Orakpo says he'd "love to still play with Haynesworth"
When Redskins defensive players were asked Wednesday about Albert Haynesworth's departure, they mostly sounded the theme of relief at the situation finally being resolved. I wasn't there, but I read many of the stories, and I can't recall anyone saying they still wanted Haynesworth around.
When Brian Orakpo was asked about the situation on Sirius XM Radio Wednesday afternoon, though, that's sort of what he said.
"I mean, me, personally, I would love to still play with Haynesworth," Orakpo said. "I wanted to finish the season out with him. I wanted him to play every down, in a perfect world, and kinda get a feel of playing with Haynes like we were last year. But the people upstairs and Haynesworth didn't see eye to eye, and obviously something had to give. And they made their decision, and as a team, we have to live with it and roll with the guys we've got now."
Not the most ringing of endorsements. Tim Ryan then asked Orakpo whether players resented the fact that they were sacrificing themselves "for the greater purpose of the team" and that Haynesworth maybe wasn't.
"I mean, I really feel like a lot of guys expressed that and tried to reach out to him," Orakpo said. "We just tried to figure out, what is he thinking, you know, what is in his head, exactly what are your motives? But the thing is with Al, Al is Al. I mean, he's been having the same tendencies in Tennessee. He doesn't change. He doesn't care what anybody says. He doesn't care what the coaches say. I mean, if Shanahan and them just feuding back and forth, they just don't see eye to eye.
"As players, and me being a young guy, when Al comes to play I love the way he plays. The thing is that for some reason, the 3-4, he didn't want to play in the 3-4. So, me being a young guy, knowing that this guy is a perennial Pro Bowl player, you know, it's kind hard to....And I don't want to throw Haynes under the bus or anything like that. We've just got to move on, man, we've got to move on."
Then Orakpo was asked whether anyone ever said to Haynesworth, 'C'mon, just play.'
"Oh man, plenty of times," Orakpo said. "Al is right there by my locker. I'm shooting with him all the time, like ''Let's go man, let's go.' But like I said, the guys upstairs and the whole staff, they just didn't see eye to eye. It really just got out of hand, so we had to part ways. And hopefully we can just bypass it and move on with these next four games."
Orakpo continued to talk optimistically about the future of this retooled 3-4 defense, arguing that the unit will "be real good in the future," and that its biggest issue is mental lapses.
"It's complicated at times; it's something that you have to be well in tune to play in, you have to have the right personnel," he said. "We had different spurts where we played very good, and we have our games where we're just flat-out horrible. So we've got to do a better job of being consistent....
"It's just mental things. We're missing tackles, guys are out of their gaps, trying to make big plays. and that's why we get drugged like that. So it's just more of a consistent thing than just flat-out getting our butts whipped....For some reason we're losing to teams that, on paper, we're supposed to beat. But that's how the NFL works."
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