Who is Kenny Ladler?
Welcome back to The Burgundy and Gold Report. After the dust settled from the win at Arizona, the Skins injury report was released. To the dismay of many Redskins’ fans it was announced that fan favorites UDFA rookie Cam Sims and 7th round receiver Trey “Mr. Irrelevant” Quinn would be heading to IR with high ankle injuries. The Redskins moved quickly and re-signed WR Brian Quick who was part of the final preseason cuts and promoted DB Kenny Ladler from the practice squad. Ladler will most likely be activated this Sunday with rookie Troy Apke dealing with a hamstring issues.
Word is defensive back’s coach Torrian Gray pushed for the Skins to keep Ladler on the Redskins’ final 53. The B&G Report has been following the former CFL star and his film shows a player with a non-stop motor. The unfortunate loss of Simms & Quinn could swing the pendulum in favor of the Skins’ defense. Safety depth has been a concern for Washington, so having Ladler is something fans should be excited about. Ladler’s stint in Canada is noteworthy and in the following we’ll discuss his time across the border, as well as the type of contributions we should expect from him.
How Far He’s Come
Kenny Ladler went undrafted out of Vanderbilt University in 2014, which many attribute to his 4.70 sec. 40 yard dash combine time. He’d go on to beat the odds and make the Buffalo Bills 53 man roster that year. Although Ladler would only get activated for two games with the Bills and register 4 total tackles, the experience he gained on special teams would prepare him for his next chapter.
Unfortunately, his time in Buffalo was short lived as he would go onto to sign with the Edmonton Eskimos of the Canadian Football League. Ladler was used more as a linebacker-safety hybrid in the Eskimos defense and showed coaches they could deploy him all over the field. In 2016 Ladler registered 92 tackles, 3 ints, 1forced fumble and a TD. He was elected to the 2017 CFL All Star Game for his accolades. His short stint with the Bills, as well as his time in the CFL, molded Ladler into a tough & greedy defensive back.
What to Expect
Safety Troy Apke was observed working on the practice field with trainers this week as he recovers from a pulled hamstring. Apke is a player that relies on his speed, so his recovery could take longer than expected and should be a game day inactive.
Ladler is a player that’s willing to put in the dirty work and do what’s best for the team. As previously mentioned, the former CFL star must earn his keep on special teams. The special teams unit has been ravaged with injuries, so Ladler’s presence will be a plus on game day.
Ladler has an opportunity in front of him to get activated on game day, but also work as the backup safety. Second year safety Montae Nicholson still needs to prove he can stay healthy. Backup safety Everett’s ceiling is as a special teams standout at best. Ladler’s size (6’1 200) and production in Canada as a linebacker/safety hybrid gives him the upper hand over other backup defensive backs on the roster.
It was telling that Ladler was listed as a defensive back on the Redskins’ depth chart, as opposed to a safety. Coach Gray is fully aware of the versatility that the CFL star brings to the field and his influence will be key for the former CFL standout. Although he was just promoted to the 53 man roster, reports are he knows the playbook inside and out.
The Redskins will be installing different formations to combat Colts’ quarterback Andrew Luck’s ability to throw on the move, as opposed to last week’s quarterback Sam Bradford. With Apke looking doubtful, Ladler’s game day activation seems inevitable, but the question will be how much of an opportunity will he get to play safety?
The talk of Ladler’s lack of straight line speed were some of the same complaints against Skins starting safety DJ Swearinger and the outspoken safety has shown that instincts are key in the NFL. Ladler shows some of the same instincts and who better than to help mold him than the Captain of the defense himself. This Sunday could be Ladler’s chance of a lifetime. He will most likely get his first shot at playing safety in the pros.
Thanks for checking out another B&G Report and stay tuned for the Colts Primer and much more!
Written By Adam Aniba
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