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Redskins’ Ryan Kerrigan out, ending consecutive-game streak at 139

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ASHBURN, Va. — Washington Redskins linebacker Ryan Kerrigan won’t play against Carolina on Sunday, snapping his consecutive-game streak at 139.

Kerrigan, who suffered a concussion last week against Detroit, had the NFL’s third longest active consecutive-game streak. Los Angeles Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers has the current longest active streak with 219 games, followed by Baltimore corner Brandon Carr at 187 games. Tampa Bay defensive lineman Ndamukong Suh now is third at 126 games.

Kerrigan, a first-round pick in 2011, had started every game of his career. He has made four Pro Bowls, including the last three. He has only 4.5 sacks this season, but recorded 2.5 in the last two games combined.

The Redskins will start third-year linebacker Ryan Anderson in place of Kerrigan. Rookie Montez Sweat has started every game opposite Kerrigan.

Kerrigan’s durability was tested only once before this week. He broke a bone in his hand in 2015, but the Redskins had a bye the following week and he returned in the ensuing game.

“I can’t even begin to express how much he’s meant to this organization,” Redskins interim coach Bill Callahan said, “what he’s contributed, what he’s meant to his teammates and the type of pro he is day in and day out. He’s a consummate pro. You just watch him around the facility, in the meeting room, on the field. There’s no better example of what a pro should be in the NFL than Ryan Kerrigan.”

Callahan marveled at what Kerrigan has done to stay healthy during his career.

“I’ve never seen a pro that takes care of himself the way he does,” Callahan said. “So diligent in terms of how he prepares, takes care of his body and trains. I mean he is relentless in his training, his regimen and his preparation. I’ve got the utmost respect for everything that Ryan does for us as a Redskin.”

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Who is new Browns GM Andrew Berry? – Cleveland Browns Blog

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The Cleveland Browns are hiring Philadelphia Eagles vice president of football operations Andrew Berry to be their general manager and executive vice president of football operations.

Here’s what you need to know about the Browns’ new GM:

Why Berry?

Owner Jimmy Haslam wanted to hire a general manager who was on the same page with chief strategy officer Paul DePodesta and had the blessing of new head coach Kevin Stefanski. Vikings assistant general manager George Paton, who worked with Stefanski in Minnesota, fit that bill. But when Paton pulled out of the running late last week, Berry was the only other serious candidate that seemed to make sense. Berry, 32, is the youngest general manager in the league, but is regarded as a rising front office star.

What history does Berry have with the Browns?

Before departing for the Eagles, Berry was in Cleveland for three seasons as the Browns’ vice president of personnel from 2016-18, coming over from the Indianapolis Colts after six years as a scout there. Berry initially worked under the analytically-inclined Sashi Brown in Cleveland and was part of the regime that tore down the Browns to acquire draft picks, going 1-31 over two seasons in the process.

How did he do?

With Berry working in the front office under Brown, Cleveland drafted defensive end Myles Garrett with the No. 1 overall pick in 2017, passing on quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes and Deshaun Watson, even though the Browns were in search of a franchise QB at the time.

With the 15th overall pick in 2016, the Browns drafted wide receiver Corey Coleman, who only played two seasons in Cleveland. Even after Brown was replaced with John Dorsey, Berry remained a part of a front office that in the 2018 draft selected starting quarterback Baker Mayfield and cornerback Denzel Ward in the top five in the first round, then Pro Bowl running back Nick Chubb in the second. The Browns also traded for Pro Bowl wide receiver Jarvis Landry.

Berry left for Philadelphia before the 2019 draft and before Cleveland traded for All-Pro wideout Odell Beckham Jr.

What connection does he have to the current regime?

Berry was still with the Browns when they interviewed Stefanski last year before Dorsey hired Freddie Kitchens instead. Berry also worked with DePodesta, with whom he has a similar background. Berry and DePodesta played football at Harvard. Berry started all four years at cornerback for the Crimson and was All-Ivy League three times. Berry, DePodesta and Stefanski (Penn) are all Ivy League graduates.

What does this mean for the Browns?

Two days after firing Dorsey on Dec. 31, Haslam lamented how the Browns had suffered with “arranged marriages” through the years since he bought the team in 2012, with GMs, front office executives and coaches that all didn’t see eye to eye. Most recently, that included DePodesta, who has run Cleveland’s analytics wing, and Dorsey, who came up as a scout. Haslam vowed to seek “alignment” this time around, and that the Browns would hire a GM and a coach who would collaborate well alongside DePodesta and ownership.

The Browns have that alignment in Stefanski, DePodesta and now Berry, who all embrace analytics and seem to be on the same page with the direction the Browns should take the next five years — the lengths of the contracts both Stefanski and Berry will have signed. All three will report to Haslam as equals, too, giving Haslam the setup he’s so desired.

There should be no excuses going forward for a franchise that has talent, but hasn’t been to the playoffs since 2002.

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Mike Zimmer, restructured Vikings switch focus, hire co-defensive coordinators, including his son

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MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Vikings announced a handful of changes to their coaching staff.

Adam Zimmer, coach Mike Zimmer’s son, and Andre Patterson were named co-defensive coordinators Monday and will take over the position held by George Edwards for the past six seasons. Edwards’ contract expired at the end of the season and he was hired by the Dallas Cowboys as a senior defensive assistant last week.

Additionally, Minnesota officially announced Gary Kubiak as its next offensive coordinator after he served as the team’s assistant head coach/offensive adviser upon being hired last season. The change was made last week following the departure of Kevin Stefanski for the Browns head-coaching vacancy.

The Vikings reshuffled other parts of the coaching staff, promoting Andrew Janocko to wide receivers coach and hiring Daronte Jones from Cincinnati as the defensive backs coach and Phil Rauscher from Washington as the assistant offensive line coach. Janocko had served in that role since 2017.

Mike Zimmer has called defensive plays for the Vikings since he was hired in 2014, and it’s unclear how play-calling duties will be divided between the two co-defensive coordinators should the head coach opt to hand off the responsibility for 2020. Adam Zimmer will still oversee the Vikings’ linebackers in his new role, while Patterson will continue to lead the defensive line, a role he’s held since re-joining the franchise six years ago.

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Ex-Browns coach Freddie Kitchens joins Giants as tight ends coach, source says

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EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. — Former Cleveland Browns head coach Freddie Kitchens is joining the New York Giants as their tight ends coach, a source confirmed to ESPN.

Kitchens’ hiring is a move that has been in the works for several weeks, ever since he was fired after a 6-10 season and the Giants named Joe Judge their head coach. In 2004 and ’05, Judge and Kitchens were together at Mississippi State, where Judge was first a player and then a graduate assistant.

Kitchens was the Bulldogs’ tight ends coach in 2004.

“Ultimately, you want to work with guys you have relationships with, professionally and personally,” Judge said last week. “You know what to expect.”

The news of Kitchens joining the Giants was first reported by Fox Sports.

Kitchens is the latest addition to the staff to have head-coaching experience. This could prove valuable considering Judge has never been a head coach at any level.

Offensive coordinator Jason Garrett and Kitchens have been head coaches in the NFL. Garrett had a nine-year stint with the Dallas Cowboys that ended after this season. Kitchens spent one turbulent season in charge of the Browns but has a long history of working with tight ends. He coached tight ends at Mississippi State and for the Cowboys (2006) and the Arizona Cardinals (2007-12).

Outside linebackers coach Bret Bielema and offensive assistant Derek Dooley have also been head coaches, at the college level; Bielema at Wisconsin and Arkansas and Dooley at Louisiana Tech and Tennessee.

Kitchens, who originally came to Cleveland as a running backs coach, took over as offensive coordinator midway through the 2018 season after head coach Hue Jackson was fired. With Kitchens calling plays, quarterback Baker Mayfield thrived and went on to break the NFL rookie record with 27 touchdown passes.

The offensive surge in the second half, propelling the Browns to a 7-8-1 finish, prompted former Browns general manager John Dorsey to make Kitchens his first head-coaching hire in Cleveland, even though Kitchens had never been a head coach at any level. Although the Browns hadn’t won their division in 30 years, expectations for Cleveland ballooned even higher when Dorsey traded for All-Pro wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. from the Giants in the spring.

But with Kitchens still calling plays, the offense never found a groove. Mayfield threw 21 interceptions, the offensive line struggled to protect him, and star wideouts Beckham and Jarvis Landry battled nagging hip injuries.

Cleveland ranked just 22nd in offensive efficiency and scored more than 30 points only twice all season. Meanwhile, without suspended star edge rusher Myles Garrett, the Browns’ defense crumbled down the stretch, surrendering at least 30 points in each of the final three games.

After a loss to the Cincinnati Bengals to close out the year, Kitchens admitted this season failed to meet expectations.

“Six and 10 is not even remotely good enough,” he said. “We’re not running an operation here to try to be 6-10.”

ESPN’s Jake Trotter contributed to this report.

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