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Brian Orakpo is on track for another Pro Bowl

By Jason Reid

Midway through his second season, outside linebacker Brian Orakpo is on track for his second consecutive Pro Bowl appearance.

After establishing himself as one of the NFL's rising pass-rushing stars with 11 sacks as a rookie, the former University of Texas standout is tied for sixth in the NFL, with seven sacks in the Redskins' first eight games. And beyond the statistics, Orakpo has displayed across-the-board improvement that cannot be quantified by numbers, several of his teammates said.

With the Redskins playing host to the Philadelphia Eagles on Monday night at FedEx Field, they will rely on Orakpo to apply pressure on star quarterback Michael Vick.

"Brian's definitely playing some good football for us," inside linebacker and defensive captain London Fletcher said. "Obviously, he played some good football for us last season, but you can just see the improvement he's made in certain situations out there.

"He's got more of an understanding of what he needs to do whenever he's on the football field and what teams are trying to do to him. He's more comfortable in everything he's doing out there and it shows. He's just doing a good job."

Orakpo has thrived in defensive coordinator Jim Haslett's 3-4 scheme, which is based heavily on the Pittsburgh Steelers' defensive philosophy. Teams that are successful in 3-4 alignments usually have at least one effective edge-rushing linebacker.

Haslett was comfortable with Coach Mike Shanahan's decision to scrap Washington's longtime successful 4-3 approach, at least in part, because of the presence of Orakpo. In addition to his seven sacks, Orakpo has been credited with 25 tackles, including 19 unassisted, two passes defensed and a forced fumble.

"Rak has been all over the place," said outside linebacker Lorenzo Alexander, who starts opposite Orakpo. "You see the problems he causes getting to the quarterback, and he's only going to keep getting better."

Orakpo is providing the type of production the Redskins need from one of their top-paid defensive players. Although Orakpo only has a base salary of $395,000, he received roster and option bonuses of $3.742 million and $3.575 million, respectively, for this season.

"This season has been somewhat different than last year," Orakpo said. "Obviously, last year, I was getting my feet wet, a rookie, so they [opponents] didn't really mind me too much. Obviously, we had [Albert] Haynesworth, Andre Carter, all the guys that been around the league. I was a new guy, so [opponents] left me one on one a lot. I took advantage of that. This year, it's different, because they [opponents] count me as a premier guy.

"I see a lot more double teams, a lot more chips, a lot more slide protections, holding calls. I mean, you name it. And that goes with ... that's a compliment. It feels like I'm obviously doing something right out there. I'm obviously, you know, getting after quarterbacks like I'm supposed to. I just got to work with it. That's what all the great pass rushers do. They work through all the adversity."

By Jason Reid  | November 11, 2010; 10:00 AM ET
Categories:  Brian Orakpo  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Roster analysis: Santana Moss poised to become a free agent
Next: London Fletcher is having another standout season

Comments

BO will be FIRST team All-Pro. Book it!

Posted by: brownwood26 | November 11, 2010 10:11 AM | Report abuse

"Rak has been all over the place," said outside linebacker Lorenzo Alexander, who starts opposite Orakpo.


Lorenzo Alexander

Brian Orakpo

So we got two outside linebacker worth talking about.

Cool.

Posted by: MistaMoe | November 11, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

But I thought to myself: so who pays for the poor when they get sick?

And if we don't treat them because they don't have money, do we want a society where the sick and diseased lie out in the street just so we can say we don't have 'socialized medicine'?

I guess once the Right takes over in January, we should all be excited that poor sick children and their parents won't have socialized medical care.

Thank god.

Posted by: MistaMoe | November 11, 2010 10:02 AM


Ugh...every time I try to get out they pull...me...back...in.

As I said, I worked on the financial end of healthcare and I've seen exactly what happens when the poor/uninsured to the hospital.

We pick up the tab.

Hospitals will seek public assistance for the patient or they'll try to get them to pay out of pocket. If neither works, they write it off as charity.

The only people against socialized healthcare are the rich doctors who like things the way they are and people who are scared sh*tless that hospitals everywhere will be as rundown as VA hospitals.

The system works just fine if you have insurance. Unfortunately, that number grows smaller and smaller because of the higher unemployment rate...

Posted by: brownwood26 | November 11, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Re: Eagles

I hope Vick scrambles this week.

Posted by: p1funk | November 11, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

Are you serious? We don't want him out of the pocket! The only scrambling going on should be his brains!!!

Posted by: monk811 | November 11, 2010 10:21 AM | Report abuse

A real talent! Did Shanny get this guy? Oh, right.

Posted by: pabrian2003 | November 11, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Lorenzo Alexander

Brian Orakpo

So we got two outside linebacker worth talking about.

Cool.

Posted by: MistaMoe | November 11, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, too bad our Inside LB corps can't be more solid for the future! Is McIntosh gonna get signed? How long will Fletcher play, and do we have his replacement on the roster already???

Posted by: monk811 | November 11, 2010 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: p1funk | November 11, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

My point being is that Moss won't break the bank if you resign him, and he's got a couple more productive years in him. And there's already numerous gaping holes on the team, so you're only creating another one by not resigning your most effective WR. Now if you were pretty much set at every other position, and there was a rookie who could step in right away or a big time FA, THEN I could understand letting him go. But for right now, it wouldn't make sense because those options aren't viable.

Posted by: ga8085 | November 11, 2010 10:28 AM | Report abuse

Thanks to all the veterans and current serving military members for making this country great. Talk about selfless sacrifice.

Posted by: scampbell1975 | November 11, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

A real talent! Did Shanny get this guy? Oh, right.

Posted by: pabrian2003 | November 11, 2010 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, probably Vinny's high point in selecting players!! And he almost messed this pick up, we ALMOST had Michael Crabtree!!!!

Posted by: monk811 | November 11, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: p1funk

Reasonable people understand there are other options and solutions (to the healthcare debate).


I think the best game being played now is by the people who--in the face of the country's problems--have no solutions or responses, but are damn good at blackening those who do.

There's a 'Let them eat cake!' attitude coming from the Right that annoys me as, well, I'm actually a right winger.

At some point, the Right must lay out actual, logical real world solutions as the whole "NOBAMA" argument falls flat when it's all their game is.

And in politics, just being against stuff really isn't a game.

You do have to lay out just what you stand for.

Don't you?


Posted by: MistaMoe | November 11, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse

Wow drafting Orakpo has been awesome. Linemen win games too.

Posted by: jercha | November 11, 2010 10:34 AM | Report abuse

I'd like to see Orakpo score too.

Posted by: PlayAction | November 11, 2010 10:36 AM | Report abuse

So two exceptions for exceptional players mean NE and Indy don't overload their cap and stay competitive every year. Interesting.

Posted by: mattsoundworld | November 11, 2010 9:35 AM | Report abuse

No, 2 examples that display the fact that you don't have to dump a productive WR if he's in his thirties. I understand the youth movement for the team, but some of ya'll kill me with the whole "cut him loose when he gets in his thirties regardless of his play" thing.

Posted by: ga8085 | November 11, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse
------------------------------

When you are done picking your panties outta your asscrack, you might want to re-read my post again...

I'll wait...

Nothing in there about getting younger is there? In fact, nothing at all contradicts your original statement.

Just an observation that the top teams in the league manage their cap AND retain top talent. Amazing. They must evaluate talent vs. value better than the majority of the league rather than follow some stock formula.

Posted by: mattsoundworld | November 11, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

I live in the Denver media market and I really enjoy the sports talk guys out here as they express their frustration with the Broncos picking Robert Ayers over Orakpo in the draft.

They will go off once a week or so about McDaniels taking Ayers, who btw has done virtually nothing and is out for 4-6 weeks right now.

"It's a good thing we didn't take Orakpo".....is a common sarcastic line thrown out.

Even worse is that they were one-upped by The Kindergarten Cop- which should lead to termination of the entire Denver scouting department IMO.

Posted by: WaitingGuilty | November 11, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

O-SACK-IT

Posted by: retroskins14 | November 11, 2010 10:46 AM | Report abuse

"Stalinist" communism? Not run-of-the-mill Marxist-Lenninism? Nancy Pelosi is going to purge the Army and slaughter the Kulaks? I hadn't heard...

Posted by: Pepper5 | November 11, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse


Yes. Stalinist.

Not those half-stepping weenies Marx and Lennin. I'm talking secret police, people disappearing in the middle of the night, gulags in Siberia...the whole nine yards.

Posted by: p1funk | November 11, 2010 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Looking Past the Eagles:

Titans

Vikings

Giants

Buccaneers


That's a tough stretch of games.

It's a sad thing when the vikes and Favre will be seen as a respite.

And for those of you who hate young q-back, J Freeman will open your eyes.

That kid is very, very, very, very good.

Posted by: MistaMoe | November 11, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

You do have to lay out just what you stand for.

Don't you?


Posted by: MistaMoe | November 11, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse


What if I stand for "hope" and "change"?

You mean that's not enough...I have to explain further?

Posted by: p1funk | November 11, 2010 10:56 AM | Report abuse

p1funk

What if I stand for "hope" and "change"?You mean that's not enough...I have to explain further?

If you go check, the 'hope' and 'change' guy spelled out what he wanted to do.

It's the other crowd whose objectives are in question.

Posted by: MistaMoe | November 11, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Even worse is that they were one-upped by The Kindergarten Cop- which should lead to termination of the entire Denver scouting department IMO.

Posted by: WaitingGuilty | November 11, 2010 10:43 AM | Report abuse

Orakpo = Vinny pick!

How soon are they talking about firing McDaniels? Robert Ayers, Tim Tebow, No-Show Moreno - now there's a string of pretty uninspiring high draft picks.

At least Vinny didn't blow the first rounders.

Posted by: p1funk | November 11, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Looking Past the Eagles:

Titans

Vikings

Giants

Buccaneers

That's a tough stretch of games.

-----------

4-9?

Posted by: pabrian2003 | November 11, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Don't forget they let R Torain and P Hillis go.

What exactly has K. Moreno done? From what I gather, he's been average.

Posted by: Devo2 | November 11, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

At least Vinny didn't blow the first rounders.

Posted by: p1funk | November 11, 2010 11:01 AM


He did alright in the 1st and 7th rounds. It was the middle 5 rounds where he had problems...

Oh, that and actually HAVING picks to use...

Posted by: brownwood26 | November 11, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

When you are done picking your panties outta your asscrack, you might want to re-read my post again...

I'll wait...

Posted by: mattsoundworld | November 11, 2010 10:37 AM | Report abuse

Oh, my bad, I misinterpreted your post.

And I'm more of a boxers and briefs man myself, but glad to see you have such a vivid and fruity imagination. You have a promising career ahead of you as a gay porn director.

Posted by: ga8085 | November 11, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

p1funk

What if I stand for "hope" and "change"?You mean that's not enough...I have to explain further?

If you go check, the 'hope' and 'change' guy spelled out what he wanted to do.

It's the other crowd whose objectives are in question.

Posted by: MistaMoe | November 11, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse


I don't know Moe.

I think it took me about 2.3 seconds to find the following on Google.

http://www.gop.gov/solutions/healthcare

Are they good ideas? Will they work?

Who knows...but you can't say they aren't putting them out there.

Posted by: p1funk | November 11, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

You do have to lay out just what you stand for.

Don't you?

Posted by: MistaMoe | November 11, 2010 10:32 AM | Report abuse
---------------------------------

But complaining is so much more fun!

But seriously folks, vote Matt Wright 2020.

Regardless of which side of the political spectrum you fall on with regard to what government should or should not be doing, I think we can all agree that whatever it does should be done as efficiently and effectively as possible.

To that end, I have 3 objectives to hang a hat on.

1. Simplify the tax code
2. Simplify the legal code
3. Simplify the regulatory code

BAM!

Posted by: mattsoundworld | November 11, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: p1funk | November 11, 2010 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Oh it's bad. The 59-14 Raiders loss may have done it.

Remember, in addition to what you mentioned, Josh has also:

Traded 2010 1st for 2009 2nd to draft Alphonso Smith who he sent to DET for a 7th rd TE. (Smith now has 5 picks for DET)

Picked UNC TE Richard Quinn w/ a 2nd rd 2009 pick (Has played in 3 games , no production)

Traded Hillis for Brady Bunch (Maybe the worst of all)

Essentially, the Broncos have taken personnel FAIL to an entire new level...and I have to say over a 2 year period it rivals anything Vincenzo ever pulled off in DC.


Posted by: WaitingGuilty | November 11, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Posted by: WaitingGuilty | November 11, 2010 11:15 AM | Report abuse


Wow.

Kind of makes me grateful to have had Vinny.

And it makes Schizo Shanny look like the second-coming of Bobby Beathard.

Posted by: p1funk | November 11, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

I know I'm a thread late but...

Since there will be a new CBA next year, we don't really know for sure how slary cap dead money will be implimented in the next labor agreement, but if things work about the same as they did....

I would rather pay Moss 5 million and have him be here in 2011 than have 5 million in dead cap money and no Moss. Seems prety simple to me. He's still the most productive WR we currently have. Yes he's getting older, but he's not done quite yet. Give him a three year deal heavily laden with incentives.

Posted by: kaasmaster | November 11, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Looking Past the Eagles:

Titans

Vikings

Giants

Buccaneers

That's a tough stretch of games.

-----------

4-9?

Posted by: pabrian2003 | November 11, 2010 11:10 AM | Report abuse

The only looking past I do is looking past your posts.

Posted by: iH8dallas | November 11, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

We'll finish 10-6 this year.

Posted by: iH8dallas | November 11, 2010 11:27 AM | Report abuse

I would rather pay Moss 5 million and have him be here in 2011 than have 5 million in dead cap money and no Moss. Seems prety simple to me. He's still the most productive WR we currently have. Yes he's getting older, but he's not done quite yet. Give him a three year deal heavily laden with incentives.

Posted by: kaasmaster | November 11, 2010 11:23 AM | Report abuse

Best case scenario is that he takes a pay cut next year and we extend him another 2 years or so at a modest salary.

He exchanges the 5 million in return for less money per year but greater job security and the benefit of playing out his career in Washington where he's already established himself.

For the record, I think he can still be useful to help develop young receivers and take over in the slot.

My initial crankiness had to do with the way the previous FO did business and managed the cap, not really with Moss himself - who I think has acquitted himself well over the years as a player and a professional for this team...in fact I rock the "89" jersey...

Posted by: p1funk | November 11, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Just make Davis a big receiver

Posted by: iH8dallas | November 11, 2010 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Lorenzo Alexander

Brian Orakpo

So we got two outside linebacker worth talking about.

Cool.

Posted by: MistaMoe | November 11, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, too bad our Inside LB corps can't be more solid for the future! Is McIntosh gonna get signed? How long will Fletcher play, and do we have his replacement on the roster already???

Posted by: monk811 | November 11, 2010 10:27 AM
^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%^%

rocky is actually on pace for a career year...

Posted by: jimmy_the_crickett | November 11, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

Yeah, too bad our Inside LB corps can't be more solid for the future! Is McIntosh gonna get signed? How long will Fletcher play, and do we have his replacement on the roster already???

Posted by: monk811 | November 11, 2010 10:27 AM
I am hoping that Rocky will be re-signed. He is flourishing at inside LB. Remember also that we have Robert Henson on IR. He was looking prety good during the preseason. If he pans out, he could be a solid contributer for a long time. And let's not forget Perry Riley, another rookie who could develop into a solid inside LB. He was a finalist for the 2008 Butkus Award, so there's a lot of potential there too.

Posted by: kaasmaster | November 11, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

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