Blache Weighs in on Orakpo's Holdout
Defensive coordinator Greg Blache usually has strong views, and the holdout of top pick Brian Orakpo was high on his list of concerns after the second session Thursday at Redskins Park.
Blache expected Orakpo to report for the first day of training camp with the rest of the team, but the former University of Texas All-American defensive end missed the first day while his agents continued contract negotiations with the team. The Redskins plan to use Orakpo as an end/strong-side linebacker, and he has a lot of work to do, Blache said.
"Any time a guy's missing practice, somebody's taking his reps," said Blache, who directed the league's No. 4 overall defense last season. "Somebody else is getting better, he's not getting better [and] we're not getting better as a team. When a guy holds out, it doesn't help him; it doesn't help the football team. The only person it benefits is the agent, so he can recruit people next year. What they're fighting about right now [in contract talks], Orakpo couldn't explain it to you in 20 years probably.
"He's a very intelligent person, but it's minute things. That's our business. Those things happen. Guys that aren't here, we don't worry about. When he comes then we worry about him. In the meantime, he's got to make decisions, [and] they [Orakpo and his agents] have to make decision. But you know what? We've got to make decisions. We're moving forward."
With Orakpo missing from camp, linebacker Alfred Fincher and defensive end/linebacker Chris Wilson played significantly at strong-side linebacker. The plan is for Orakpo to fill that role with the first team.
"I'm a rookie out of college, playing a new position, and I'm missing those reps?" Blache said. "I'm not getting those opportunities? I wouldn't want to do that."
Primarily a hand-down rusher for the Longhorns, Orakpo would have to work more in space in pass coverage if he successfully made the transition to linebacker. "We saw some of it in the OTAs, but I just think it's something he hasn't done a lot of," Blache said. "He needs all the work he can do at it."
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