Friday, May 14, 2010

Orakpo and the 3-4 defense seem like a natural fit

I'll admit it: I haven't always agreed with Matt Mosley, who covers the NFC East for ESPN in his appropriately titled NFC East Blog. But Mosley seems to have hit the nail on the head in a recent post on Brian Orakpo, who just might be the Redskins' most destructive force on defense:

I spoke with Orakpo two weeks ago and he was thrilled to be working with new defensive coordinator Jim Haslett. He had 11 sacks while playing linebacker and defensive end in a [4-3] scheme.

Haslett told a local television station that Orakpo probably rushed the passer 200 times last season. He expects that number to be closer to 600 in 2010. I don't think there's a player on the team who will benefit more from the scheme change than Orakpo. The guy has no business dropping back in coverage. He needs to be hunting quarterbacks at all times.

Kudos to Mosley for also saying that Orakpo is the "best player on this defense" and that "16 sacks would be a pretty reasonable goal" for him next season. That would be fantastic. Also, how refreshing is it that the Redskins seem to be prepared to efficiently utilize their weapons? Orakpo is a nightmare for opposing offensive linemen to deal with, and he'll only be doing more of that next season.

Transitioning to the 3-4 scheme may not be easy, but it should be a lot more fun to watch than another season of bend-but-don't-break defense.

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