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Need to Know: The Redskins’ plan for Brian Orakpo

Jun 27, 2014, 4:51 AM EDT


Here is what you need to know on this Friday, June 27, 27 days before the Redskins start training camp.

Three and out

—“Ryan, it’s his strength. What are the little things you do to make him better? It’s to try to get Ryan to play to his strength which is his strength. He’s a freak. I was shocked.” That’s Brian Baker when asked what Ryan Kerrigan’s strong point is. It kind of seems strange that a player would have to learn how to use his strength. But if Baker can give him some pointers and turn him into a double-digit sack guy that’s a huge plus.

—“Rak’s special thing is, he’s an unbelievable momentum rusher. Once he gets off the rock and he’s hitting the rush angles he puts so much pressure on the tackle that he is going to by and large put pressure on the quarterback whether it’s on the outside rush or outside end rush when that ball’s snapped he’s going.” That’s Baker answering the same question about Orakpo. If he gets his guy moving backwards, he gets to the QB. If he can’t, he struggles.

—“[Orakpo] tends to get thick on guys, get down the middle on guys. That makes it harder to, No. 1, rush through a 320-pound offensive tackle in time to get the quarterback from such a wide spot, just from a time an space situation, that’s tough to do. What we want to do with him, is everything that he’s doing, get him comfortable rushing at that same relative angle but now working half the man.” This is how Baker is trying to get Orakpo to get around tackles without taking too wide and angle. It all sounds good to a bunch of reporters standing around the coach with recorders in June. We’ll see how it works out on the field when Sept. 7 rolls around.

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—It’s been 180 days since the Redskins played a game; in 72 days they play the Texans in their 2014 season opener.

Days until: Training camp 27; Preseason opener vs. Patriots 41; Home opener Jaguars @ Redskins 79

In case you missed it

  1. hitmeimopen - Jun 27, 2014 at 9:28 AM

    What about Rak’s shrugging off comments that he needs more moves? Seemed he bristled at the thought. Usually that’s a red flag…”how dare you insinuate that I need anything!”. Pretty cocky for a guy whose stats don’t really warrant it. I have a sense that teams around the league don’t fear him. He should be more of a team player and do all he can to improve…apparently, he doesn’t agree.

    • kenlinkins - Jun 27, 2014 at 9:47 AM

      Agreed, I do not understand Orakpo’s mind set. Maybe I am misreading his comments. Rich: does it seem that coach Baker is connecting with Orakpo (or the other OLB’s in general)?

      • manchild157 - Jun 27, 2014 at 2:04 PM

        I was watching an interview at camp last year when the interviewer asked about incorporating a spin move, he basically dismissed the notion. I think he feels he’s a bull rusher and will over power by pushing a tackle back, then releasing to take the angle to the qb or rb. Hope Baker and/or Gruden is connecting with him. He’s a good one trick pony but still a one trick pony.

        • Rich Tandler - Jun 27, 2014 at 2:12 PM

          Don’t look for a spin move from Orakpo.

          I haven’t had a chance to transcribe it yet but Baker told me that some rushers can execute a spin move (and other moves) and some can’t. He said he’d rather spend his time getting Orakpo to improve what he does well—the bull rush, using the techniques described in this post—than spending time working on something he’s probably not ever going to do very well.

          Fans seem to be obsessed with the spin move. Not all rushers use it. There’s more than one way to skin that cat.

          > >

  2. kenlinkins - Jun 27, 2014 at 9:29 AM

    Bring Baker on as a LB / Pass Rush coach maybe be the single best off season move made by the Redskins! We have TWO first round picks at OLB and Two under developed guys in Jenkins & Murphy plus Jackson! It seems that Coach Baker has no fear speaking of the weakness of even a “Tagged” $12 million man or calling out “The Smart One” to become more of a beast. Now that is fresh, and much needed IMO. We will not know until the pads are on, but I am looking forward to seeing fear in QB’s eyes if coach Baker can help Rac, Ryan and crew become something special. The talent is there, the Redskins just have to find a way to unlock it and coach Baker could be the answer!

    • manchild157 - Jun 27, 2014 at 2:07 PM

      Probably will see improvements in pass rush Ken. Seems the new philosophy calls for our olb to not fall back into coverage like the last 3 years…..more downs to get after the qb.

  3. alextwrs - Jun 27, 2014 at 4:07 PM

    I have heard on many occasions that rak needs to use his hands more when engaged in a bull rush situation. I’m sure baker is on it. It seems like he is held a lot as well. I would love to see us rushing our best talent rather than using them in coverage as well. If we do I like the fact that we still have r jax talents in open field. I like our depth as well. I hope we don’t give up on Jenkins. Hail

    • kenlinkins - Jun 27, 2014 at 9:20 PM

      Well, it is Baker job to get improvements on the pass rush and I guess he knows what he is doing. We can all judge the results as we see them. I am looking forward to reading Rich’s story about what Baker believes is the best way to get Orakpo to the next level. This preseason is going to be interesting to watch with all the story lines as the Redskins try to recover from 2013. Archives

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