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Preston Smith 'Star Struck' By Ryan Kerrigan

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Linebacker Preston Smith looks to be a dominant force on the Redskins defense for years to come. For now, though, he's still a rookie adapting to his new home.

Check out images from the Washington Redskins' OTA practice on Wednesday, May 27, 2015, at Redskins Park in Loudoun County, Va.

So, Tuesday, during the first day of OTA's, it was understandable that Smith was still getting used to the fact that he's playing on a field with NFL athletes.

"It feels good," Smith said. "Sometimes I feel a little star struck. I'm just watching these guys, some of them played last year, now I'm actually on the field with them playing on a team."

By whom is he star struck?

"I think Ryan Kerrigan," he said. "Just seeing him in the meeting room every day, just being star struck by him, he's one of the best in the league at pass rushing and to actually play on the team with him is kind of great."

Kerrigan, who was recently named to the NFL's Top 100 players of 2014, collected 13.5 sacks last season, and looks to be a helpful role model for Smith as he transitions into playing linebacker.

"He's a hard worker," Smith said of Kerrigan. "He's going to come out there and work hard every day and he's going to work and get better for his craft each and every day."

Defense coordinator Joe Barry would be proud that Smith is using Kerrigan's work ethic as something to exemplify. A few weeks ago, Barry mentioned the importance of rookies using veterans as guides to their first several months in the NFL.

"As a young guy coming in, what a great opportunity to have a veteran like a Ryan Kerrigan to look at," Barry said. "When you come into this league, Preston Smith is walking around the building, he doesn't know where to go, he doesn't know what to do. Every team's not like this, in the sense that you have great veteran leadership. And with our team, as I'm finding out with these guys, you've got the Jason Hatchers, you've got the Ryan Kerrigans, you've got the DeAngelo Halls."




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