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Orakpo isn't concerned about Haynesworth or changes to defense

No longer a rookie, Brian Orakpo understands how things work in the NFL. So the impressive second-year linebacker/defensive end figured he would face questions about defensive tackle Albert Haynesworth on Thursday afternoon during media availability at Redskins Park.

After attending the orientation session for Washington's voluntary offseason conditioning program, Haynesworth informed Coach Mike Shanahan he would work individually with a trainer. Although the Redskins' new leader said he "totally" disagrees with Haynesworth's decision, Shanahan respected the Pro Bowler for informing him of his plans in person.

With that backdrop, Orakpo stepped in front of a microphone anticipating being asked for his reaction to the Shanahan-Haynesworth situation, and the first question came about when he expected. "I knew that question was going to come up," Orakpo said, his face creased by a wide grin. "Actually, I'm good. Haynesworth knows what he's doing. He's a perennial Pro Bowl player.

"Haynesworth obviously knows that he wasn't in great shape last year, so he's handling his business to come in [in] tip-top shape and be back to that Pro Bowl type of player. You can't discredit what he's doing. He talked to the man [Shanahan] already. He handled his situation and he'll be back soon."

In addition to conditioning work, players also are watching film with their position groups, refining technique and walking through basic plays that defensive coordinator Jim Haslett is installing. The Redskins are expected to shift from a base 4-3 front to a hybrid 3-4 scheme, so isn't Haynesworth, whom the coaching staff expects to play a prominent role regardless of the team's alignments, behind in the studying aspect of the program?

"Nah, we're fine," Orakpo said, again grinning after answering the question. "We're learning a lot, but it's just early stuff. The basics. There's not a lot to pick up. But we're going to get into the harder stuff a little bit later.

"We're just trying to get a little familiar with coach Haslett's defensive scheme. Like I said, I know what you're referring to, Haynesworth, he's not missing anything. We're learning the basics. There's really nothing that he's missing. As soon as he gets back, we'll get him back to the top of things and make sure that he's on point."

As for the actual workout program, Orakpo praised the efforts of Ray Wright, Washington's new lead strength and conditioning coach, and Wright's staff, who "came in with great passion, a great-structured plan to get us better. That's one thing I like. I'm all about organization and structure. Last year was a mess.

"I'm not going to bash anybody but it [the in-season conditioning program] was a mess, as far as everybody just ... we'll go in, then we'll leave. It really wasn't structured. Coach Wright came in with a good plan, making sure everybody is handling their business, and getting the needs that we need to get our bodies prepared for a long stretch of the season."

By Jason Reid  |  March 25, 2010; 1:40 PM ET
Categories:  3-4 defense , Albert Haynesworth , Brian Orakpo , Jim Haslett  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Larry Johnson a no-show for media availability
Next: Chris Wilson signs with Redskins

Comments

Criminy! Fast and furious today.

I kind of love the offseason, dumb as it is. We ain't lost nothin' yet!

Posted by: NateinthePDX | March 25, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

I am a little confused that we have shown no interest in Darren Sharper. He has proven he is still a starting caliber FS, and thats something this team needs desperately. He is the prototypical FS, can play the ST type role deep in coverage and has great ball skills. This is a double move because it allows us to move LL back to his naturaly SS position where he is a beast. Let LL play 10 yards off the line of scrimmage and let him wreck havoc on teams running games and opposing QBs... thats what he does.

He might be expensive and I guess we are rebuilding and since were not going to be good for 2 years it doesn't really make that much sense, since he'll be expensive, but it would allow LL to get back to SS for a couple of years and let him relearn how to play it. I dont know I just think we should at least be talking about it...

Posted by: peoplearestupid1 | March 25, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Allow me to put the kabosh on this JC isn't worth a first nonsense: JC for the rest of his contract, one year, is not worth a first.

A team would have to send a first, and THEN start negotiating a contract extension. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out that if a team just traded a first rounder for the right to negotiate a contract with you, you have all the leverage.

Posted by: mattsoundworld | March 25, 2010 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Dang ol' beeps

Posted by: mattsoundworld | March 25, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Really?

Posted by: mattsoundworld | March 25, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

I do kind of enjoy "Give My Regards to Davey", though.

And perhaps it goes without saying, but my bracket be damned, I wish Cornell continued success in this tournament.

Posted by: NateinthePDX | March 25, 2010 1:44 PM | Report abuse

Love to hear the positives about the new trainers.......here's to way fewer injuries this year!

Posted by: dlhaze1 | March 25, 2010 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Hmmmm. From my perspective, Campbell has 2 throwing motions, the wind up for longer passes and a short motion for shorter passes. The shorter motion is almost like a dart throw and he does that pretty well. He uses that short motion a lot, especially when he's on the move.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | March 25, 2010 1:15 PM | Report abuse

I've seen the second throwing motion but I've only ever seen him use it when he's on the run. He needs to use a third motion when trying to hit a WR or RB in the flat. Niether of his throwing motions work for that situation. His normal motion has way too much of a wind up. His on the run motion has too much arch on it to work in the flat. He needs a quicker flatter throw for those throws to the flat. It drives us nuts to see him miss a RB 10 feet away or throw it so slow and high that Moss has no chance to break a tackle.

Posted by: PAskinsfan17 | March 25, 2010 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Amen!

Posted by: skinsfanintampa | March 25, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

I love Orakpo.

I wish we had a whole team of this guy.

- Ray

Posted by: rmcazz | March 25, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

"We're just trying to get a little familiar with coach Haslett's defensive scheme. Like I said, I know what you're referring to, Haynesworth, he's not missing anything. We're learning the basics."


True.

A vet defensive lineman pretty much knows that there's only so many places he can line up.

But what's also true is that a high paid vet gets that he is to be a leader by example in some way.

And that's where Prince Al's actions are all wrong.

Posted by: MistaMoe | March 25, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Still got Cuse over WVU but both those teams are hurtin now...

Posted by: Rypien11 | March 25, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

I kind of love the offseason, dumb as it is. We ain't lost nothin' yet!

Posted by: NateinthePDX | March 25, 2010 1:43 PM | Report abuse
-------------------------

We are not statistically eliminated from the playoffs yet, either :)

Posted by: mattsoundworld | March 25, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse

I'm all about organization and structure. Last year was a mess. - Orakpo

Gotta love hearing star players call your offseason training a mess, really builds confidence. I am a Zorn apologist for some reason, I think he got a raw deal... but its quotes like this that make it really hard for me to say anything nice about Zorn and the old regime... Frustrating to say the least.

Posted by: peoplearestupid1 | March 25, 2010 1:49 PM | Report abuse

Hell yes, mattsoundworld, that's the spirit!

Five months until kickoff, and a lot less 'til training camp!

Posted by: NateinthePDX | March 25, 2010 1:50 PM | Report abuse

And that's where Prince Al's actions are all wrong.

Posted by: MistaMoe | March 25, 2010 1:47 PM | Report abuse
-------------------------

Don't anger the Big Al protection committee.

Posted by: mattsoundworld | March 25, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

I am a little confused that we have shown no interest in Darren Sharper

Posted by: peoplearestupid1 | March 25, 2010 1:43 PM

Sharper is 34...

From Adam Schefter
"Postseason knee surgery -- a little more serious than what was reported -- scared off some teams. Still, Sharper is wanted and welcome back in New Orleans, and that might be his best option at this point. But should some safety-needy team fail to get one in next month's draft, Sharper will be healthier then, and he might be more attractive."n at this point. But should some safety-needy team fail to get one in next month's draft, Sharper will be healthier then, and he might be more attractive."

Posted by: Diesel44 | March 25, 2010 1:52 PM | Report abuse

I'm convinced Jim Zorn was the most incompetent HC in the NFL in the last decade.

Posted by: PortisPocketsStr8 | March 25, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

I'd love to see a comprehensive attendance record for each day of the not-mandatory offseason training program and for this "media availability."

I'm under the impression that people other than Haynesworth who would be considered "leaders" have also opted out of some or most of the non-mandatory offseason training. But all the attention is on Mr. Haynie. Which seems a tad unfair.

Likewise, I find it hard to get riled up about Larry Johnson's postponing media availability. So it gets rescheduled, whoop de doo. I'm not happy the guy's on our team, and I anticipate a lot of cliches when he does speak: "I'm turning over a new leaf, I'm so grateful to Coach for this opportunity, it's a new start, I'm going to be working hard, I won't be hitting any more women" etc.

Posted by: NateinthePDX | March 25, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

PortisPocketsStr8, you can say that about a decade in which one fellow led his team to a 0-16 record for the first time ever?

Take your blinders off, brother. It was bad, but it wasn't that bad.

Posted by: NateinthePDX | March 25, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

PortisPocketsStr8, you can say that about a decade in which one fellow led his team to a 0-16 record for the first time ever?

Take your blinders off, brother. It was bad, but it wasn't that bad.

Posted by: NateinthePDX | March 25, 2010 1:57 PM | Report abuse

I guess that was too extreme. Rod Marinelli was terrible.

I'm still saying he ranks in the bottom 3.

Posted by: PortisPocketsStr8 | March 25, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

If Earl Thomas is there in the second round I think we should take him. Thoughts?

Posted by: PAskinsfan17 | March 25, 2010 2:02 PM | Report abuse

Playing Grossman for a whole year would be an unmitigated disaster. ...

Posted by: brownwood26 | March 25, 2010 12:01 PM

On the other hand, if he gets injured, Skins go to the Super Bowl! (On the back of some #3 QB who ends up working for next year's version of Belichek Jr. ... or, I guess, Sean Payton Jr.).

Posted by: dcsween | March 25, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

Last year was a mess.

"I'm not going to bash anybody"
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Yea, ummm okay, thanks for not bashing....

Posted by: hbu_dog | March 25, 2010 2:03 PM | Report abuse

pas, zorn apologist, thats a party of 1....

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | March 25, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Diesel44- I wasn't saying we should sign Sharper now... I know all about his knee problems, but my point is he'd be a nice little addition to our defense. Again, I myself mentioned a number of the reasons we havne't but I still think its a discussion I hope the Organization is at least having. I think he could help this team, help LL a lot and really give some of the younger guys in the 2ndary some pointers. Springs was the vet leader, they all looked up to him. He left, and Smoot took over that role... now Smoot is gone. We have no vet presence in the 2ndary and with guys like CR and DH... we need someone else as a role model for these young guys like Tyron, Barnes, the CB were going to draft next month and Horton.

Posted by: peoplearestupid1 | March 25, 2010 2:04 PM | Report abuse

We are not statistically eliminated from the playoffs yet, either :)

Posted by: mattsoundworld | March 25, 2010 1:47 PM

Dude, Skins are UNDEFEATED!

Posted by: dcsween | March 25, 2010 2:05 PM | Report abuse

"I'm convinced Jim Zorn was the most incompetent HC in the NFL in the last decade."

I put my house money on Spurrier winning that contest.

The word was that once NFL defensive coordinators ciphered Spurrier's plans, Steve assumed the fetal position, and begged for a return to the SEC.

Which is what he got.

Thing is, he went to South Carolina, and found that under his control, the Gamecocks couldn't lick anybody but themselves.

Posted by: MistaMoe | March 25, 2010 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Some of the highlights from last year ladies and gents.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZZypDzW81-c

Enjoy!

Posted by: skinsfanintampa | March 25, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Bean- it really is. Im all alone on that one and to be honest i'm ok with it. I think he will be a good HC in the future. He needs to learn how to not get pushed by his players and well... a better offensive scheme probably... but I do blame a lot of his problems on the roster he inherited and the FO that was controlling it/him. He was never in a position to succeed and Danny Boy was intent on replacing him from the moment he hired him... he was never given a fair shot, and while he didn't really deserve one in the end, I just think in a better situation he would have been a great HC.... my opinion, alone, I know but its just what I think.

Posted by: peoplearestupid1 | March 25, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

If Earl Thomas is there in the second round I think we should take him. Thoughts?

Posted by: PAskinsfan17 | March 25, 2010 2:02 PM

YES. I would be shocked if he isn't the 3rd DB taken after Berry and Haden. Most sites have him coming off the board in the middle of round 1.

Posted by: Diesel44 | March 25, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

"...Campbell has 2 throwing motions, the wind up for longer passes and a short motion for shorter passes. The shorter motion is almost like a dart throw and he does that pretty well. He uses that short motion a lot, especially when he's on the move. Posted by: zcezcest1"

IMO he's better at the short stuff than anything else. Partly why he throws short so often -- he knows he can complete it. Deep is where he has problems with accuracy.

Just because you're a big strong guy doesn't mean you can complete a deep throw to somebody who's covered.


Posted by: Samson151 | March 25, 2010 2:12 PM | Report abuse

pas, disagree on all points, especially on the 'fair shot' part of things...

as we saw with Fred Davis, JZ didn't know how to manage his roster, as we saw with MKelly running go routes, he didn't know how to utilize his players, and as we're now learning from quotes from Lorenzo, DT, and Rak, that there was no training program in place, so HOW IS THAT NOT ON HIM??? He brought that on himself...he was only slightly better than Spurrier, and thats pretty bad, because Spurrier didn't give a heck, and JZ did....

Posted by: BeantownGreg1 | March 25, 2010 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Agreeing with Moe and Bean on Spurrier

F Spurrier.

Posted by: NateinthePDX | March 25, 2010 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Am not normally one to criticize the commitment of certain Redskin players... especially since I only "know" them through the news media.

However, my impression of Orakpo is that he appears to be a class act who is giving a very diplomatic response to the question of AH92's apparent unwillingness to train and practice with his teammates.

Rather than throw a teammate under the bus, he has offered to shoulder another part of the load for him.

We could only wish that AH92 were as respectful of his teammates and the organization they represent.

Posted by: Vic1 | March 25, 2010 2:21 PM | Report abuse

peoplearestupid1, How could you possibly think Zorn will be a good head coach. Name two things he did well, please. I don't even believe he was a great QB coach.

Posted by: whydoIcare | March 25, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

"...Campbell has 2 throwing motions, the wind up for longer passes and a short motion for shorter passes. The shorter motion is almost like a dart throw and he does that pretty well. He uses that short motion a lot, especially when he's on the move. Posted by: zcezcest1"

IMO he's better at the short stuff than anything else. Partly why he throws short so often -- he knows he can complete it. Deep is where he has problems with accuracy.

Just because you're a big strong guy doesn't mean you can complete a deep throw to somebody who's covered.


Posted by: Samson151

Pretty much agree with that. I'm hoping that he can be better downfield. I think Zorn messed with his mechanics and the OL messed with his timing. Not sure the WRs were running very crisp patterns either.

It was a mess and Campbell was part of it.

fwiw, the thing I like about checkdowns is that the receiver is going upfield after the catch. With some open field, its not hard to turn a very high % pass into a good gain.

Posted by: zcezcest1 | March 25, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

YES. I would be shocked if he isn't the 3rd DB taken after Berry and Haden. Most sites have him coming off the board in the middle of round 1.

Posted by: Diesel44 | March 25, 2010 2:09 PM | Report abuse

The only thing is that this year there are ~37-38 guys that all have first round grades. Even if nobody reaches in the first round for a player and only guys with first round grades are taken someone will fall to us in the second.

Posted by: PAskinsfan17 | March 25, 2010 2:23 PM | Report abuse

* beep beep *

new post...

Posted by: NateinthePDX | March 25, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Spurrier had a mind for the game. At the very least, he was a knowledgeable football guy from an Xs and Os standpoint.

Zorn was the NFL's version of Jackie Moon in semi-pro. Only Zorn was worse, because he couldn't delegate gameplanning responsibilities until he was forced to.

No shot Zorn was better than Spurrier. Zorn cared more than Spurrier. So did Vinny Cerrato. Doesn't make either of them better at their job than their abilities suggested.

Posted by: psps23 | March 25, 2010 2:29 PM | Report abuse

Nate, since you prefer the fight song:

http://fightmusic.com/mp3/ivy/Cornell__Give_My_Regards_To_Davy.mp3

And Nate, don't forget to join the Big Red crowd in Portland for the game at the On Deck Sports Bar and Grill at 910 NW 14th Ave

For those in the DC area, here are some spots you can drop in on and catch the Big Red chomp on some Wildcat.

City: Annapolis
Location: Federal House Bar and Grille
Address: 22 Market Space


City: Baltimore
Location: Max's Taphouse
Address: 737 S. Broadway


City: Rockville
Location: Buffalo WIld WIngs
Address: 33 Maryland Avenue

City: Washington DC
Location: Penn Quarter Sports Tavern
Address: 639 Indiana Avenue NW

City: Reston
Location: Champps Reston
Address: 11694 Plaza America Drive


Posted by: zcezcest1 | March 25, 2010 2:30 PM | Report abuse

I have it on good authority that the Redskins promotions staff is already planning an Albert Haynesworth Appreciation Day for the last home game before Thankgiving.

According to team sources, the first 50,000 fans entering FEDEX Field that weekend will be given a turkey baster -- and a booklet of recipes for Fat Albert's favorite Thanksgiving dishes.

Posted by: Vic1 | March 25, 2010 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: PAskinsfan17 | March 25, 2010 2:23 PM

I would say leave Thomas on the board. Especially if B.Campbell, Pouncey or a serviceable running back is available. I think Kareem Moore could cut it if necessary and if they really want to upgrade Atogwe is still available. Thomas would be a waste of a second round pick. He might be good but I dont think he is as good as Berry or Mays. And I dont think he would be able to make an instant impact and that is what you want from a second round pick.

Posted by: KingJoffeJoffer | March 25, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

Ok...Love Orakpo! Great attitude and a winner-of-a-teammate.
This "kid" gets the importance of it all, but I can't agree with his point of view that it's not a big deal that AH is missing video time with his fellow positional players, given:
A) the turnover on the D-Line this off-season and
B) the entire shift of the defensive scheme this upcoming season under entirely new coaches.

If it's no big deal, why bother wasting the time of any other staff member with this trivial stuff until they are much further along?!

I don't buy into that thought process at all. Being in the NFL is a full-time job. Why can't we contract full-time men that can live up to those expectations?!
A career in the NFL lasts for what seems like a blip on the radar; can't you give it your true all during that time frame (especially for $100 million)? I guess that's too much to ask for.
Stupid kids...they don't know what they have until it's gone.

Posted by: DC2AZ99 | March 25, 2010 10:32 PM | Report abuse

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