Network News

X My Profile
View More Activity
On Twitter: RedskinsInsider and PostSports  |  Facebook  |  E-mail alerts: Redskins and Sports  |  RSS

Blache on Orakpo: 'He's about football'

Brian Orakpo was selected with the 13th overall pick of the 2009 NFL Draft and has turned in one of the best defensive performances of any rookie. Splitting his time between linebacker and defensive end, Orakpo has 11 sacks, including four last week at Oakland. Listed on the Pro Bowl ballot as a linebacker, most of his sacks have come as an end. Defensive coordinator Greg Blache spoke Monday about coaching Orakpo:
 
On his attitude: "The thing about Orakpo is this, he's mature. He's so much more mature than any other rookie I've had in years. Mike Brown, a safety I had in Chicago, is the only guy I can compare him to with the degree of maturity he shows on and off the field. The way he prepares himself, the seriousness with which he takes the game. No disrespect to them, but the other rookies in this class -- the other rookies in last year's class -- he's heads and shoulders above them. This guy walks in here and he prepares like a man. A lot of the rookies, you have to worry because they're talking about all these things that have nothing to do with football. They know more about Gameboys than gameplans. That's not he's about. He's about football and he's about getting better.

On how that maturity surfaces: "When K.O.'s [linebackers coach Kirk Olivadotti] talking to him, I can watch him as he listens and you can see he's getting things out of it. He responds and you see it on the field. People try -- they literally do this -- [they] gameplan to try confuse him, motion guys away, force him to go from sam to will, try to discombobulate him. And he defies them. He makes the plays, and he makes us a better defense. You can just see him get better and better as the year has gone on. He's going to be a force for years to come in this league. He'll be one of the premier guys for years and years to come."

On Orakpo in the draft: "I was not as big an Orakpo fan as Vinny [Cerrato, the executive vice president of football operations] and our scouting department initially. Once we got him, though, I fell in love with him because of his maturity, because of his work ethic. I questioned his every-down hustle. We've not had an issue with that. He's played every down that he's been out there."

On Orakpo as a linebacker: "He's not a great player dropping into coverage yet, but he's a good player. Very few defensive ends that come out of college with their hand down and convert to linebacker become a great player in pass coverage. He's got some natural, innate ability. He has a good sense of awareness on drops. When I first saw him in the spring time, I was utterly amazed. I thought we'd play him at sam. I thought we'd have to bring him a bunch and drop him just a little to throw people off, but once I saw him handle it, I saw him cover people man-to-man and handle the zones and learn the concepts, I knew we had something here."

On if he was surprised initially: "I saw more of a linebacker than I anticipated. I saw a guy who all of a sudden, whoa, this isn't going to a classic hybrid who's really a pass rusher that you play at linebacker. This is a guy who you knew would grow into being a quality linebacker off the line of scrimmage, as well as rushing the passer.

On his feelings about rookies: "I don't like rookies. There've been very few over the years. I can count them on one hand. But this guy is right up there with Charles Tillman and Mike Brown. Urlacher didn't start right away for me. Tillman didn't start right away. This guy has started the whole way."

By Rick Maese  |  December 16, 2009; 9:00 AM ET
 
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Blache on Carter: 'The player every coach wants'
Next: Blache on Fletcher: 'I feel blessed to have him'

Comments

rak should get DROY, no question in my mind...the, "I don't like rookies" thing is just so very stupid to me....because I mean, there's not a lot to like about Rak....

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | December 16, 2009 9:08 AM | Report abuse

If Vinny was behind this choice, at it looks like he, I give him kudos for bringing a stud to this defense. Now, if that only made up for his other shortcomings...

Posted by: rich20ssu | December 16, 2009 9:10 AM | Report abuse

I say we franchise this guy asap. How long is his current contract for?

Posted by: REXskins | December 16, 2009 9:15 AM | Report abuse

The rematach with the New York Giants is the biggest game this season for a lot of reasons.

The most important of which is the recent turnaround in play by the offense.

Is it real?

Guys like Jason Campbell, Devin Thomas, Quinton Ganther, and Fred Davis should play like they are what they want to be: valuable assets on an up and coming team.

The redskins' D faces a teetering jints' offense still capable of making big plays with young receivers.

In fact, both teams are at a kind of weird crossroads.

The jints are an division nemesis that's had our number for a couple of years now.

In the first game of this year, they put out the blueprint for shutting down Air Zorn, and every team that followed found success with it.

The redskins should see the upcoming game as a way to show that the team--even as it is presently constructed--can beat a tough division foe at home in December.

The team should go out and just punish the jints on national television.

It's a statement game, people.

Posted by: MistaMoe | December 16, 2009 9:16 AM | Report abuse

I'm with Greg, 'Rak for DROY!

But I gotta say; Blache really dated himself with the Gameboy reference.

Posted by: brownwood26 | December 16, 2009 9:18 AM | Report abuse

But I gotta say; Blache really dated himself with the Gameboy reference.

Posted by: brownwood26

He actually corrected himself. He started out by saying "abacus".

Posted by: Kenbeatrizz | December 16, 2009 9:19 AM | Report abuse

MistaMoe agreed this will be the most telling game for me. The Giants have owned us by stifling the skin's passing game. If JC and the young bucks can perform at a high level, then I'll feel good about what we have been seeing lately.

Interesting point Blahce made regarding Vinny and the scouting dept loving Orakpo more than he. Could we be wrong about Vinny's ability to judge talent?

Posted by: TWISI | December 16, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

He actually corrected himself. He started out by saying "abacus".

Posted by: Kenbeatrizz | December 16, 2009 9:19 AM

LOL, Ken!

Posted by: brownwood26 | December 16, 2009 9:28 AM | Report abuse

Blache out beating the drums to get votes for end-of-season awards for his players. He should have been doing this all along. He should have been playing as well for Orakpo, Carter, Fletcher as they've been playing for him.

Posted by: League-Source | December 16, 2009 9:32 AM | Report abuse

I got the classic hand held, did anyone play the handheld football game with the little lines. You had to move up and down and then forward and try not to hit the defensive lines. That was a great game hours of fun, I believe it was mad by Mattel.

Posted by: Flounder21 | December 16, 2009 9:33 AM | Report abuse

"And last year, Andre had a foot that hurt him and he wasn't able to practice for more than half the season. But you know what? He showed up every week and people didn't realize he was playing on one leg. That's the kind of player he is."

_________________________________________

But if you replce Andre Carter's name with Clinton Portis, he's selfish and that's why he's lost a step.

Posted by: 4thFloor | December 16, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse

I was thinking before the Raiders game this was a pivot point for Orakpo (the spell-check says my spellings off either way I spell it...). He could be a typical rookie and hit that wall at the end of the long NFL season and maybe finish with another sack or 2 the last 4 games... or he could EXPLODE with a 4 sack performance. Granted Oaklands OL looks like the Skins of 3/4 weeks ago, but a 4 sack day by a rookie who switches positions regularly is pretty damn impressive. This guy is gona be great. And he wears burgundy and gold. Awesome-O

Posted by: VaBeachBlitz | December 16, 2009 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Interesting point Blahce made regarding Vinny and the scouting dept loving Orakpo more than he. Could we be wrong about Vinny's ability to judge talent?

Posted by: TWISI | December 16, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse


I don't know that the question with Vinny has been his eye for talent, as much as the other skills required to be an executive and a manager of people.

His overall team-building philosophy isn't very sound -

*big FA contracts for a few positions that leave us stretched under the cap and lacking quality depth

*ignoring the Oline

*the debacle of hiring Zorn as an OC, THEN having a head coaching search, THEN promoting Zorn to HC suddenly

*seems like an atrocious manager of people, jealous for his relationship with Danny, alienates people, doesn't seem to be very well-respected around the league

The dude belongs in the scouting dept.

Posted by: p1funk | December 16, 2009 9:45 AM | Report abuse

"And last year, Andre had a foot that hurt him and he wasn't able to practice for more than half the season. But you know what? He showed up every week and people didn't realize he was playing on one leg. That's the kind of player he is."

_________________________________________

But if you replce Andre Carter's name with Clinton Portis, he's selfish and that's why he's lost a step.

Posted by: 4thFloor | December 16, 2009 9:43 AM | Report abuse


I just don't get the whole concept of playing injured guys when their performance is hurting the team.

So Andre Carter played on one leg last year. Whoopdedoo. He's such a warrior. And his performance on the field SUCKED.

Same with CP26.

I'm guessing that we had no other viable options at RDE behind Carter and that's why he continued to play??

Still no explanation for the CP26 situation when you have a quality capable veteran back in Ladell Betts practicing all week, standing on the sideline completely healthy holding his helmet, while CP26 dusts himself off on Sunday and hobbles around the field on bum ankles.

Posted by: p1funk | December 16, 2009 9:51 AM | Report abuse

4th, the problem with that logic is that AC shut his mouth, played hurt, and was in shape.

You can't say the same about CP, he played hurt, but thats it...the best thing CP could do right now is to go away. Just shut his mouth, go to Florida, get in shape, and disappear until the team needs him here...

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | December 16, 2009 9:53 AM | Report abuse

p1 - you forgot to mention his lame a$$ radio show.

Posted by: JohnDinHouston | December 16, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

Looks like Orakpo was the best defensive player in his class. Of course, big guys like Tyson Jackson take longer to develop.

About this year's class: here's Peter King of SI on Suh -

"Ndamukong Suh is the best defensive player to come out of college football this decade. I spoke with the GMs of both one-win teams this weekend -- Billy Devaney of the Rams, Mark Dominik of the Bucs -- and there's little doubt that Suh will be at the top of the draft boards of both teams. Usually there's some doubt who the premier player in the draft will be four months out, but not this year.

"He's got to be at the top, or very near the top, of every team's draft board,'' Dominik said of Suh...One GM of a losing team who has scouted Suh told me he has "Richard Seymour strength and Warren Sapp quickness.''

Posted by: Samson151 | December 16, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

". No disrespect to them, but the other rookies in this class -- the other rookies in last year's class -- he's heads and shoulders above them. " Blache


This is why we didn't draft a DE last year like everyone clamoured for. Another sign of Vinny staying.

Posted by: 4thFloor | December 16, 2009 9:58 AM | Report abuse

p1 - you forgot to mention his lame a$$ radio show.

Posted by: JohnDinHouston | December 16, 2009 9:54 AM | Report abuse

And his comments "You mean all the sacks and stuff?"

There are plenty of people who have an eye for talent and are not GM/VPOFO material. Boot his joker to the curb!

Posted by: VaBeachBlitz | December 16, 2009 9:59 AM | Report abuse

I just don't get the whole concept of playing injured guys when their performance is hurting the team.

Posted by: p1funk | December 16, 2009 9:51 AM


I agree 100%. The only time I felt anything resembling respect for a Cowboy player was the game where Emmitt Smith ran for over 100 yards on the Giants with a separated shoulder. If you man up like that, then play hurt. If you play like Portis did this year, you stay the f*ck on the bench and let someone healthy play.

Hopefully the next coaching staff will fix that.

Posted by: brownwood26 | December 16, 2009 10:00 AM | Report abuse

This is why we didn't draft a DE last year like everyone clamoured for. Another sign of Vinny staying.

Posted by: 4thFloor | December 16, 2009 9:58 AM


Hope you're wrong. I would definitely take Calais Campbell over Jason Taylor right now...

Posted by: brownwood26 | December 16, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

good opportunity for non-football people to HATE on Portis. It'd be a real shame to pull this team together and still SUCK because we got rid of Portis and Campbell and Rodgers and ARE.

regarding Vinny, I feel like we've been tricked, because it's more about Danny.

one problem is cutting your best player at the end of the season, brad johnson, andre collins, brian mitchell......jason campbell? clinton portis?

Posted by: pabrian2003 | December 16, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

one problem is cutting your best player at the end of the season

cp ain't the best player on this team...if this were 2004, maybe, but unless your time machine is gassed up, that ain't happening...

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | December 16, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

we all saw how long Betts lasted out there, and we saw a guy off the street take Rock's starting role. maybe the coaches know nore thatn we do and a hobbled Portis was still our best back.

Posted by: pabrian2003 | December 16, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

According to the REDSKINS contraqct page he's signed for this year at the league minimun 315,000. That can't be right.

Posted by: glawrence007 | December 16, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

You guys fail to realize that both Portis and Carter are big money guys. That is why they'll play when they're hurt.

Posted by: RedDMV | December 16, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse

He doesn't talk about his injuries. The Washington Post does. And they talk about him not practicing.

Just pointing out the imbalance of life. IT happens all around us.

Posted by: 4thFloor | December 16, 2009 10:15 AM | Report abuse

Looks like we got a gem with Orakpo, lets hope they him keep his hand on the ground more often so we can have that young weapon for a while coming off the edge.

Posted by: joeboggs | December 16, 2009 10:16 AM | Report abuse

The JTMoFo trade was separate. At the end of the day, we didn't need to add anyone big. Vinny should have just added bodies instead....

Posted by: 4thFloor | December 16, 2009 10:19 AM | Report abuse

good opportunity for non-football people to HATE on Portis. It'd be a real shame to pull this team together and still SUCK because we got rid of Portis and Campbell and Rodgers and ARE.

Posted by: pabrian2003 | December 16, 2009 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Look you fool. This team already WAS pulled together around Portis and Campbell and Rogers and ARE!

Those guys have been on this roster for years.

And what has it delivered?

If you'd pull your head out of your hindquarters maybe simple logic will tell you that the team started to pull together this year around the time when Portis got injured, when ARE became extraneous in the passing game, and when Rogers got benched for blowing coverages.

Sheesh, even the running backs coach pretty much came out and said the CP's lack of practice was hurting the chemistry in the running game.

I don't know why you've appointed yourself the Portis Police, sitting around on the blog waiting for a critical comment about Portis so you can jump down someone's throat with your stupid comments, but it's a pathetic.

Everytime you post something up here, that line from Billy Madison comes to mind -

"Everyone in the room is now dumber for having listened to you."

Posted by: p1funk | December 16, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

MistaMoe agreed this will be the most telling game for me. The Giants have owned us by stifling the skin's passing game. If JC and the young bucks can perform at a high level, then I'll feel good about what we have been seeing lately.

Interesting point Blahce made regarding Vinny and the scouting dept loving Orakpo more than he. Could we be wrong about Vinny's ability to judge talent?

Posted by: TWISI | December 16, 2009 9:25 AM | Report abuse

I'm not basing my opinions of the young guys on the Giants game for 1 simple reason. I believe that Stephon Heyer is going to get abused. Teams with good pass rushers on both sides will still hurt us until he is replaced. I think Levi is going to struggle too. The Giants may be too good for us to beat with 3 step drops all game. I hope I'm wrong but I just don't see us containing the Giants pass rush effectively.

Posted by: PAskinsfan17 | December 16, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

You guys fail to realize that both Portis and Carter are big money guys. That is why they'll play when they're hurt.

Posted by: RedDMV | December 16, 2009 10:08 AM | Report abuse


Which is one of the problems with Vinny's approach of building the team around "big money" guys.

Look at the teams that have been consistently good over the years recently - Colts, Pats, Eagles.

With a few exceptions they shun the whole "let's give this guy a billion dollars up front for having done nothing on this team and maybe that will motivate him" approach.

They also tend to let their own vets walk when that big pay-day comes around, b/c they've invested draft picks and coaching hours developing young talent to step up and take their place at a discount price.

Posted by: p1funk | December 16, 2009 10:27 AM | Report abuse

from G Blache,

"I was not as big an Orakpo fan as Vinny [Cerrato, the executive vice president of football operations] and our scouting department initially."


So the position coaches don't get the players they want?

They get the players the FO wants them to have.

I wonder if this happens with other teams.

Doubt it.

Posted by: MistaMoe | December 16, 2009 10:29 AM | Report abuse

pa, the skins have to tweek their game plan to take advantage of that, alex smith had the cardinals jumping off-sides 3 times in the first quarter, incorporate that, run in to the lanes that the up the field charging DE, just vacated, draw plays, run right at Kiwi, he's not that talented that running right at him wouldnt' take the starch out of his game....

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | December 16, 2009 10:34 AM | Report abuse

beeps

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | December 16, 2009 10:35 AM | Report abuse

Everytime you post something up here, that line from Billy Madison comes to mind -

"Everyone in the room is now dumber for having listened to you."

Posted by: p1funk | December 16, 2009 10:23 AM | Report abuse

Funny cuz its true! I think PAbrian is seriously mildly retarded...

Posted by: VaBeachBlitz | December 16, 2009 10:36 AM | Report abuse

So the position coaches don't get the players they want?

They get the players the FO wants them to have.

I wonder if this happens with other teams.

Doubt it.

Posted by: MistaMoe | December 16, 2009 10:29 AM


It doesn't.

But that's because the good teams have an identity and hire coaches and players that fit that identity.

Which is why the Redskins have the problems they do.

Posted by: brownwood26 | December 16, 2009 10:38 AM | Report abuse

Wow. Decided to stroll down memory lane and take a look at the RULE 51 roster from 2006. Think the life of the average NFL player isn't short? After three full seasons, 19 - that's 19 players from the 2006 season are still on the active roster at the start of this season.

Many of those are problematic for 2010.

Included in this group are (4):

CHRIS SAMUELS heads the list followed closely by RANDY THOMAS, RENALDO WYNN, and PHILLIP DANIELS.

Suspect because of injury or contracts include (9):

JASON CAMPBELL, LADELL BETTS, CLINTON PORTIS, ANTWAAN RANDEL-EL, CRIS COOLEY, MIKE SELLERS, ROCK CARTWRIGHT, CORNELIUS GRIFFIN, and CARLOS ROGERS

Those fairly certain of returning include (6):

ETHAN ALBRIGHT, CASEY RABACH, DERRICK DOCKERY (although he wandered over to the BILLS and refined his techniques for awhile), ANDRE CARTER, TODD COLLINS (the security blanket), and SANTANA MOSS.

15 possibles out of 51 players just three+ seasons ago.

Posted by: glawrence007 | December 16, 2009 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Rak just got awarded NFL's Defensive Player of the Week award.

Something tells me this will be the first of many...

Posted by: jive_turkey | December 16, 2009 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Rookies know more about Gameboys than gameplans . . . who could he possibly be referring to?

Posted by: BrooklynSkins | December 16, 2009 12:10 PM | Report abuse

P1,

Agreed that Vinny does seems to be a fairly decent judge of YOUNG talent, for what its worth, the picks that we have had in the draft have been above average. Vinnys problem is he is spineless and a complete dolt. He doesnt say no to Danny, and he is awful at negotiating with free agents and other teams GM's. Nobody in the league respects him because he gets shamed at least once a year. Vinny would be a good scout, but simply doesnt have the self awareness or common sense to be the man in charge of a pro football roster.

Posted by: gtstang9t3 | December 16, 2009 12:17 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
RSS Feed
Subscribe to The Post

© 2010 The Washington Post Company