Redskins want more from Brian Orakpo

Getty Images

With 28.5 sacks in his first three seasons, it is safe to say that the Redskins have been happy with what they’ve gotten from linebacker Brian Orakpo.

That doesn’t mean they don’t want more from him, however. Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett wants to see Orakpo wreak even more havoc on the quarterback than he did on that caveman while playing Scrabble. Haslett knows that offenses design ways to limit Orakpo, but he doesn’t think that’s an excuse.

“He’s got to learn, like the other great rushers in the league, the Jared Allens or the [Dwight] Freeneys, they’re always going to have two guys on them,” Haslett said, via Rich Tandler of “He’s not going to get around it and he’s going to have to learn how to beat two guys.”

Orakpo is fully recovered from offseason shoulder surgery, so health shouldn’t be a factor in stopping him from taking another step forward in 2012. It would help if Ryan Kerrigan’s presence on the other side forces offenses to balance their blocking, but Kerrigan’s 7.5 sacks as a rookie didn’t do much to loosen things up for Orakpo.

That may continue to be the case in 2012, but Haslett’s message is clear. There aren’t any excuses for Orakpo jumping into the elite tier of edge pass rushers and leading the Washington defense.

11 responses to “Redskins want more from Brian Orakpo

  1. Seems like he gets held a ton, but to be a top 5 pass rusher, he needs to develop moves to get past that.

    I also think having a healthy Jarvis Jenkins on dline might help as well. The front 7 is looking solid.

  2. So far Orakpo has been more solid than great as a 3-4 pass rusher. However, a lot of that has been to do with the way Haslett has used him.

    One of the reasons Shanahan wanted to use the 3-4 is that is gave more rushing options but Haslett’s scheme almost exclusively had Orakpo line up wide right and rush outside the LT.

    It was only in the last few games of last year that they started to stunt Orakpo inside, rush him from them left or do anything remotely creative. Strangely enough Orakpo suddenly looked like a much better player, particularly in the Eagles game (until he was knocked out by the injury).

    Up until those last few games Haslett had run an incredibly vanilla 3-4. It shouldn’t be a surprise, I have no idea why he was brought in a as 3-4 coach. He didn’t spend that long defensive co-ordinator in Pittsburgh and once he left he spent a decade coaching 4-3 defenses. Including his term as a head coach.

  3. Orakpo is OK, but he might be one of the more overrated players in the league. He certainly creates pressure, but as a Redskins fan, I really hate it when he gets held on his one move (bull rush), and constantly begs for the flag after every play.

    There was a small amount of buzz floating around last year that he was working with some MMA type guys on some hand-swatting techniques, and even more buzz surrounding the fact that Kerrigan would be a great book-end for him, but he was still just kind of invisible a lot of the time. He’s not a huge playmaker, just kind of a guy who will get you the occasional sack(s). He’s also a huge liability against the run. Teams run directly at him and absolutely do not fear him in that regard. Pretty awful in coverage as well.

    I guess my point is that this is his year to really step up and he wants to be one considered one of the better players at his position. Guys like Pierre-Paul and Aldon Smith are already more explosive and create more momentum-changing plays than Orakpo and they’re 2-3 seasons younger. If he continues to just kind of coast at an OK-to-decent level of production and wants to demand huge $$$, unfortunately, I’d say we have to let him walk.

    Still holding out hope, though. The talent is certainly there.

  4. My man’s gotta learn some moves. I’ve only ever seen him take an outside loop. Outside of the Raider game a few years ago, he has never dominated. Teams don’t game plan to stop BO.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!