The anticipation around the Redskins' regular season opener is building, but the players are keeping calm before facing the Steelers in prime time.
With the season opener against the Pittsburgh Steelers only days away now, the Washington Redskins Redskins have their hands full in preparation for a team consistently among the best.
Most NFL players are nervous going into the regular season, but the Redskins are staying above the fray and remaining calm, even if the game will be nationally televised on Monday Night Football.
This applies to linebacker, Ryan Kerrigan, who is relaxed throughout the opening game anticipation.
"There's a lot of anticipation for the first game of the year," said Kerrigan, who is entering his sixth season with the Redskins. "The main thing is focusing on game planning and keeping your mind right."
In addition to getting his mind right, Kerrigan is also rehabbing from the groin injury he suffered during preseason 3 game against the Buffalo Bills, saying he feels "good" about his injury status.
"I rehabbed it well in practice today [Tuesday] with no issues, so I feel good", he said. "I felt good today when we took full speed reps."
Aside from staying calm, the Redskins are feeling confident, especially rookie running back Robert Kelley, who isn't too worried about feeling the difference between preseason and regular season.
In fact, he shared how the veteran players have increased his confidence before the biggest game of his life.
"The vets are just like, 'Just play the way you've been playing and you'll be alright,'" Kelley said. "If someone plays [well] in the preseason, [you are] like, 'Nah, the regular season way different than this.' You tear your confidence up. The veterans don't do stuff like that. They just say, 'Keep playing the way you're playing.' They kind of try to build you up."
With season openers, comes the notion that players believe they have to show and prove their worth.
In an offseason where he received quite a bit of attention following a move from the Carolina Panthers to the Redskins, All-Pro cornerback said all of the outside talk is just "white noise."
He also took tips from international soccer superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic while visiting Paris over the summer on how to just focus on the game.
"I don't feel like I have to do that because I've been doing that since Day 1", Norman said. "I was out there talking to Zlatan and he was telling me something, 'continue to maintain and be yourself and be a giant and continue to attack. No matter what the situation may hold, continue to attack.' That's how I always have been and continue to focus on that and not worry about anything else because -- it's all white noise."
Norman added: "We are focusing on Pittsburgh right now and this is a one-game-at-a-time season right now. We have to really put all of our work and all of our effort into getting better and getting ready for Pittsburgh."