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Orakpo, Fletcher upbeat about Redskins' defensive changes

With all the talk of the Washington Redskins change to a 3-4 defense - something Coach Mike Shanahan again emphasized was not entirely correct, pointing out that Washington would play with a four-man front as well - two of the defense's most important pieces, linebackers London Fletcher and Brian Orkapo, talked Sunday about what they had seen in their first days putting in the new schemes.

One of the biggest beneficiaries could be Orakpo, who figures to be getting after the quarterback much more often than he did as a rookie. Orakpo only rushed the passer part-time last season but still finished with 11 sacks and was selected to the Pro Bowl.

"Obviously that's a strength of mine so we're going to try to establish that and get to the quarterback more often instead of putting me in these situations where I'll be covering a lot more," Orakpo said. "So we'll see how it transpires throughout the season."

Orakpo seemed upbeat about the changes and praised the work of the unit in its first minicamp.

"It was a lot of different schemes we were running, it was fun for me, get to rush, get to rush and that's my strength," he said. "We've got a lot of different stuff that we're going to do as far as mixing it up, guys coming from all over the place and you don't know where guys could be coming from. They could show blitz [in one place] and then they're getting hit from the backside. That's the thing you're really not stagnant as far as the front four or who's rushing, you really don't know where it's coming from."

The second-year linebacker/defensive end also praised his new coordinator, Jim Haslett, calling him a "player's coach."

"He can relate and see what we see," Orakpo said. "He's not a coach that's giving us plays and [saying] 'Just do exactly what the play is.' If we have a problem with something or something doesn't look right he can relate to it and we can just explain it to him. Talk to him on a one-on-one level. It's no 'he's the defensive coordinator and we're the peasants' something like that, [like] we can't talk to him or express the issues we have. That's something, that's what camaraderie and everyone coming along to be on the same page is all about."

Fletcher said the defense also has re-focused on creating turnovers, an area in which the unit has struggled over the past four seasons, finishing at or near the bottom the league. Last year they generated a league-worst 17 takeaways.

"Well if you look at it over the last, what, five, six years collectively we were last in the NFL in takeaways," Fletcher said. "For a lot of different reasons we haven't been able to create a lot of takeaways so we've started out in this minicamp emphasizing trying to strip the football. For one it's going to make the offense better and it's also going to help us in terms of just attacking that football, constantly thinking about turnovers, so it's been good so far."

Both linebackers addressed the team's current situation with defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth, who did not attend this weekend's minicamp. Haynesworth was reportedly being shopped earlier this offseason, and the star apparently is not excited about the prospect of playing nose tackle in the Redskins new scheme.

Orakpo said he has spoken with Haynesworth "on some personal stuff" and that "he's fine, he's working out, doing his deal. I guess when it's mandatory he'll be here. Right now it's voluntary so we just got to roll with it."

Fletcher said he hoped Haynesworth would return soon.

"I haven't spoken to Albert, the thing about Albert he's a great, great football player and I know he can do a lot of great things for us in this defense especially at that nose tackle position," Fletcher said. "He can make a ton of plays for us. He's such a dominant, dominant player that you're going to have to account for him and if I was a center I'd be afraid having him over me. Obviously we'd love to have him here, we want him to be here learning the new scheme so we're looking forward to him coming back this year."

Casserly on Campbell

Former Redskins GM Charlie Casserly talked about Jason Campbell's options and value on the "Mike Wise Show" on 106.7 last week. Dan Steinberg has the details at D.C. Sports Bog.

By Paul Tenorio  |  April 19, 2010; 11:10 AM ET
Categories:  3-4 defense , Brian Orakpo , Jim Haslett  | Tags: Brian Orakpo, London Fletcher  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Shanahan loves draft picks but divulges little about Redskins' plans
Next: Redskins have not ruled out drafting a QB, Allen says

Comments

"More like SF to jump ahead of Buffalo. They have no QB play."


Very interesting point, right there.

The Niners have Gore, Crabtree, Davis, okay defense, and are in a division--the NFC West--that's ripe for the taking.

But could a rookie quarterback help them as much as Alex Smith?

Don't think so.

Again: the bills are our best trading partner as we could still snag Williams at pick 9, and get an additional pick later on.

And if we pair J Campbell with that trade down move, we might wind up with a solid late round 4th or 5th round pick.

The buffalo bills are our best trading partner, plain and simple.

Posted by: MistaMoe | April 19, 2010 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Here's something the Nation seems to have forgotten about:

"What We Learned in Oklahoma City"

Published: April 18, 2010

FIFTEEN years ago today, the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City claimed the lives of 168 men, women and children. It was, until 9/11, the worst terrorist attack in United States history.


We fight a War on Terror against people who don't look like us while forgetting that within our borders, there are folks who hate us as much as those without.

Posted by: MistaMoe | April 19, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Better to be up beat than beat up.

Posted by: dcsween | April 19, 2010 11:33 AM | Report abuse

What? No quote from DHall?

Posted by: brownwood26 | April 19, 2010 11:41 AM | Report abuse

He's not a coach that's giving us plays and [saying] 'Just do exactly what the play is.....cough cough Greg Blache...cough...cough...

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | April 19, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

Wow...big trade just came thru:

Three-way trade sends Tony Scheffler to Detroit, Ernie Sims to Philly
Posted by Gregg Rosenthal on April 19, 2010 11:41 AM ET
An offseason full of big-name trades has added another signficant deal to the mix.

ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that a three-way trade will send linebacker Ernie Sims to the Eagles, tight end Tony Scheffler to the Lions, and an undisclosed draft pick to Denver.

More to come on this trade shortly.

Posted by: brownwood26 | April 19, 2010 11:43 AM | Report abuse

"Seems like he's (p1funk) gonna be a nice player, but given the transformation of the team from last year to this year, I'd like to return Jarmon for that 3rd round pick..."

Amen there, buddy.

This year, because of the influx of talent, 3rd rounders can be liken to 2nd rounders.

Too, if there is indeed a rush on tackle prospects, some very able players are going to get pushed down into rounds 2 and 3.

This year, you want 2nd, 3rd, and 4th round picks.

Posted by: MistaMoe | April 19, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

thanks brown, sims, IIRC seemed to be a pretty good player...

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | April 19, 2010 11:45 AM | Report abuse

I see Jarmon working out regardless of position, I just get a good feeling about him. He could be the equivalent of a Orakpo minor, and having 2 guys like that who we can line up at End and OLB on either side any time could be something cool to see a aggressive coordinator play with.


I feel like if Jimmy Spit Bubbles and Tubby had not shut him down all last season with a gold shirting we would know more of what he can do.

Posted by: alex35332 | April 19, 2010 11:39 AM | Report abuse

not that my point about JJ is great, but I love calling our former head coach and DC. Jimmy Spit Bubbles and Tubby.

Posted by: alex35332 | April 19, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

Talk to him on a one-on-one level. It's no 'he's the defensive coordinator and we're the peasants' something like that, [like] we can't talk to him or express the issues we have.---

I have no problem seem Blatche in this way. Always seemed to act as if he was superior to his players and that his scheme and methods were the be all end all way to defense. Glad to hear we have a coordinator who listens to players and is open to complaints and ideas to improve. Looking forward to seeing a defense that actually attacks and goes after teams instead of just sitting back and taking it in the mouth.

Posted by: peoplearestupid1 | April 19, 2010 11:50 AM | Report abuse

P1, what about the whole "Skins offering 2 first rounders to cincy for Ocho-Cinco" thing….

JLC called that one, and nobody wanted to believe it, but he was right about that……

Posted by: dlhaze1 | April 19, 2010 11:38 AM | Report abuse


Oh that one?

JLa actually got scooped by Chris Mortensen on that one. Here's the actual RI entry. Take careful note of the wording in the opening paragraphs where they try to explain/rationalize away why/how ESPN reported it first.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/redskinsinsider/redskins-again-make-play-for-c.html

"ESPN today reported the bulk of what we were told last week and were in the process of confirming with sources familiar with the Redskins' ongoing pursuit of Johnson."

Posted by: p1funk | April 19, 2010 11:54 AM | Report abuse

not that my point about JJ is great, but I love calling our former head coach and DC. Jimmy Spit Bubbles and Tubby.

Posted by: alex35332 | April 19, 2010 11:49 AM | Report abuse

So what's Vinny's nickname? Crazy eyes? Vinny Bobaknobo?

Posted by: scampbell1975 | April 19, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Greg, Sims is a beast...I'm not looking forward to having to seeing him twice a year. It's Detroit getting Scheffler I don't get...didn't they just use a 1st rounder to take Pettigrew?

Posted by: brownwood26 | April 19, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

Re: JaLaCa I think his fight with Vinny Cerrato was one of those last straws that finally got rid of Vinny.

Can't hate the man for helping get rid of the worst GM in team history.

Also I would argue that LaCanfora's coverage of the Sean Taylor funeral and all the stuff surrounding that incident was unmatched.

Posted by: alex35332 | April 19, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

So what's Vinny's nickname? Crazy eyes? Vinny Bobaknobo?

Posted by: scampbell1975 | April 19, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse


Kindergarten Ninja.

Posted by: Original_etrod | April 19, 2010 12:01 PM | Report abuse

"It's Detroit getting Scheffler I don't get...didn't they just use a 1st rounder to take Pettigrew?

Posted by: brownwood26"

They're following in the model laid down by the great Jim Zorn. You can never have enough tight ends. Everyone knows this.

Posted by: psps23 | April 19, 2010 12:02 PM | Report abuse

So what's Vinny's nickname? Crazy eyes? Vinny Bobaknobo?

Posted by: scampbell1975 | April 19, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse

Every time I try and post Vinny's nickname i get the "comment submission error".

Posted by: alex35332 | April 19, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

I have no problem seem Blatche in this way. Always seemed to act as if he was superior to his players and that his scheme and methods were the be all end all way to defense. Glad to hear we have a coordinator who listens to players and is open to complaints and ideas to improve. Looking forward to seeing a defense that actually attacks and goes after teams instead of just sitting back and taking it in the mouth.

Posted by: peoplearestupid1 | April 19, 2010 11:50 AM

good cop, bad cop? head coach is the fearsome taskmaster (parking spaces etc.) while the coordinators are more approachable... not necessarily a bad way to run things. last year the hook and bunt order was all SJKd, which creates some weird herd dynamics.

Posted by: moodlymoodlymoo | April 19, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

P1, I didn’t go through the whole chain of posts, but I clicked on your link….what I did see was one line that reads:

“As we reported in January, acquiring Johnson is the Redskins' No. 1 offseason objective. Owner Dan Snyder and Vinny Cerrato, executive vice president of football operations, told several head coaching candidates that they sought Johnson to be the primary target for developing quarterback Jason Campbell. The Redskins, however, have been repeatedly rebuffed in their attempts to complete a deal for Johnson.”

So I am guessing that they (the Jasons) actually started their “rumor” several months before this posting…..

Posted by: dlhaze1 | April 19, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse

"It's Detroit getting Scheffler I don't get...didn't they just use a 1st rounder to take Pettigrew?"

Imagine a passing play where C Johnson is running deep.

Who covers the very able Sheffler?

Who covers the very able Pettigrew?

And when you realize the skins too can attack with two very able tight ends, you should ask, how is denver going to replace the production they got from Sheffler and Marhsall?

Maybe a redskin tight end is headed out west.....#47?

Posted by: MistaMoe | April 19, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Ernie Sims is a beast. I'm interested in hearing the details of that trade and why Denver is involved.

I think that trade only solidifies the notion that Detroit will go "defense" with that #2 pick and take Suh or McCoy.

Posted by: p1funk | April 19, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

last year the hook and bunt order was all SJKd, which creates some weird herd dynamics.

Posted by: moodlymoodlymoo | April 19, 2010 12:03 PM

As much as I like Zorn, and I know I'm the only one, last year I dont think there was any order whatsoever. Our whole team was in shambles and we were a straight joke... sad but true.

Posted by: peoplearestupid1 | April 19, 2010 12:07 PM | Report abuse

I liked Zorn at first as much as anyone People, but he lost me with his inability to change to fit the players. Scheme coaches always lose me.

Posted by: alex35332 | April 19, 2010 12:13 PM | Report abuse

That's one thing we can agree on, pfunk...as deep as this draft is at OT, Detroit can get a starting-caliber OT at the top of Round 2 without having to pass on Suh at #2. Why they would snatch Okung and settle for a lesser defensive player in the 2nd round is beyond me.

I'd be stunned if we don't have a shot at Okung at #4.

Posted by: brownwood26 | April 19, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Detroit was ever interested in taking Okung with that #2 pick. I think they were posturing to see if someone like the Redskins (who need an OT badly) would move up to #2 to take Okung.

It was always going to be either Suh or McCoy.

Posted by: dfbovey | April 19, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: dlhaze1 | April 19, 2010 12:04 PM | Report abuse


Judge for yourself.

In my book, saying that the Skins might be interested in Chad Ochocinco is hardly "breaking Insider news" - which is what was reported in January.

We can all go to ProFootball Talk for that kind of "news".

And it's quite frankly that kind of poo-flinging that has become indicative of "insiders" that don't have inside access and follow this formula:

-find 20 potential trade rumors to throw out there
-take credit if any one of them turns out to happen

Case in point today:

It's Adam Schefter breaking the news of an ACTUAL trade that has happened.

Where is the NFL Network's Insider on all of this???


Whatever, I'm tired of talking about JLA...

Posted by: p1funk | April 19, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

I'd be stunned if we don't have a shot at Okung at #4.

Posted by: brownwood26 | April 19, 2010 12:14 PM | Report abuse


Yup.

But the question is:

What do we do if Okung is available at #4 AND we get an offer to trade down??

I say trade down.

My hope is that buzz generates that Pete Carroll really really likes Clausen (he tried real hard to recruit him at USC), and that creates a "market" to move up and get him at #4 - teams like Buffalo and/or 49ers. Or that Carroll HIMSELF moves up to get him at #4 to pre-empt other teams from moving up and/or avoid the potential that Charlie Weiss is able to convince the folks at KC to take Clausen at #5.

Posted by: p1funk | April 19, 2010 12:22 PM | Report abuse

wow. really sounds like the old guard was draconian. for absolutely no purpose or reason.

Posted by: DikShuttle | April 19, 2010 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Maybe a redskin tight end is headed out west ... #47?

Posted by: MistaMoe | April 19, 2010 12:05 PM

Where did Cooley go to college anyway?

Posted by: dcsween | April 19, 2010 12:24 PM | Report abuse

P1, it would depend on the trade.
If we got offered 2 first rounders by the seahawks, i think you have to take it.

Posted by: alex35332 | April 19, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

[Note: Mrs. 4-12 had to trade down after years of dating a guy named 1-15.]

Posted by: dcsween | April 19, 2010 9:50 AM

This is funny. I like funny. Funny is good. Jibba jabba rules.

"JLC has no sources/isn't an insider" posts are not funny. I don't like not funny. Not funny is bad. Not funny is not jibba jabba.

Posted by: 4-12 | April 19, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

I don't think Detroit was ever interested in taking Okung with that #2 pick. I think they were posturing to see if someone like the Redskins (who need an OT badly) would move up to #2 to take Okung.

It was always going to be either Suh or McCoy.

Posted by: dfbovey | April 19, 2010 12:15 PM

As evidenced by Shanahan's vigorous affirmative statement of denial this weekend, Albert Haynesworth is still available ... and Haynesworth's former defensive coordinator in Tennessee, Jim Schwartz, is still the Lions' head coach ... and Lions' current LT, Jeff Backus, is still a 12th year veteran.

Posted by: dcsween | April 19, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

p1funk -

Why would the Seahawks draft Clausen? They just traded for Whiteherst (however you spell that) and invested a decent amount of money in the kid something like 3 or 4 mil a year for a kid who has never thrown an NFL pass... What would the point be in the then drafting a rookie QB in the 1st round... ??? Makes no sense? Or am I missing something here?

Posted by: peoplearestupid1 | April 19, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: p1funk | April 19, 2010 12:17 PM
I’m just going based upon memory…..LaCanfora kept posting about how the skins were trying to trade for ocho cinco while nobody else was publishing these rumors….long before the confirmations came out. You asked for something he “broke” and that’s something he broke…..sure, it wasn’t an actual trade, but he was right.

Kind of like the whole AH/Shanny situation. I have been questioning why JReid and co seem to really be pushing their view that AH and Shanny are in some kind of battle with one another and that a trade is imminent when most other signs (like what Shanny himself says) point to them not making a move with him. If it turns out that they trade him, I will give props to the RI gang for really knowing all along, despite the fact that it may appear in print on espn or get tweeted before they can actually report the trade up here. While I will give props, other folks will just whine about not hearing it here first……

Posted by: dlhaze1 | April 19, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

P1, it would depend on the trade.
If we got offered 2 first rounders by the seahawks, i think you have to take it.

Posted by: alex35332 | April 19, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse


'Hawks have the #6 and #14 picks.

They also have a low second-round pick (60 overall). Nothing in the 3rd round; a couple of 4th and 5th round picks, and a pick in the 6th and 7th.

I doubt they'd give both first rounders to move up 2 slots in the first.

But I'd take that #6 pick and the 2nd rounder.

Posted by: p1funk | April 19, 2010 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Last time I checked it was the biggest offseason week on the NFL calendar and we are re-fighting the LaCanfora wars? After 2 years aren't you supposed to call a doctor for the harde-onn you still have for the guy...

Let it go...obviously sports editors at the Detroit Free Press, Wash Post and NFL Network saw value in him as a reporter, P1 and others you don't. Welcome to America. I happen to think David Broder is a hack,others call him dean of the Wash Press Core.....

I know this runs counter intutitive to RI group think but lately the comments

Posted by: chrislarry | April 19, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

So what's Vinny's nickname? Crazy eyes? Vinny Bobaknobo?

Posted by: scampbell1975 | April 19, 2010 11:58 AM | Report abuse


Kindergarten Ninja.

Posted by: Original_etrod | April 19, 2010 12:01 PM

Out-fricken-standing!

Posted by: scampbell1975 | April 19, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

p1funk -

Why would the Seahawks draft Clausen? They just traded for Whiteherst (however you spell that) and invested a decent amount of money in the kid something like 3 or 4 mil a year for a kid who has never thrown an NFL pass... What would the point be in the then drafting a rookie QB in the 1st round... ??? Makes no sense? Or am I missing something here?

Posted by: peoplearestupid1 | April 19, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse


Clausen worked out for the Seahawks and much has been made of the Clausen-Carroll relationship (they got to konw each other really well when Carroll tried to recruit him for USC).

Whitehurst got a 2-year/$10mill contract.

That's decent money, but it's not exactly a long-term investment.

Clausen can develop for a year behind Whitehurst and Hasselbeck.

Posted by: p1funk | April 19, 2010 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Sorrrrrryy, ChrisLarry……
For future reference, how long will I be allowed to talk about JC17 when he’s gone? I wouldn’t want to waste any of your time up here.

Posted by: dlhaze1 | April 19, 2010 12:42 PM | Report abuse

Clausen won't go before 6 anyway. Seattle can just chill and get him if they want him. I like the idea of trading down and getting a tackle later but who knows. I am looking forward to all of our potential trades and who we draft. Gonna be an exciting week.

Posted by: FedorEm | April 19, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

This is the best draft in a while to have a lot of picks. Okung will be there at 4, we should do everything we can to trade out of that. Hainvg the best O-lineman and and Clausen still out there should generate enough interest to get a latter 1st round and a second rounder. If that can happen it needs to happen. Also JC needs to go before or during the draft, even a 5th rounder at this point would be ok, there will be no happy ending for JC in DC.

Posted by: Stu27 | April 19, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: dlhaze1 | April 19, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse


Look, dl, I don't want to aggravate chrislarry's irritable bowel syndrome.

So I'll say my final bit and let it rest - it's a free country so of course you are free to disagree.


The Skins were being linked to any and every Drew Rosenhaus client that had a big name - that's not breaking news.

Mortensen took the "rumor" and scooped JLa with actual "news" - facts and details about negotiations, etc.

That's the pattern we saw again and again and again and again.

JLa showing up a day late and a dollar short.

Posted by: p1funk | April 19, 2010 12:49 PM | Report abuse

* beep beep *

new post...

Posted by: NateinthePDX | April 19, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Clausen won't go before 6 anyway. Seattle can just chill and get him if they want him. I like the idea of trading down and getting a tackle later but who knows. I am looking forward to all of our potential trades and who we draft. Gonna be an exciting week.

Posted by: FedorEm | April 19, 2010 12:43 PM | Report abuse


Well, that's why I'm hoping that there's a trade up "buzz" about him - kind of like what happened with Sanchez last year.

If Buffalo and/or Niners are sitting there knowing that Carroll would love to take Clausen and #6, then they need to make a move to get him.

If Carroll wants to take Clausen at #6, but thinks Buffalo/Niners are going to make a move to get him; then Carroll needs to make a move to get him.

Posted by: p1funk | April 19, 2010 12:52 PM | Report abuse

"This is the best draft in a while to have a lot of picks."


It sure is.

That's why I believe two players will be moved oin draft day/night for picks in round 5.

And that sounds like Campbell and McIntosh to me.

Posted by: MistaMoe | April 19, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: p1funk | April 19, 2010 12:49 PM

Long ago I made a promise to myself to never say to someone up here to “agree to disagree”…….so I won’t say it.

Posted by: dlhaze1 | April 19, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

beep beeeeeeeeeep

Posted by: dcsween | April 19, 2010 1:08 PM | Report abuse

OK, so which one is Haslett in the picture?

Posted by: Thinker_ | April 19, 2010 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Am I the only one who really hopes Shanny and Big Al work things out? When he's healthy, he is the most dominant defensive lineman in the league. Why wouldn't we want this guy on our team? He may not be happy about this 3-4 business, but when it's time to play, I would expect he'd go out there and be dominant again. I wouldn't count on a second round pick to return the same dividends as Big Al.

Posted by: Special-K | April 19, 2010 3:35 PM | Report abuse

Why on earth would anybody care which reporter reported something first. If you hate RI so much, and it provides you with no news you haven't already read, why don't you just stop reading it? Or at the VERY LEAST stop posting about it.

Posted by: themattstapiece | April 20, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

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