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Kerrigan's First Practice a Learning Experience

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Rookie linebacker Ryan Kerrigan signed with the Redskins early on Friday morning and was on the field for the start of training camp with his new teammates.

"It was good to get the first practice under my belt," Kerrigan said. "Finally I will have some consistency in my life instead of just wondering when and where the lockout will end."

Kerrigan was the Redskins' top draft pick (16th overall) last April.

He arrives from Purdue, where he was a unanimous All-American after posting 12.5 sacks and leading the nation in tackles for loss and forced fumbles.

Kerrigan joined his fellow rookie draft picks on the practice fields on Friday. All 12 were on hand for the start of camp.

Veteran players such as London Fletcher, Lorenzo Alexander and Brian Orakpo were relied on to help integrate the new faces.

"They're just more mentors right now for us than anything," Kerrigan said about his new teammates. "They know what we're going through. This is a whole different animal from college, high school or anything.

"We know that, and that's one thing that's really going to be a challenge for us rookies -- soaking up a new system and for some of us, a new position."

Kerrigan is one of those players changing positions.

After dominating in college on the Boilermakers' defensive line, Kerrigan is making the switch to outside linebacker in the Redskins' 3-4 scheme.

Brian Orakpo, entering his third season with the team, made the same switch when the Redskins drafted him 13th overall from the University of Texas.

Kerrigan and Orakpo have talked about the similarities of their situations. They should benefit from lining up opposite each other on defense.

"What better guy to learn from?" Kerrigan said of Orakpo, who has made two straight Pro Bowls.

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