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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."

By Jason Reid  |  July 30, 2009; 6:22 PM ET
Categories:  Jason Reid  
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Comments

That's pretty strong commentary from Blache ... about as strong as you can get without coming out and saying Orapko risks sitting on the bench this season if he doesn't show soon. Message to Snyder as much as Orapko and his agent.

Posted by: periculum | July 30, 2009 6:39 PM | Report abuse

""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."

On the other hand, Orakpo probably doesn't want to get screwed on his contract, either.

If they really wanted their rookie to shine from the outset, they wouldn't be trying to teach him a new position.

Posted by: Samson151 | July 30, 2009 6:46 PM | Report abuse

That's pretty strong commentary from Blache ... about as strong as you can get without coming out and saying Orapko risks sitting on the bench this season if he doesn't show soon. Message to Snyder as much as Orapko and his agent.

Posted by: periculum

Classic good cop (zorn) bad cop (blache). But the thing is, Blache ain't PLAYIN' "bad cop." His defense was #4 last year without Orakpo. And now he has Haynesworth and a healthy Daniels.

Posted by: TheCork | July 30, 2009 6:58 PM | Report abuse

Isn't that what the skin's coaches have been doing lately? Getting people to do things they're really not suited for?

Posted by: 72Redskins | July 30, 2009 7:02 PM | Report abuse

Beep... beep...

Posted by: scampbell1975 | July 30, 2009 7:03 PM | Report abuse

Man, I think Greg Blache is the greatest. He just tells it like it is and you get the feeling he doesn't mince words with the players either. On the Skins website he had some pretty high praise for Olivadotti and what he has done with Chris Wilson's transition to linebacker. Maybe this is just talk to get Orakpo into camp but I am definitely interested in seeing Wilson in there at linebacker. Of course, Wilson can't be setting the world on fire or they wouldn't have had Fincher starting at SAM linebacker today...

Posted by: RedSkinHead | July 30, 2009 7:14 PM | Report abuse

I seriously doubt that Orakpo is losing any sleep worried about Alfred Fincher or Chris Wilson taking his spot.

Posted by: coparker5 | July 30, 2009 7:54 PM | Report abuse

THANK YOU Blache, well said.

Posted by: BrooklynSkins | July 30, 2009 7:57 PM | Report abuse

If Orakpo is in a stance for 3rd and long, as seems to be the plan, who's playing SAM in that scenario?

Posted by: BrooklynSkins | July 30, 2009 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Samson151, I kind of with you on this. Blanche always seems to want to play people out of their natural position and it hasn't really worked out for us. Sure he has done a good job managing Greg Williams defense, but if I were Orakpo, I'd be taking anything Blanche says with a grain a salt.

Posted by: clark202 | July 30, 2009 11:00 PM | Report abuse

Orakpo is not the 1st rookie to holdout and he won't be the last. It is business as usual in the NFL, and I don't know why coaches get all caught up in contracts anyway. I'm sure Blache signed his 1st contract that he was offered too. As much as I hate it, NFL careers are short and a player has to look out for himself.

Posted by: nicefellow31 | July 30, 2009 11:26 PM | Report abuse

"The only person it benefits is the agent, so he can recruit people next year."

What exactly does Blache mean by this statement? I assume he's saying that by holding out, the agent can "squeeze" more money for his client which in turn helps the agent to recruit more potential NFL players the next year. The agent can prove that he got his client the best possible deal for the slot. That's my understanding, but someone shed light on this if I'm misinformed. Thanks!

Posted by: humen8r | July 31, 2009 12:21 AM | Report abuse

I would hardly say Blache is "managing Gregg Williams' defense" Williams is at his second job since being let go by the Redskins and Blache is still here with an improved defense. Joe Gibbs the FO and Dan Snyder know that Blache is the man and I am sure the move to linebacker is in our and Rak's best interest.

Posted by: Redbar | August 3, 2009 1:56 AM | Report abuse

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