Rookie Brandon Jenkins aims to bolster Redskins' pass rush

Rookie Brandon Jenkins aims to bolster Redskins' pass rush
August 13, 2013, 1:30 pm
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RICHMOND – As the third week of camp gets going, the tempo and intensity here at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training center has begun to ratchet up.

For rookie Brandon Jenkins, though, the game is simultaneously slowing down. And that, the 6 foot 2, 251-pound outside linebacker said, is a welcome development because it means less thinking and more reacting. 

“It’s getting back to college [speed] for me a little bit,” Jenkins said after Tuesday’s walkthrough. “The more experience I’m getting, the more I’m learning from the older guys, it is slowing down a whole lot.”

The addition of Jenkins, who was selected in the fifth round of April’s draft, is one of the main reasons the Redskins hope to have a more consistent pass rush in 2013. In Thursday’s preseason opener, Jenkins was used a part of a package that featured three outside linebackers: he lined up on the left, Ryan Kerrigan lined up as a tackle (opposite Stephen Bowen) and Brian Orakpo came from the right.

The package produced immediate results. Facing the Titans’ first team offense early in the game, the trio was on the field when Kerrigan overpowered rookie guard Chance Warmack sacked Tennessee quarterback Jake Locker.

“My freshman year in college, we had something like that, a speed package, with three outside linebackers on the field,” Jenkins said. “And coincidentally, we have the same thing here. It creates pressure on the quarterback.”

Jenkins said Orakpo’s tutelage has been critical to his adjustment from Florida State to the NFL. Against Tennessee, Jenkins was on the field for 28 snaps, the second most of any linebacker.

“I’m learning a whole lot from him,” Jenkins said of Orakpo. “Just watching him and listening to what he has to say. He’s a great player.”

Orakpo, meantime, said he happy to help a young player he believes can become “special.”

“I’m just trying to get him acclimated to the game,” Orakpo said of Jenkins. “Everything is so much faster from college to the pros. And going from defensive end to outside linebacker, especially in our defense, is very challenging. I’m just trying to make sure we stay on top of it. I see a lot of special things in him. He can really rush the passer and that’s why you see him in our package with all three of us in there really getting after it. He brings a lot to the table, so we’re going to utilize him a lot.”