Quick Links

Brian Orakpo: "It finally sunk in"

orako_warmup.png

Brian Orakpo: "It finally sunk in"

Brian Orakpo was ruled out for the season midway through last month with a torn pectoral muscle he suffered in Week 2.

The realization that he wasn't coming back, though, didn’t hit the former two-time Pro Bowler until he returned to Redskins Park in recent days to begin an arduous 4-6 month rehabilitation process.

“It’s not a situation where I’m going to come back and play,” Orakpo said in his first public comments since prior to the Redskins' game in St. Louis on Sept. 16. “But I want to be around and show that I care, show all the support and [give] all the help I can.”

He added: “It’s not something I’m accustomed to. It finally sunk in.”

Orakpo said teammates and coaches have been instrumental in helping him get over the disappointment. But it was a switch that flipped in his head this week that’s allowed him to begin moving forward.

“It was just the realization that I’m not coming back,” he said. “I would love to come back and help any way I can, but the facts are the facts. I’m out for the season. It’s something I have to deal with.”

Orakpo originally injured his left pectoral in the final game of 2011 and had surgery to repair the muscle in the offseason. He aggravated the injury in the preseason and then reinjured the pectoral while making a tackle against the Rams. The linebacker had surgery late last month.

“It just wasn’t right,” he said. “You could see as I had my [ice] wraps and different stuff to kind of compensate for the pain I was going through. It wasn’t right, but I was trying to go out there and play, do what I can. And it tore on me. It’s a physical, violent game that we play.”

Orakpo attended Sunday’s 38-26 victory over Minnesota. It wasn’t a flawless performance for the defense, but Orakpo singled out Lorenzo Alexander and the rest unit for putting away the Vikings in the fourth quarter.

“I think they are doing a great job handling adversity and, last week, being able to finish the game when the Vikings were making a run to get back into the game,” Orakpo said. “They were able to close it out.”

If Orakpo does not encounter any setbacks, he could be return for OTAs and minicamp. Right now, though, Orakpo is trying not to look too far ahead.

“I’m just going to get the best rehab and best treatment I can,” he said, “better my body and get ready for next year.”

Quick Links

Redskins 2017 OTAs to-do list: It's time to find a nose tackle

Redskins 2017 OTAs to-do list: It's time to find a nose tackle

Free agency is done. The draft is history. Rookie minicamp is in the rearview and the 90-man offseason roster has been filled out. Now comes the difficult part for Jay Gruden and his staff: putting it all together. With OTAs set to begin on Tuesday, Redskins Insiders JP Finlay and Rich Tandler will examine top priorities on Gruden’s to-do list as he prepares the team for training camp in Richmond later this summer.

Up today …

Nose tackle

Finlay: There's a lot to do on the Redskins defensive line, and it starts in the middle. Expect free agent addition Stacy McGee to have a big opportunity to take over the nose tackle job. McGee ranked as a +5.5 run defender last season as rated by Pro Football Focus, and at 6-foot-3 and 308 lbs., he has the size to man the middle. McGee has plenty of talent, health has been his hiccup. He has only played all 16 games in one of his four seasons, and in 2016, he played only nine games.

Beyond McGee, the Redskins have some lottery tickets. Practice squad players A.J. Francis and Joey Mbu both have the size to play nose, but neither have the experience. Could Francis or Mbu emerge for significant snaps with the Washington defense? Sure, but it would be unexpected. 

A bigger lottery ticket remains. Phil Taylor, a former first-round pick in 2012, has shown serious talent at the nose tackle position. At 6-foot-3 and 337 lbs., Taylor certainly has the size for the spot. At the same time, Taylor hasn't played an NFL game since 2014, losing both 2015 and 2016 to injury. Counting on Taylor would be short-sighted, but if he can remain healthy, there could be big value.

According to Jay Gruden, the most important piece of the nose tackle puzzle will come from new defensive line coach Jim Tomsula. Gruden said he expects Tomsula to "make" a nose tackle and improve the Redskins D-line. It's a tall order, but Tomsula has an impressive track record working in the trenches. 

Tandler: The organization’s refusal to get a legitimate nose tackle either in free agency or in the draft will lead to them again spend the spring and summer trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

That’s what they did last year with Ziggy Hood. He took a lot of snaps at nose tackle and he simply wasn’t a fit for the job. It wasn’t his fault that the Redskins allowed a league-worst 5.0 yards per rushing attempt on first down; he’s an end and he was much more effective there.

Matt Ioannidis, a 2016 fifth-round pick, also took some snaps at nose, with similar results. At 6-3, 308, he just doesn’t have the size to be effective.

The worst part of it here is that they really can’t get too far in identifying the 2017 nose tackle. In the spring with no pads and no contact allowed they really can’t do much besides work on technique and learn assignments. Tomsula’s effort to “make” a nose tackle won’t really get going until they get to Richmond in late August.

<<<NFL POWER RANKINGS: WHO GOT BETTER AFTER THE DRAFT>>>

Want more Redskins? Check out @JPFinlayCSN and @Rich_TandlerCSN for live updates or click here for the #RedskinsTalk Podcast on iTunes, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back

Quick Links

Planning for a new Redskins stadium, Bruce Allen says the team is ahead of schedule

Planning for a new Redskins stadium, Bruce Allen says the team is ahead of schedule

The Redskins are going to build a new stadium. That is certain.

Where that stadium will be remains unclear.

Washington team president Bruce Allen spoke on Monday and explained that the team is ahead of schedule in terms of a new stadium.

RELATED: How the Redskins are changing up their front office

The team's lease expires at FedEx Field in 2027, and Allen expects the team to move into a new "jewel" of a stadium.

Maryland, Virginia and D.C. are all in play for the new facility. Currently, the team plays in Maryland but practices in Virginia.

The Redskins greatest success came when the team played in Washington at famed RFK Stadium.

ROSTER BATTLES: Left guard | Tight end Nickel cornerback  | Inside linebacker | Running back

Want more Redskins? Click here to follow JP on Facebook and check out @JPFinlayCSN for live updates via Twitter! Click here for the #RedskinsTalk on Apple Podcasts, here for Google Play or press play below. Don't forget to subscribe!