The NFL is a pressure-packed environment with players fighting every day to keep their jobs and to win games. But some are under the gun more than others. Between now and the start of training camp well take a look at the players who are in the spotlight and under the most pressure to perform. Today its Brian Orakpo.When the Redskins took Brian Orakpo with the 13th pick in the 2009 NFL draft it was widely believed that they got a real steal. And with two Pro Bowl appearances and 28.5 sacks in three seasons they certainly have received solid value for the pick so far.But if the Redskins are going to get out of the basement of the NFC East and into consistent playoff contention they will need more out of Orakpo. They need him to move from being a solid player with great potential to being a great player, maybe even an elite player. Their 3-4 defense is built to pile up sacks and turnovers and it needs a star quality player at the right outside linebacker position to work to its potential.In Orakpos case, star quality would mean getting a dozen or more sacks every year. If those come, he will be getting plenty of pressures and hurries and drawing laundry piles of holding flags (he was among the NFL leaders in the latter category last year).Late last season, Jim Haslett was asked what Orakpo needed to do to take the next step. I think hes got to understand that no matter where he lines up, theyre going to have two guys on him, said the Redskins defensive coordinator. Either theyre going to chip him or theyre going to have two guys on him because theyre going to slide to him. And thats kind of way its been and he gets frustrated.Hes got to learn, like the other great rushers in the league, the Jared Allens or the Dwight Freeneys, theyre always going to have two guys on them. Hes not going to get around it and hes going to have to learn how to beat two guys.Haslet had some more tips for Orakpo. Hes going to have to learn how to work the edges a little bit more and be better under control a little bit more. I think thatll come. Hes targeted.The Redskins tried to make it so that Orakpo got targeted a little less by drafting Ryan Kerrigan in the first round. Kerrigan played well, getting 7.5 sacks after the team just got one from the left outside LB spot in 2010. But Kerrigans presence didnt help Orakpo much as his sack total went from 8.5 to 9.With an offseason of work under his belt now, it is hoped that Kerrigan will take the next step and make teams pay for giving Orakpo too much attention. If opposing offenses have to split their protection to try to devote extra resources to both outside linebackers, both Kerrigan and Orakpo will benefit.But the onus will fall on Orakpo. He is will be 26 this season and he has two years remaining on his rookie contract. Players who get double digit sacks year in and year out and can take over games when their teams need them two can make more money than players at just about any other position except quarterback.If he can shake the double teams and make the move from good to great the payoff will be huge for both Orakpo and the Redskins.Rich Tandler blogs about the Redskins at www.RealRedskins.com. You can reach him by email here and follow him on Twitter @Rich_Tandler.
Ryan Kerrigan joined CSN on Facebook Live, presented by Paisano's, to preview the Redskins' game in London and much more.
- Previewing Redskins-Bengals in London
- Free time in London
- How the team's game plan changes week-to-week
- The origin of his sack dance
Rich Tandler is talking live with Ryan Kerrigan at Paisano's Pizza and taking your questions ahead of the Washington Redskins' trip across the pond to take on the Bengals.Posted by CSN Mid-Atlantic on Tuesday, October 25, 2016
The Redskins and Bengals are headed across the pond for a pivotal Week 8 game in London, England.
The Redskins (4-3), saw their four-game win streak snapped in Week 7 thanks to a heartbreaking 20-17 loss to the Lions. The Bengals (3-4) snapped a two-game losing streak with a 31-17 win over the Browns in Week 7.
With the game taking place in London, the start time is going to be different than your typical Sunday. Much different.
The NFL International Series Game between the Redskins and Bengals takes place at the world-famous Wembley Stadium, the host venue for the FA Cup and English National Soccer Team. The Week 8 game in London will be the Redskins's second regular season international game, having played the Buffalo Bills in Toronto on Oct. 30, 201l.
The Redskins have played overseas twice, both games coming in the preseason. They played at Wembley Stadium during the 1992 preseason and in Osaka Japan during the 2002 preseason.
When does time does the Redskins-Bengals game in London start? How can I watch the Redskins-Bengals game? CSN Mid-Atlantic has those questions (and more) covered.
PODCAST: LATEST EPISODE OF #REDSKINSTALK
Week 8 Redskins vs. Bengals game information:
Who: Washington Redskins vs. Cincinnati Bengals
What: Week 8 of the 2016 NFL Season (NFL International Series Game)
Where: Wembley Stadium. London, England
When: 9:30 a.m. ET on Sunday, October 30
TV Channel: FOX
TV Announcers: Kenny Albert (Play-by-Play), John Lynch (Color), Pam Oliver (Sidelines)
How to Watch: Redskins Kickoff begins at 8:30 a.m. ET on CSN Mid-Atlantic (Channel Finder)
Live Stream: NFL GamePass
Radio: ESPN 980, Redskins Radio Network
Point Spread: Bengals -2.5
WASHINGTON REDSKINS 2016 SCHEDULE:
Week 1 (Mon. 9/12): 16-38 loss, Pittsburgh Steelers (0-1)
Week 2 (Sun. 9/18): 27-23 loss, Dallas Cowboys (0-2)
Week 3 (Sun. 9/25): 29-27 win, New York Giants (1-2)
Week 4 (Sun. 10/2): 31-20 win, Cleveland Browns, (2-2)
Week 5 (Sun. 10/9): 16-10 win, Baltimore Ravens, (3-2)
Week 6 (Sun. 10/16): 27-20 win, Philadelphia Eagles (4-2)
Week 7 (Sun. 10/23): 17-20 loss, Detroit Lions (4-3)
Week 8 (Sun. 10/30): vs. Cincinnati Bengals, 9:30 a.m. ET in London — FOX
Week 9 (Sun. 11/6): BYE WEEK
Week 10 (Sun. 11/13): vs. Minnesota Vikings, 1:00 p.m. — FOX
Week 11 (Sun. 11/20): vs. Green Bay Packers, 8:30 p.m. — NBC
Week 12 (Thurs. 11/24): at Dallas Cowboys, 4:30 p.m. — FOX
Week 13 (Sun. 12/4): at Arizona Cardinals, 4:25 p.m. — FOX
Week 14 (Sun. 12/11): at Philadelphia Eagles, 1:00 p.m. — FOX
Week 15 (Mon. 12/19): vs. Carolina Panthers, 8:30 p.m. — ESPN
Week 16 (Sat. 12/24): at Chicago Bears, 1:00 p.m. — FOX
Week 17 (Sun. 1/1): vs. New York Giants, 1:00 p.m. — FOX