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Posted at 12:31 PM ET, 12/ 9/2010

Orakpo says he'd "love to still play with Haynesworth"

By Dan Steinberg

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."

By Dan Steinberg  | December 9, 2010; 12:31 PM ET
Categories:  Redskins  
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For Orakpo, those "mental things" must include over pursuit on the backside. He's an amazing pass rusher and one of the best young players in the league, but he was one of the main culprits when it comes to being out of position.

Switch to the 3-4 really didn't make sense for this team. It takes time to draft and acquire the right personnel, but it seems like Haslett was pretty stubborn regarding the switch.

Posted by: saltine182 | December 9, 2010 1:58 PM | Report abuse

There is a reason nobody said that. They all know that if Albert comes back, he will do something AGAIN to remind everyone that Albert does what Albert does and nobody controls him except him

Posted by: Bious | December 9, 2010 2:00 PM | Report abuse

The Redskins are never going to be good while Orakpo is in his prime. They should trade him for a first-round pick (ditto Landry) and start over from scratch.

Posted by: drischord | December 9, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

I should amend the above to say MULTIPLE draft picks, including a first-rounder.

Posted by: drischord | December 9, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

AH didn't want to play a 3-4 defense and made his feelings known...too bad he didn't attempt to play the position as best he other players out of position, in time coaches can tell when a player is just not suited for it...but AH never gave it his all...he had his money but no PRIDE...


Posted by: pentagon40 | December 9, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

"For some reason we're losing to teams that, on paper, we're supposed to beat. But that's how the NFL works."

- Brian Orakpo


Huh?! We're not supposed to be beating ANYBODY. Especially not on paper. Actually, we might have a better chance on paper, because on the field, well, that's where we're definitely getting it handed to us.

I don't know what these guys are thinking. We have one of the 3 worst defenses in the league. Yeah, when D Hall gets 4 picks in a game, well, we sail to, what, a 4 point victory?

I'm wondering if maybe part of their problem is they are reading too many of their own press clippings. Maybe they're reading Bizarro News.

Everything I've read says this is one of the worst teams the Redskins have ever fielded. I've even heard that the Zornskins would spank this team soundly. That's bad. Somebody tell Orakpo... "You guys are horrible."

PS - Hey, why dont you go ahead and sack somebody once in a while?

Posted by: Thinker_ | December 10, 2010 3:27 AM | Report abuse

This is over........let's move on and talk about all the other things wrong with the 'skins.

Posted by: RealConservative | December 10, 2010 8:04 AM | Report abuse

The Redskins are never going to be good while Orakpo is in his prime. They should trade him for a first-round pick (ditto Landry) and start over from scratch.

Posted by: drischord | December 9, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

thats probaly one of the most stupid things ive heard lately, seriously.

Posted by: SkinEm1 | December 10, 2010 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Maybe because both Orakpo and Carter benefited from Haynesworth's double teaming last season, the proof was clearly in the sack total for both last season.

Posted by: rlomax67 | December 10, 2010 10:40 AM | Report abuse

I'll respond to Mr. Orakpo on He's an incredible player. But, the last couple comments attributed to him are ridiculous.

Posted by: JHG_sec405 | December 10, 2010 10:48 AM | Report abuse

The Skins defense is in rebuilding mode. It's not going to get better this year and will have to wait for some game-changing offseason moves to improve the unit. The Baltimore Ravens or Pittsburgh Steelers D we're not. It will take several years of acquiring the right players to fill the voids that currently exist. Playing Andre Carter or Orakpo as linebackers is clearly a mistake by Haslett.

Posted by: dc1020008 | December 10, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Shanahan hired Haslett for the 3-4. Shanahan was the stubburn one after watching Pitt and Bmore take peoples head off. We have the SS at the line, the pass rush and MILB, but we do not have a FS, NT or really physical corners that make a 3-4. So, when you have half of a D you get half of the results. When AL played well they did better. One more peiece of the puzzle, but thats over.
There is no reason the SKins couldn't have waited until next year after they drafted the correct personel and signed 3-4 personell from FA. Harris from NYJ is a FA and will be a great addition as well as Hali from KC, but young good NTs are not easy to come by, which is why the Pack waited until they drafted BJ Raja to switch. I guess the team will get used to the 3-4 this year and hopefully have a true NT next year with some legs, but if not do not expect any other results, but midlle of the pack average D (differant than the past 3 yrs when the SKins held teams to les than 20 pts a game with no O what-so-ever).
McNabb wilol be great next year as long as we draft Mallet or Newton. These guys will learn how to be a pro and how to run an offense. Newton showed the world his arm is dangerious and when he runs it looks like he plays down to the college level. Mallet is Big Ben all over again and wouldn't be surprised if Pitt traded Ben for a top 10 pick to try and get him. The SKins have a chance to get WR depth in FA, but lets hope they go with youth and not Moss and VJAX. VJAX would be nice, but Jacoby and James Jones are dying to prove themselves.

Posted by: allens11 | December 10, 2010 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Hey saltine182!

Haslett didn't bring the 3-4 to Washington. Mike Shanahan did and hired Jim to run it.
We'll never know if Jim wanted to switch back to a 4-3 and feature using Albert. He is following the party line and will have to take the blame for coaching a bad idea defense. Seems unfair doesn't it?

Posted by: TKing1 | December 10, 2010 5:54 PM | Report abuse

Wow, Trade Orakpo and Landry? That may be the most stupid idea of all time. Give Orakpo some credit, he gets held on almost every other rush, yet still has 8.5 sacks. Playing with AH for a whole season would inflate those numbers, but AH is an AZZ.
What I don't get is why everyone is jumping ship. It's as if Shanahan traded for AH, drafted DT11 and MK12, and forced London Fletcher and Clinton Portis into aging. STOP BLAMING SHANAHAN! STOP BLAMING SNYDER! If in 2012 we aren't competetive I will jump ship with you, but give it time PLEASE!!!

Posted by: wewbank1 | December 11, 2010 7:14 AM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, a first round draft pick. Multiple picks. Maybe that worked 20 years ago with Eric Dickerson, but today God himself couldn't get a first round pick in a trade.

Posted by: Nemo24601 | December 11, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Just add thought to this mayham. I feel that if you pay a man 100 Million Dollars and tell him that the defense will be ran around himself a year ago. Well why do you bring bring the man in this year with a new scheme and plans that involves everyone besides Al? Now ive been a fan of the Redskins 26 years and they are losing credibility with me. Im trying to be loyal but its hard with being the laughing stock in the nfl. Im beating people with the Skins but in real life I cant see whats the problem. Maybe a receiver here a offensive lineman there. SUPERBOWL!!!!!!

Posted by: laquanda96 | December 12, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

Also I im not a fan of the 3-4 Base defense nor im not a fan of Jim Hasslett. I feel the the Redskins need to fire Hasslett and bring in Phillips. Clea this $h!t up.

Posted by: laquanda96 | December 12, 2010 11:53 AM | Report abuse

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