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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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Need to Know: Redskins’ Friday draft picks could be just as vital to success as first-rounder

Need to Know: Redskins’ Friday draft picks could be just as vital to success as first-rounder

Here is what you need to know on this Sunday, April 23, four days before the April 27 NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:

—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 10
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 31
—Training camp starts (7/27) 95
—Redskins opener vs. Eagles (9/10) 140

In search of someone, anyone, to stop the run

One of the areas the Redskins needed to improve last year was their rushing defense on first down. In 2015, they gave up a league-worse 5.0 yards per carry on first down. That was the worst performance in the league. It’s pretty tough to play defense when a handoff makes it second and five. The Saints, who had a historically bad defense that year, were second, fiving up 4.8 yards a pop.

Well, it was no better for the Redskins defense in 2016. Again, they gave up 5.0 yards per carry on first down, again the worst performance in the league.  Remember, this is on first down, when teams are most likely to run.

The Redskins’ problems on third down were well known. They were dead last in the league allowing first downs on 46.6 percent of third-down attempts. For context, an average performance on third down is allowing about 38 percent and the best teams are around 35 percent.

That doesn’t tell the whole story, however. The Redskins weren’t very good at getting teams to third down. They allowed first downs on 33.8 percent of their opponents’ second-down plays. That put them in the bottom third of the league. Again, you don’t have to look too hard to connect the dots to link that back to the five yards per rushing play on first down. Second and five is a piece of cake most of the time.

You don’t need an advanced degree in statistical analysis to figure out that the Redskins defense isn’t going to get much better if they can’t stop teams from running the ball on first down.

It’s easy to point to the defensive line, which has not been very good, and say that the problem is there. That certainly has something to do with it. But the Redskins didn’t have a very good D-line in 2014 and they allowed 4.1 yards per first-down rushing attempt, a performance that was right at the league average.

The factor that was common in 2015 and 2016 and was different in 2014 was the defensive coordinator. It’s possible that opposing teams found a flaw to exploit in Joe Barry’s scheme that wasn’t there in Jim Haslett’s (which surely had flaws in other places).

But X’s and O’s can only get you so far. The Redskins will be looking to take a defensive lineman early and perhaps use an additional pick or two at the position later in the draft. While getting one who can rush the passer would be a plus, they need a run stuffer who can take snaps on first down and bottle up the ground game.

The focus in the draft will be on the first-round pick but, as has been discussed here many times, that pick is unlikely to be a defensive lineman. There isn’t likely to be one at 17 who would represent good value. That could mean that the Redskins’ second- or third-round pick, perhaps an interior lineman like Caleb Brantley of Florida, Larry Ogunjobi of Charlotte, or Montravius Adams of Auburn, is just as important to the team’s success as the first-round pick.

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Mock drafts, cap bargains

Need to Know: The Redskins week that was—Mock drafts, cap bargains

Here is what you need to know on this Saturday, April 22, five days before the April 27 NFL draft.

Timeline

Days until:

—Redskins rookie camp (5/12) 20
—Redskins OTAs start (5/24) 32
—Training camp starts (7/27) 96
—Redskins opener vs. Eagles (9/10) 141

The Redskins week that was

Redskins full 2017 schedule released—Even with the Caps and Wizards in full playoff mode, the DMV stops to take a look and see when the Redskins will be playing. The Thanksgiving game was surprising. It’s another working day but I worked at various places since I was 14 and last year was the first time I’ve had to work on Thanksgiving so I can’t complain too much about working two in a row. It’s a small price to pay for having the best job in the world.

Don't count out any RB for Redskins at 17—Yeah, I know that NFL teams aren’t supposed to take running backs in the first round any more. But that is one of those trends that comes and goes. In 2013 and 2014 there were no RBs taken in the first. Todd Gurley and Ezekiel Elliott in the last couple of years began to shift the thinking. If the Redskins think that Dalvin Cook or Christian McCaffrey can help them win games more than any other player on the board they should pull the trigger.

Rise of Patrick Mahomes could bring big payoff for Redskins—It seems likely that quarterbacks Deshaun Watson and Mitchell Trubisky will be taken before the Redskins pick at No. 17 goes on the clock. That means that two players in whom the Redskins might be interested will be available, pushed back by the quarter backs. Could Mahomes, out of Texas Tech, push a third player back to Washington. The buzz is that a team might grab him in the first half of the first round.

The Redskins' five best salary cap bargains for 2017—When I started pulling the numbers for this post I thought I’d find more key players with salaries of under $1 million. I only found three and one of them is the kicker. This means that they don’t have very many late-round or undrafted players who are contributing a lot of value. They need more out of players like Anthony Lanier, Matt Ioannidis and Maurice Harris. That is how a team thrives in the salary cap era. A couple of Saturday picks could make or break this draft.

Redskins mock 2.0 goes offense early, defense often—There are a lot of ways the first 16 picks of this draft can work out. It seems almost certain that everyone’s favorite first-round pick, a stud defensive lineman, won’t be a realistic option on the board. This could send things in an odd direction for the Redskins. It’s fun to do a mock and I’ll do one or two more prior to draft day but there are too many variables to think that it has a high degree of accuracy. 

Stay up to date on the Redskins. Rich Tandler covers the team 365 days a year. Like his Facebook page Facebook.com/TandlerCSN and follow him on Twitter @Rich_TandlerCSN.

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