards to the end zone.
Dec. 9, 2012: In a key game against the Ravens, Kerrigan rushed quarterback Joe Flacco, hit him as he threw and forced an errant pass that was eventually picked off by London Fletcher. The interception came late in the third quarter with the Redskins down 21-17, but they came back to win by a final of 31-28 in overtime.
Dec. 23, 2012: Amidst what would be a seven-game winning streak that vaulted the Redskins into the playoffs, Kerrigan put on a show in the Week 16 matchup against the Eagles. In the 27-20 victory, the Purdue great sacked quarterback Nick Foles twice, forcing a fumble on one of them, and notched five total tackles.
Jan. 20, 2013: Kerrigan was named to his first Pro Bowl as a replacement for Aldon Smith. The selection came after recording 8.5 sacks, 42 total tackles, one interception and one touchdown/
Sept. 9, 2013: In a Week 1 game against the Eagles, Kerrigan notched seven total tackles. He was a force elsewhere, as he also recorded a sack and a forced fumble on the day.
Sept. 29, 2013: Kerrigan collects two more sacks in a win over the Raiders, giving him five in the first four weeks of the season. He also forced a fumble and tallied three total tackles in the game.
Sept. 7, 2014: Kerrigan strips Houston running back Arian Foster inside Washington’s 10-yardline. The Redskins recovered, giving Washington possession early in the 4th quarter while facing an eight-point deficit.
Sept. 14, 2014: Kerrigan sacks Jacksonville Jaguars quarterback Chad Henne four times during Washington’s 41-10 rout. Kerrigan and the defense held Jacksonville to 148 yards and did not let the offense past midfield until near the end of the first half.
Oct. 12, 2014: Kerrigan recorded a season-high nine total tackles against the Arizona Cardinals, helping the Washington defense hold the opponent’s running backs to 74 yards.
Nov. 30, 2014: In his first career NFL game in his home state, Kerrigan forced a fumble on a sack off Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck. Kerrigan would finish the season with a career-high 13.5 sacks.
Dec. 20, 2015: Kerrigan records six solo tackles — his most of the season — and a sack during Washington’s 27-24 victory over the Philadelphia Eagles.
Oct. 11, 2015: Kerrigan sacks Ryan two times and records three solo tackles in Washington’s 25-19 overtime loss against the Falcons.
Nov. 29, 2015: Kerrigan sacks Manning twice and records three solo tackles, along with a tackle for loss, helping the defense contain the Giants’ running game to just 33 yards in a key late-season victory.
Oct. 9, 2016: Kerrigan becomes only the third player in franchise history to record 50 career sacks as he takes down Flacco on the final play of the first half.
Oct. 16, 2016: Kerrigan has his best game of 2016 against the Philadelphia Eagles, recording four total tackles and 2.5 out of the Redskins’ five total sacks.
Nov. 24, 2016: Kerrigan came away with five total tackles against the Dallas Cowboys during the nationally-televised Thanksgiving game.
Dec. 20, 2016: Kerrigan is named to his second career Pro Bowl before capping off the 2016 season with 11 sacks and two fumbles forced. He is only the fifth player in NFL history to open a career with at least 7.5 sacks in each of his first six seasons, joining Jared Allen, Derrick Thomas, DeMarcus Ware and Reggie White.
Sept. 10, 2017: Kerrigan grabbed his first interception of the season, picking off Wentz on Philadelphia’s 24-yardline. Kerrigan returned the interception for a touchdown, scoring the Redskins’ first points of the season. He also notched three total tackles.