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Redskins-Jets game: Some questions about the 3-4 and how Brian Orakpo is being used

The Redskins' starting defense played a half of football against the Jets that led me to believe that it would have resulted in a Washington victory in most games. But I must add that it's difficult to say for sure, because Mark Sanchez is not a world beater just yet. So some of the bending but not breaking moments for the Redskins defense may have had more to do with the youth of the New York quarterback than it did with its performance.

Growing up in Pittsburgh watching the 3-4 defense of the Pittsburgh Steelers for so many years, I believe I know something about the 3-4 and, more importantly, linebacker play in this scheme. As I observed the way Brian Orakpo and Andre Carter were used Friday night, I could not help but notice some differences. So I started to compare those Steelers' defenses and this year's Washington unit and how they execute the scheme.

The first comparison that jumped out at me right away was how Jim Haslett, who I might add was a Steelers defensive coach at one time, switched Orakpo and Carter from side to side. Historically, linebackers in a 3-4 scheme are fixtures on one side. It made me wonder why they are moving them back and forth.

I always figured that your side of the defense is your side for these reasons: One is mastering your stance. It is so important to be comfortable and stable in your pre-snap alignment, comfortable and stable so that there is no indication of whether you are going to drop back in pass coverage or rush the quarterback. Also, it is easier to know your defensive responsibilities -- meaning every pass drop will be in the same direction, every pass rush will be from the same place. The consistency of the scheme is the reason why blitzing out of it is so successful. It's also the reason why it leads to so many interceptions. It's very difficult for quarterbacks and centers to get-pre snap reads, thus creating confusion, which obviously leads to offensive mistakes.

By moving Orakpo from side to side, Haslett is giving the offense an opportunity to identify the defense's tendencies -- which gives the offense an added advantage in identifying blitzes or pass coverages. But also keep in mind that Orakpo is still learning to be a linebacker in the NFL. So I'm wondering why Haslett is not simplifying the defense for him as much as possible.

Although there is a whole lot of movement by safeties in a 3-4, you do not see much movement by the linemen or linebackers that are on the ball. On third downs, Orakpo was used as an "X" backer -- which is a roaming player who chooses where he wants to pressure from. This is historically done by the strong safety, not your linebacker. If you watch the Steelers, you will see safety Troy Polamalu run down into the box, picking his gap as the ball is snapped. Makes me wonder why Laron Landry isn't doing this.

Orakpo seemed to carry out his responsibilities on a consistent basis and he made some good plays, but I could not help but think that if Haslett were playing the Redskins in a traditional style of the 3-4 defense, Orakpo along with the rest of the defense would benefit more.

By LaVar Arrington  |  August 28, 2010; 10:47 AM ET
 
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Comments

I have to agree with LaVar. While teammates and coaches always praise Rak, we've seldom heard his name called during these preseason games, while players like Chris Wilson stand out (albeit against backups). I wonder how much of this is due to "vanilla" play calling on Haslett's part. Hard to tell.

Posted by: John_Keats | August 28, 2010 2:45 PM | Report abuse

Either way, Orakpo is a stud, and I think we can be confident that the staff will put him in a position to make plays. I also think adding fat Al will make this defense much more formidable than the unit we've seen so far!

Posted by: John_Keats | August 28, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse

hard to argue with LA's insight and experience on this topic. awesome post. but surely there are some advantages to making the OLBs interchangeable? keep the tackles guessing? flexibility in case of injury?

Posted by: bcarothers | August 28, 2010 2:55 PM | Report abuse

Isn't some of this a result of it just being preseason? One part "Vanilla Def" and one part confusing those who are studying the team and one part just trying different things to see what may work? Just because we see something now doesn't mean we'll see it in Dallas in a few weeks...

Posted by: HustlerofCulture | August 28, 2010 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Gee...I didn`t know LaVar was considered more of an expert on defense in general, and
the 3-4 in particular. A modification to an old saying would read something like:
THOSE WHO CAN`T COACH CRITICIZE.

Come on...this is pre-season. This is when coaches experiment with different concepts to see what will work and what will not. Some of these experiments need to be conducted under game conditions.
Another thought would be that in case of injury to one linebacker..another first string backer..knows how to play the opposite side
Hate to say it but LaVar ..considering where he was drafted.. was a bust..during his career. So..how does he get to be critical of a highly regarded defensive coordinator?

Posted by: blazerguy234 | August 28, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

i smell a come back in la's futere... rak and la!!!

Posted by: jimmy_the_crickett | August 28, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse

very astute observation on la's part... i also believe that chris wilson is better suited opposite rak than carter and alexander...

Posted by: jimmy_the_crickett | August 28, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Im with you not sure 3 4 is the answer...defense was not broke so why fix it? Offense actually looks like it can score and not as predictable as last year. As for the team I think its pretty obvious that the Redskins are now well coached and that is totally positive. As a fan I don't have to worry about the play calling and the QB execution....better football to come!

Posted by: LongTimeSkinsFan | August 28, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

LaVar,

Congratulations! I'll never forget the hit on Danny White and the energy you brought on every play!

When Don and Mike were let go from 106.7, I was a little disappointed, but when I found that you were on the Fan, I was intrigued. Then, you explained your perspective on how your relationship with the Skins had soured, and I became interested. The energy you bring every day and force of character, and your interactions with Chad, Blue Shorts, your guests, and your callers hooked me. As a fan of the format change, I'm happy for your success. Change evidently has worked for you.

As a student of the game, you make several interesting observations about the benefits of directional specialization as a mask for defensive tendencies. Now, let me pose a few questions to you. Have you had an opportunity to discuss with Coach Hazlett why he might move players from side to side? Do you know of any examples of defenses in the past that have enjoyed success while employing these kinds of shifts? How have your own personal experiences about shifting personnel to different positions affected your views? What kinds of conversations have you had with offensive coaches about how they recognize tendencies based on personnel shifts?

Your personal connections to many the people involved makes the issue you've raised so incredibly insightful.

There will always be some conflict whenever a scheme is changed -- Haynesworth is probably not the only person unhappy about the scheme change. What I like from what I've heard so far is the increase in the number of turnovers that have been generated. What concerns me is the way LT and the Jets seems to have exploited confusion in gap assignments -- how long will it take for players to learn their assignments? Is it possible that the coaches are using personnel shifts during the preseason as a temporary matter as part of the evaluation process? How do you feel about a right side of Haynesworth and Orakpo?

Looking forward to more of your insights!

Posted by: dannykurland1 | August 28, 2010 4:00 PM | Report abuse

i smell a come back in la's futere... rak and la!!!

Posted by: jimmy_the_crickett | August 28, 2010 3:51 PM | Report abuse


LaVar is done....

Posted by: 15600_sknfan | August 28, 2010 4:20 PM | Report abuse

Lavar!

Hey man it's preseason, don't put so much in these games.

I think it's good the Skins are moving Orakpo around, but I think I saw more last night the were using him from the right side next to Fat Al.

I think when the season starts that's where you will see him at more often then not. I think the more obvious question is how long until they bench Carter on the left side???

He really sucks over there. :(

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | August 28, 2010 4:59 PM | Report abuse

I don't think the 'it's preseason' excuse matters anymore. I think consistent play is what matters. You play the way you practice and we've been noticing that AC overplays and OSackpo seems out of position...

Now we have a former pro saying similiar but somehow we amateurs are more knowledgeable??

Not liking LA is a dumb reason to discount what he says without checking its validity.

Posted by: kahlua87 | August 28, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

My concern is the run defense. It appears that the other teams are taking advantage of the Redskins' over-aggressiveness. Also, this group is not tackling very well near the line of scrimmage and the secondary is getting exposed way too often.

Posted by: JohnWWW | August 28, 2010 5:20 PM | Report abuse

KAHLUA87 I could not agree more. If anything in practice you would practice consitency in an effort to learn new schemes so you won't have to think before you act. Nothing magical happens when the season starts. You can gameplan all day, but if your players are not comfortable or clear on what their assignments are - it is not going to look any different than it does now. The O'line is not going to block better, the QB is not going to be more accurate, receivers are still going to drop balls, etc... None of these things change because you "gameplan" when the season starts. A lot of these posters drink double doses of the Koolaid. I thin mine with vodka. HTTR

Posted by: SPUD2 | August 28, 2010 5:33 PM | Report abuse

I'd have to think that part of it has to do with Haslet's approach to the preseason. I agree, the LB's shouldn't be moving around, you don't see this in Pittsburgh or Chicago where they play successful 3-4, but there may be a method to this preseason madness. I would love to see Landry up near the line more. The guy is a stud a hard hitter. Wish we had you in this defense, LaVar!

Posted by: manwray | August 28, 2010 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Lavar, i respect you and respect what you have done for the skins however, your analysis is flawed because our stud on the defense is not rack but it is fat Al, Carter,rack and Hall. I realize that you will never recognize redskins as credible organization because of your personal issues. Coach Haz. has done this many times before and he is a genious in coming up with defenses that are simply amazing . His system is about getting takeaways and not about sacks.....

Posted by: mazbar | August 28, 2010 7:22 PM | Report abuse

Lavar is a bum, who shouldn't criticize anything. I mean Rak had the same amount of LA s career best sacks (11) in his first year as a rookie and he was drafted 11 spots later! I like to take this time to criticize Lavar. Where were his coverage skills? Shockey would abuse him play in and play out, not to mention his over aggressiveness by over running plays constantly. He's never played in a 3-4 and compared his expertise to watching the steelers play a 3-4 while growing up...I guess I am an expert on the 4-3 since I watched the skins play a 4-3 ever since I can remember being a child.

In all this is the preseason, so why not try some things out and see how it goes. LA has no connection with the skins now so he has no idea what they are going to do, and its not like they are going to tell him is he did. Also wouldn't it make more sense to line Rak all over the field, because who says he has to blitz on every play they, it could be used as a disguise, but someone that was a bust in the NFL probably wouldn't know anything about that.

Posted by: Joker99z | August 28, 2010 7:40 PM | Report abuse

LaVar I love your insight but work on your writing!
"that led me to believe that it would have"
you could have used far fewer words, just say "I think"
You must have the same editor as Dan Steinberg. Don't worry it's still preseason.

Posted by: ZeroHero0 | August 28, 2010 7:45 PM | Report abuse

every down Orakpo is covering a TE in space is a down not utilizing him to the best of his abilities. Sure, he probably CAN do it...but this kid is a special pass rusher. Watch how many times he's held during these preseason games! The refs allow it 'cause it's good policy to protect qb's at this time, but in the reg season he'd be amassing sacks or penalties.

4-3, 3-4, WHATEVER....good coaches will have this kid pressuring the qb as much as possible, he'll be one of the leagues elite pass rushers if utilized properly

Posted by: divi3 | August 28, 2010 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Nice take LaVar! Like the former player perspective and then the coach potato's claiming LaVar's opinion is whacked. Now that is funny. I will just add it is preseason so I take most anything I see now with a grain of salt.

As far as LaVar being a bust, ummm, is Strasburg a bust??? We are talking a top notch talent that got wasted by a bad team/organization and then quickly thereafter done in by injuries. For 2/3 seasons, LaVar was one of the most electrifying defensive players to watch in the entire league. Goes to show, HOF caliber careers do involve some luck when it comes to health and winning.

Posted by: rphilli721 | August 28, 2010 9:22 PM | Report abuse

No way he wrote this.

Posted by: MKadyman | August 28, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

LAVAR,

Your opinions on defense do not matter. You never seemed to know your assignment and played out of control, constanly over-persuing. Under Marvin Lewis you had one good year, deserving of the Pro Bowl. The other selections were based on your name. Remember in San Fran when you whiffed on TO (because you were out of control) and I believe he scored and was the reason we lost the game. Please don't comment on what's best for the defense. Still love your passion, though. Wish you could of lived up to the hype. So much wasted potential/talent- injuries didn't help.

Posted by: matthewrayman | August 28, 2010 9:46 PM | Report abuse

LaVar,

Good observations... not because I agree with them but because it was well articulated. I don't care what anyone says, it will take some time for the guys to get used to the 3-4 alignment. Gap control (containment) is still a problem. I hope they are able to adjust before the lose more games than they win.

Posted by: samiismoni14 | August 28, 2010 10:37 PM | Report abuse

you have got to be kidding me. Here's a guy commenting on a 3-4 D, when he never played it in his life. In fact, it was never clear what LaVar was playing on the Skins - The Skins were playing a 4-3, but LaVar was playing a "whateverIwanttoplay" defense, which is why he was unceremoniously benched his last year here. the only film he watched was HBO.

Posted by: goosey | August 28, 2010 11:28 PM | Report abuse

This is just sad. I used to love LaVar. Still do but within reason. I wore only his jersey to games for a while. But, he should be commenting on JoePa's defense, not the Redskins. It pains me to say it but he is only qualified to comment on college play. He was a problem here and is not an expert on the professional game. Go away.

Posted by: MDterpfan | August 28, 2010 11:44 PM | Report abuse

There seems to be a misconception that LA has some sort of connection with the skins players or with their coaching staff. This is not true, LA even talks about his lack of connection in his radio show. Washington post must be really hurting for good writers because first we have J.Reed and now LA......Can we say that we will not be getting any more analysis during the football season.

Posted by: mazbar | August 28, 2010 11:53 PM | Report abuse

Wow !

Lavar had an opinion and everyones calling him a hater. He gave an opinion based on what he saw. I applaude you LA for your insight.

Posted by: specialg7master | August 29, 2010 12:22 AM | Report abuse

4-3 to 3-4 for the first time in Redskins history. Of course there's going to be a lot of experimenting and finding what works before settling down for the regular season.

As for LaRon Landry, I think he needs to get acclimated with the strong safety position after playing the FS for 3 years. I believe he'll be more involved in blitz packages later this year.

Posted by: RedCherokee | August 29, 2010 2:17 AM | Report abuse

Funny how some people have no perspective whatsoever. LaVar was a pro-bowl LB for multiple seasons in the NFL. Approximately 5.8% of HS football players in the entire country play NCAA football. Of all the NCAA football players in the draft pool each year, approximately 1.8% get drafted by an NFL team. Taken further, it's obvious that the percentage that make Pro Bowls is slimmer still. So, LaVar was easily in the top .05% percentile in his chosen endeavor at his peak. How many posting the here can say the same??? Zero...

I personally like an ex-players perspective especially one that is not so cozy with the team.

Posted by: rphilli721 | August 29, 2010 2:23 AM | Report abuse

Articulate, considerate, thoughtful, writing. I was able to learn some detail of what occurred with the linebackers during the last ps game, and I'd read another of his columns in a second to learn more. LA clearly has the observational and writing skills to make a fine columnist, and now he just needs to decide whether to report or opine on what he sees.

Posted by: triplebonk | August 29, 2010 6:21 AM | Report abuse

I'm no expert on NFL def, so i tend to listen to guys who did it more than dudes who did not. Reading some of these comments, I can't help but think that the same critics were wearing your jersey and cheering you back in 2000- 2003.
As Ye' said 'if they hate, then let'em hate and watch the money pile up'.
Thanks LA, I learned something that I didn't know.

Posted by: priceisright | August 29, 2010 7:27 AM | Report abuse

Hate to say it but LaVar ..considering where he was drafted.. was a bust..during his career. So..how does he get to be critical of a highly regarded defensive coordinator?
Posted by: blazerguy234 | August 28, 2010 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Well said, I couldn't agree more --- totally overated and under performer.

Posted by: bestmick1 | August 29, 2010 8:08 AM | Report abuse

This is very insightful and something I've never seen before in the Post. Getting into the nitty gritty of the Xs and Os is pretty cool.

Posted by: nativedc | August 29, 2010 8:16 AM | Report abuse

Although I did think LaVar was a beast and thought (and hoped) he was going to dominate the NFL for years, it did not happen. I do consider him a bust for a 2nd overall pick but due mostly to injury. He did take out Troy Aikman which will always hold a special place in my heart. Like someone said in your initial post, show some humility. We can all make it just fine without you.

That being said (and I am far from an expert) didn't a guy named Lawrence Taylor have a pretty good career moving from side to side. I think he caused some trouble and confusion for offences not knowing where he was going to line up. Maybe he didn't do it as much as I think I remember. Did he?? Rak has played only 1 season and has had a great start to his career (not comparing to LT by any means) but I think HAS is on the right track by trying this stuff out in preseason and hopefully it works out when it counts. We must shore up this run D if we want to win some games this year though. HTTR!!!

Posted by: tnand | August 29, 2010 8:24 AM | Report abuse

Wow people,

Get over yesterday already. Why all the comments on LaVar's football career??? That's over and done with. If you hate his analysis, fine, but its kinda ridiculous to use his blog as an opportunity to call him a bust. BTW, I always associated the word "bust" with people who couldn't play, not with people who got injured.

Posted by: ndickover | August 29, 2010 9:06 AM | Report abuse

Sorry LaVar but you opinion holds no water with me. Some of the stunts you pulled in DC left a bad taste in most of our mouths and will never be forgotten-like the time we were preparing for a playoff game and you started crying to the media about your future with the team. You were a complete bust and are an ego maniac and this is all coming from a PSU alum/Redskin fan. Hopefully you will further mature but after listening to your radio show once I see no evidence of that happening.

Posted by: sjp879 | August 29, 2010 9:07 AM | Report abuse

LA - Good insightful analysis of different ways to play the 3-4. Since the 3-4 comes in many varieties as does the 4-3, Nickel, etc., this may be Haslett's application based on personnel and vision - takeaways versus sacks. Since the QB is much more protected this year, it makes sense to pressure the QB but not hit him. So if they can generate enough pressure the 3-4 should deliver more turnovers. It's just a different variety of 3-4 and I think it will be successful if the players can make it happen on the field.

BTW - you DO have a great show at 106.7 as does BMitch - I'm tired of the Andy Poley and Steve Zaben over at 980 AM - lousy signal as well, and love the freshness of your show. Keep up the good analysis and hope to see more of it in the WaPo as well.

Posted by: bfjam | August 29, 2010 9:55 AM | Report abuse

First off to comment about Lavar hitting Danny White? Your a decade off buddy. Secondly, Lavar was a great athelete but never a great player. The thought of him commenting on how to properly play in a defense is a bit funny only because the main complaint about him was that he could never properly adjust to a defense that asked him to cover and play to an asignment. He wanted to be more of a free-lancer! Kind of funny that he would call out others that are now doing the same thing he use to do.

Posted by: dalzl81 | August 29, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

I guess a few people prefer criticism from people who never played the game and are just blow hards. As far as Lavar's career I don't know when it became that much of a disappointment. He was on the field producing at a high level. The FO leaked out some propaganda that he didn't do this and that, and some people took it face value with out considering the context.

My opinion is Lavar had some very good years with some great moments, under a very unstable environment. He got hurt and he couldn't make up for it later under a stable environment.

As far as his take, I respect it. It's a LB's take on the LB position. I think all he is saying is he'd prefer stability over experiment, for the sake of the LBs. The LBs stay to one side to ease them in instead of create confusion. Maybe Haslett is trying to figure out which side is better overall, or maybe he does want to move them around. It's up to Haslett, but for everything a coach does there's strengths and weaknesses. Lavar is just highlighting one.

If you don't like a LB's take I guess there's always Adam Schefter, Jay Glazer, and Jim Rome.

Posted by: Eman8 | August 29, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

why would anyone care what Lavar thinks anyway ? just asking

Posted by: talisman2008 | August 29, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

This first guy is dead on the other is off

First off to comment about Lavar hitting Danny White? Your a decade off buddy. Secondly, Lavar was a great athelete but never a great player. The thought of him commenting on how to properly play in a defense is a bit funny only because the main complaint about him was that he could never properly adjust to a defense that asked him to cover and play to an asignment. He wanted to be more of a free-lancer! Kind of funny that he would call out others that are now doing the same thing he use to do.

Posted by: dalzl81 | August 29, 2010 11:26 AM | Report abuse

I guess a few people prefer criticism from people who never played the game and are just blow hards. As far as Lavar's career I don't know when it became that much of a disappointment. He was on the field producing at a high level. The FO leaked out some propaganda that he didn't do this and that, and some people took it face value with out considering the context.

My opinion is Lavar had some very good years with some great moments, under a very unstable environment. He got hurt and he couldn't make up for it later under a stable environment.

As far as his take, I respect it. It's a LB's take on the LB position. I think all he is saying is he'd prefer stability over experiment, for the sake of the LBs. The LBs stay to one side to ease them in instead of create confusion. Maybe Haslett is trying to figure out which side is better overall, or maybe he does want to move them around. It's up to Haslett, but for everything a coach does there's strengths and weaknesses. Lavar is just highlighting one.

If you don't like a LB's take I guess there's always Adam Schefter, Jay Glazer, and Jim Rome.

Posted by: Eman8 | August 29, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse


What everyone is laughing or complaining about is the fact LA says the defense needs more stability and Rak needs to play on one side is a joke because the guy never had any discipline himself so if you are saying he needs to be on one side why the hell were you running around the field like a chicken with your head cut off 90% of the time. Its funny to see him criticize a defense he never played in! I don't claim to be an expert because I watch a lot of football which would be a joke if I said that. His only knowledge of knowing the 3-4 is that he watched it a lot as a kid growing up which when you are younger you won't have a total grasp of something, and lets face it when you watch a game you watch where the ball is moving for the most part not where guys are lining up on the field on d.

Posted by: Joker99z | August 29, 2010 12:28 PM | Report abuse

LaVar's post is quite insightful. Comments reflect how articulate he his -- keep up the good work!

Posted by: ntlekt | August 29, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

"As far as his take, I respect it."

Me too.

Too many armchair QB's on here. Wouldn't be surprised if it was some of Danny Boy's "yes" men.

"Some of the stunts you pulled in DC left a bad taste in most of our mouths.."

Speak for yourself please, thanks!

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | August 29, 2010 12:38 PM | Report abuse

Its freaking preseason why would Haslett show his cards? I will say this Chris Wilson shuld be starting ahead of Andre Carter...

Posted by: BeatDontStop | August 29, 2010 12:44 PM | Report abuse

great read and good insight very impressive

Posted by: teddywjohns | August 29, 2010 1:36 PM | Report abuse

Ray i think you are a cowboy fan. IF you were a die hard Redskin fan you would agree that the perspective brought in here is so true. I do not like snyder but i am not a no men like LA. everything that Redskins do is scrunized and criticized by LA and his side kick not only on his radio show but now in the article. He is entitled to his opinion but common men he was not a GREAT REDSKIN PLAYER, get a perspective...

Posted by: mazbar | August 29, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

They lost me when Andre Carter became LB!

Skins will be bad this year especially in 4qt.

Just don't have the talent in LB for 3-4.

Posted by: SOLVBACK | August 29, 2010 2:14 PM | Report abuse

"Offense actually looks like it can score and not as predictable as last year. As for the team I think its pretty obvious that the Redskins are now well coached and that is totally positive. As a fan I don't have to worry about the play calling and the QB execution....better football to come!"
-------------------------------------------
Guess you haven't looked at the running game ?

Posted by: petebowling1 | August 29, 2010 4:38 PM | Report abuse

What everyone is laughing or complaining about is the fact LA says the defense needs more stability and Rak needs to play on one side is a joke because the guy never had any discipline himself so if you are saying he needs to be on one side why the hell were you running around the field like a chicken with your head cut off 90% of the time. Its funny to see him criticize a defense he never played in! I don't claim to be an expert because I watch a lot of football which would be a joke if I said that. His only knowledge of knowing the 3-4 is that he watched it a lot as a kid growing up which when you are younger you won't have a total grasp of something, and lets face it when you watch a game you watch where the ball is moving for the most part not where guys are lining up on the field on d. Posted by: Joker99z | August 29, 2010 12:28

Well for one your making an invalid comparison, discipline is not part of Lavars point. He's not saying that Orakpo is not playing within the scheme. He's saying it may be better to keep the LBs on the same side.

It might be a joke if you were to criticize the 3-4 since you never played in it, but Lavar has played at the professional level?! Besides what analyst stays strictly within their own expertise? Your saying Terry Bradshaw can't critique a QB playing in a WCO? You're merely trying to make a strawman argument.

As far as his play on the field unless you were part of his coaching staff I don't know how you can make the claim he was undisciplined and ran around like a chicken 90% of the time.

Posted by: Eman8 | August 29, 2010 6:19 PM | Report abuse

LaVar-
I like your analysis; keeping the same look by the OLB is certainly important to keep the offense guessing.

However, I disagree with your conclusion. If you can have an OLB with outstanding talent that is able to be comfortable and stable from both sides, doesn't this just add another wrinkle of unpredictability to the defense? Wouldn't that, therefore, lead to more offensive confusion and thus turnovers (as you stated above)?

Posted by: bacaje | August 31, 2010 11:06 AM | Report abuse

LaVar,

I think that the Redskins have to go out and get 3-4 scheme linebackers. While some players might be able to switch from D-linemen to linebackers, most cannot. Imagine if you will a linebacker with Orakpo's speed attacking the quarterback from the same side with Orakpo playing right end, with Big Al at the nose. Thats what I call a (NIGHTMARE!!!) for Quarterbacks.
What do you think about that imaginary situation on defense???

Posted by: jerome10052003 | August 31, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

LaVar,

I think that the Redskins have to go out and get 3-4 scheme linebackers. While some players might be able to switch from D-linemen to linebackers, most cannot. Imagine if you will a linebacker with Orakpo's speed or better attacking the quarterback from the same side with Orakpo playing right end, with Big Al at the nose. That's what I call a (NIGHTMARE!!!) for Quarterbacks.
What do you think about that imaginary situation on defense???

Posted by: jerome10052003 | August 31, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

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