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Brian Orakpo Notable Quotables

Brian Orakpo Notable Quotables

Here's the transcript of Brian Orakpo's conference call with the Washington media types.

On how excited he is to be a Washington Redskin:

"I am very excited.  The Washington Redskins are a great, great program.  I am just so excited to get down there and get started."

 

On why he believes the Washington Redskins are a perfect fit for him:

"I just felt it.  When I met with all the other teams, the Washington Redskins had the best vibes.  The coaching staff, the owner, the team, everything is just so great.  I told them I would be very excited to have the opportunity to play for them."

 

On how surprised he was to still be on the board at No. 13:

"To be honest with you, I wasn't even thinking about it too much.  I'm just kind of different.  I really wasn't worried about how I went.  I just wanted to have the opportunity to be drafted and finally know where I go."

 

On if there was another team he thought would take him besides the Washington Redskins:

"I thought of a lot of teams that would be a possibility, but you never know.  I just had my head on straight and was optimistic throughout the whole process."

 

On how confident he is that he can help the defense right away:

"First, it comes with a lot of hard work and that is what I know I am going to have to do and bring to the table.  Earn that respect from my teammates and come in and learn that I'm ready to work.  So, I'm pretty confident.  I have high expectations for myself each and every time I step out onto the field, so we'll see when I get down there."

 

On how excited he is to play with Albert Haynesworth:

"I am ecstatic.  Having one of the best defensive tackles in the game right now will make my job a lot easier, I'll tell you that much.  That is what you need, that force up the middle, so it will be great."

 

On holding up against the run:

"It is a huge accomplishment to the NFC East.  They have great running backs and a great running program, so you have to stop the run.  I am ready to learn from great coaches and Coach [John] Palermo and ready to get after it and stop the run when we need to and then pin your ears back and go."

 

On what he thinks he does well as a pass rusher:

"Just that fire and intensity that I bring as far as getting after the quarterback, doing whatever it takes.  I don't really have a favorite move or anything. I just go, try to do the best I can and putting pressure."

 

On if his knee injuries are a concern moving forward:

"Not at all.  When I got over these knee injuries, it was just an unfortunate situation.  What I do best is I try my best to get back and be 100 percent and don't even worry about it.  I am 100 percent right now.  I am healthy.  I am ready to go at the start of the season."

 

On his first impression of the Redskins organization:

"I think it is an organization with great tradition, great pride in the game of football.  I am just so ecstatic about being a part of this program.  Like I said, even before any of the picks, Washington would be a perfect pick for me if I'm still around.  My wish came true and here I am, ready to get started."

 

On where he thinks he will have to improve the most this season:

"Obviously, everybody is not perfect.  One thing I know is don't think pass too much.  I have to be able to stop the run obviously with the position that we are in.  That is something that I know I have to work on.  I know I can, just don't pull the trigger trying to get after the quarterback too much.  I have to settle down and play the run first."

 

On if he thinks he will play linebacker in packages:

"Exactly.  It is all about the packages that I can bring to the table.  Like I said, I talked with Coach Kirk Olivadotti, the linebacker coach, he really likes me, sees me as a SAM backer first and second and then it's time to get after it, third and long or whatever the situation is.  Get down in the stance and rush the pass and do what I do best.  That's the thing about me, I bring a lot of versatility to the table."

 

On if he has talked to any of his new teammates yet:

"I haven't talked to any of my teammates.  I've just been on the media circuit right now.  Hopefully I'll get through and turn my phone on and get started."

 

On if he knows anybody on the team already:

"Obviously Derrick Dockery, former Longhorn, is down there.  They signed Mike Williams who is from Texas.  I know a couple guys and I am just ready to get to know some more guys and make some good friendships with my teammates."

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Week 14 Playoff Scenarios: Cowboys and Patriots can earn playoff byes

Week 14 Playoff Scenarios: Cowboys and Patriots can earn playoff byes

Just when you thought it was going to stay tight in various NFL divisions, 2016 Week 13 came along. We saw DALLAS gain a firm 3-game lead in the NFC East, DETROIT jump out to a 2-game lead over Minnesota and Green Bay in the NFC North, SEATTLE maintain its 3-game lead in the NFC West and NEW ENGLAND vault to a 3-game lead in the AFC East.  Other division races remain either tied (NFC South, AFC North and AFC South) or within one game at the top (AFC West).

That separation in various divisions has us looking at three division title clinching scenarios this week and Dallas and New England can first-round playoff byes, with Dallas also having a shot at claiming homefield advantage throughout the playoffs as the #1 seed.

Before we get to those scenarios and one involving Oakland gaining a playoff berth, let's recap Week 13.  With DALLAS' win over Minnesota last Thursday and Washington's loss at Arizona, the COWBOYS clinched a playoff berth.  Week 13 is the earliest DALLAS has clinched a playoff spot since 2007 when they clinched playoffs in Week 13, Division title in Week 14, a playoff bye in Week 15 and homefield advantage Week 16.  That was also the year the 10-6 NY GIANTS beat the 13-3 COWBOYS on the road in the Divisional Round 21-17. :-)

Two teams were also eliminated from playoff contention during Week 13 as JACKSONVILLE's loss to Denver was the Jaguars final nail in the coffin and the NY JETS loss on Monday Night at home to Indy spelled their playoff doom.  Jacksonville has failed to make the playoffs since 2007 and the NY Jets haven't seen Postseason since 2010.  That leaves 28 teams in Super Bowl contention with four weeks to play which is 5th best in last 9 years, but 3 off last year's record number of 31 teams in contention.

QUIZ TIME: Which NFL team hasn't made the playoffs in ANY YEAR since the League realigned in 2002?   Answer Below (and it might surprise you).

HERE ARE YOUR 2016 WEEK 14 OFFICIAL PLAYOFF SCENARIOS: 

DALLAS COWBOYS
   Dallas clinches division title:
    1) DAL win
   Dallas clinches a first-round bye:
    1) DAL win + DET loss or tie
    2) DAL win + SEA loss
   Dallas clinches homefield advantage throughout NFC playoffs:
    1) DAL win + DET loss or tie + SEA loss

SEATTLE SEAHAWKS
   Seattle clinches division title:
    1) SEA win + ARI loss or tie
    2) SEA tie + ARI loss

NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS
   New England clinches division title:
    1) NE win + MIA loss or tie
    2) NE tie + MIA loss
   New England clinches a first-round bye:
    1) NE win + MIA loss or tie + PIT loss or tie

OAKLAND RAIDERS
   Oakland clinches a playoff berth:
    1) OAK win + MIA loss or tie
    2) OAK win + DEN loss
    3) OAK tie + MIA loss + BAL loss or tie
    4) OAK tie + MIA loss + PIT loss or tie  

MORE NFL: SHOULD THE REDSKINS' OL TAKE SOME OF BLAME FOR RECENT LOSS?

OAKLAND's situation is interesting as the Raiders have two-team tiebreaker advantage over both New England and Miami (whichever one doesn't win the division when looking at playoff berth clinching scenarios). You then have to look to see if eitehr Miami or New England can use Kansas City or Denver to jump over Oakland in this exercise.  Miami loses tiebreaker to Denver based on common opponents and canít use Kansas City since there is no scenario where the three-way KC-OAK-DEN tie ends with DEN finishing first, KC second and OAK third.  Kansas City would win the AFC West in that tiebreaker in this scenario no matter what happens in future games after this Thursday.  However, Miami CAN use Kansas City if Denver ties this week instead of loses and Denver wins division at 11-4-1 and KC and OAK tie at 11-5.  New England can beat KC and jump Oakland in that same Denver division winner scenario.  THUS...the need for a DENVER LOSS with an OAKLAND WIN as one clinching option this week.

TIEBREAKER NOTES AND ANECDOTES:
- If DALLAS were to clinch the #1 seed this week, not only will it be interesting to see what the COWBOYS do with playing time for Tony Romo and the Rookies, but it will also mean that DALLAS won't have "must-win" motivation when they face TAMPA BAY Week 15 and DETROIT Week 16...two teams firmly in the Playoff hunt.
- If NEW ENGLAND clinches the AFC East title this week, it will be the EIGHTH consecutive division title for the Patriots and 13 titles in the last 14 years.  Amazing.
- If DALLAS were to clinch the #1 seed in week 14, it will be the earliest any NFL team has accomplished that since the 2009 Indianapolis Colts (who also did the same thing in 2005). No NFC team has clinched the #1 seed with three weeks to play since the 1985 Chicago Bears.  Super Bowl Shuffle anyone? 

QUIZ ANSWER: THE BUFFALO BILLS have not made the playoffs since realignment in 2002 (only NFL team) and haven't made the playoffs since 1999 which be remembered as the year Buffalo lost to Tennessee in the Wild Card Playoffs 22-16 in what is known as the "MUSIC CITY MIRACLE".  Can you say Frank Wycheck?

PLAYOFF PREDICTIONS FOLLOWING WEEK 12:
SEED    AFC                NFC
1    New England Patriots        Dallas Cowboys
2    Kansas City Chiefs        Seattle Seahawks (jumps ATL for #2)
3    Pittsburgh Steelers        Atlanta Falcons
4    Houston Texans            Detroit Lions
5    Oakland Raiders            New York Giants
6    Denver Broncos            Washington Redskins (need to go 3-1 vs. TB 2-2)

Enjoy Week 14 and best of luck to your favorite team!

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Need to Know: Do the Redskins need a big day from Cousins to win?

Need to Know: Do the Redskins need a big day from Cousins to win?

Here is what you need to know on this Tuesday, December 6, five days before the Washington Redskins play the Philadelphia Eagles.

Timeline

Today's schedule: Off day

Days until: Panthers @ Redskins 14; Redskins @ Bears Christmas Eve 19; Giants @ Redskins, New Year’s Day 26

Injuries of note vs. Cardinals:
C Spencer Long (concussion), S Will Blackmon (concussion)
Postgame injury report

Last look at Redskins vs. Cardinals

Turning point: I have feeling that Sunday was a pivotal point in the season. When it’s all over the Cardinals game will either be looked at as the beginning of the end of their playoff run or as the low point that preceded a streak that got them into the playoffs.

A one-man show? One question raised on Sunday is whether the Redskins can win without a stellar performance from Kirk Cousins. His completion percentage of 56.8 on Sunday was his worst in any game this season. He made some nice passes but all in all he was not the guy who has carried the team for the past six weeks. If they are going to make the playoffs and perhaps do something when they get there the defense and running game are going to need to pitch in.

Pass happy play calling: The Redskins’ first four plays were passes. Then Rob Kelley went up the middle for 13 yards. The next five plays were passes. It was foreshadowing; during a game they never trailed by more than one score the Redskins called 39 passes and 17 runs. Kelley got 63 yards of 14 carries and Chris Thompson got 24 yards on two. Doing the math, the running backs averaged 5.4 yards per carry. I’m not one to nitpick the play calling but perhaps a few more handoffs would have helped move the ball more effectively.

Snap count spot check: Vernon Davis played every offensive snap but one. On defense, Duke Ihenacho played 64 snaps, his second-highest total of the season. They were in nickel a lot—Kendall Fuller played 55 snaps—but Su’a Cravens played only 37 snaps, about half.

Potpourri: If Dustin Hopkins was in a slump it looks like he’s out of it after booming a 53-yard field goal and pounding all six of his kickoffs for touchbacks . . . Although Davis did catch five passes for 47 yards with Jordan Reed out, he is missed as a second option when Reed can’t play . . . With Tyrann Mathieu, who usually covers the slot receiver, out Cousins tried to go to Jamison Crowder but he caught just three of the eight passes targeted to him . . . Like many games, we could stop all analysis of this game after seeing that the Redskins turned the ball over twice and didn’t manage to take it away.  

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