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Redskins Insider: Brian Orakpo's new role: The "Buck"

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In the Redskins' new 3-4 defense, only one outside linebacker regularly has significant coverage responsibility. The position is nicknamed the "Buck" linebacker, and standout second-year player Brian Orakpo will fill the key role this season. The Redskins, at least initially, will rely on Orakpo to be a bigger part of their pass defense than Lorenzo Alexander and Andre Carter, who are competing for the other starting outside spot. Orakpo, who had 11 sacks as a rookie last season, will blitz a lot.


Washington Redskins - Brian Orakpo - Andre Carter - Lorenzo Alexander - Linebacker

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Neophyte

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Maybe it is just me but I really envisioned Orakpo filling a role very much like Ware plays for Dallas. Of Ware Phillips has said he rushes the QB on every play. Every single play. When asked about running plays, Phillips chuckled and said Ware plays the run on the way to the QB.

I understand deception and misdirection play a part in a solid defensive game plan. I really do. But I also believe knowing that a guy is coming every play, all day and that getting to the QB is his sole goal in this world makes the opposition really think about him and leaves others open.

I can't help but wonder if the Skins are not, yet again, playing a guy out of position like they tried to force with countless others before (Landry and Arrington being the biggest examples of this).
 

Jugband McGillicuddy

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Army Marshall

Maybe it is just me but I really envisioned Orakpo filling a role very much like Ware plays for Dallas.
You're not alone, Neo. I wish I had a quarter for everytime I've said, "I see Orakpo being our DeMarcus Ware."

I agree with you that Rak probably isn't the best guy to use in coverage. And that certainly seems to be playing away from his strengths. But I sure don't want to rely on Carter or Alexander much in coverage. I think our best coverage LB is Rocky, but that's tough to do from the inside.
 

Lanky Livingston

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The article says that Orakpo is going to blitz a lot. Haslett has said he intends to rush Orakpo 600+ plus times this year (after pass-rushing only 200 last year).

The problem with what Wade does in Big D is that you get DeMarcus "Where" a lot of the time - he disappears from games. Teams know he is going to do one thing, and one thing only - rush the passer. If they have the personnel to shut him down, he'll get shut down.

Look at last year: He opened the year with zero sacks in his first four games, and had one sack against the NFC East combined (zero against Washington and Philly). Orakpo finished with 11 sacks, and rushed the passer a fraction of what Ware did.

I think we'll see Rak rush the passer plenty this season - but by mixing it up, Haslett will keep defenses on their toes. The only thing better than having a Ware-type player rushing the passer is having a Ware-type player and not knowing WHAT he's going to do from snap-to-snap.
 

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You know what they call a guy that rushes the passer every single play?

A defensive end.
 

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