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Skins Quotes 10/25: M. Shanahan/K. Shanahan/Haslett

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Marine Corps Virginia


October 25, 2012
Redskins Park

Executive Vice President/Head Coach Mike Shanahan

On if linebacker London Fletcher is being evaluated for a concussion or another injury:
“He’s being evaluated for his balance issue. We evaluate him so we can find out what’s wrong. That’s why he’s with a specialist, so we can find out what the problem is. Until he’s been evaluated, we don’t know what it is.”

On if there was a specific hit that caused Fletcher’s balance issue:
“No. I didn’t know until Monday, late afternoon or something. He told that to Head Athletic Trainer Larry [Hess]. Obviously, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, we’re going to have him evaluated by the best people and find out what they think.”

On if Fletcher has ever experienced an injury like this:
“I don’t know. I can’t tell you that. Only London could. If he has had one, he hasn’t shared it with us. A lot of players don’t. I’m sure everyone gets nicked up a little bit here and there and it’s very hard to find out from guys who have been in the league for a while if they have had any problems. Talking to London, I’m not aware of anything.”

On if he could explain the extent of Fletcher’s preseason injury:
“No, not really. It was a long time ago, but it was a preseason game. Anytime someone goes through a preseason game and he isn’t 100 percent or not feeling good, whatever the issues are, obviously you want to err on the side of caution.”

On if Fletcher is in the concussion program:
“No, he’s being evaluated so he can find out if he should go in the concussion program. We don’t know. It’s a balance issue and we’re doing everything we can to find out where he’s at. That’s why he’s been taking tests here for about the last six or seven hours.”

On how tight end Fred Davis’ surgery went:
“It went well. The doctors feel like, what we talked about before, that it will be a six-month recovery time.”

On the extent of Davis’ Achilles tear:
“It was torn completely.”

On wide receiver Pierre Garçon:
“According to our doctors, it’s the same thing we’ve done before. When you talk about a capsule, you’re talking about tendons. That’s what a capsule is. There are fibers in there that are off-balance. The doctors said to us that if he can tolerate the pain then it’s not going to make it any worse. It’s still the same thing right there. When you can’t go out and perform and push off your foot…that’s where he is right now. Pierre is having a hard time just pushing off. When you can’t push off, you can’t play. We’re going to give him some time off. Hopefully, he’ll get better. You just don’t know. But it is a capsule, the same thing we’ve talked about before. It’s not going to make it any worse. It’s one of those different types of injuries. If it doesn’t get better, I’m sure we’ll have to look into other options. Initially, what Dr. [Robert] Anderson said, he feels the same way.”

On how much time Garçon will have off:
“I don’t know, but with these injuries you don’t know. It’s like a hamstring injury. Like with London, we’re going to do everything we can to make sure we find out what the problem is. You have to be a little patient and hope for the best.”

On if he wishes Garçon was more attentive to the injury during preseason:
“Everybody has injuries during the preseason, the regular season. There’s nobody that’s out there without injuries out there. I don’t care if it’s a shoulder, if it’s a rib. These guys get treatment every day. I can’t speak for Pierre, because obviously I wasn’t even aware that he had something wrong during the preseason. It kind of makes a little bit of sense because when I saw that run in the game [against the Saints] it looked like he barely got tweaked on it. Obviously, it was more serious than we first anticipated, but yeah, you always want guys to at least be honest with you so you can give it a little bit of treatment.”

On the status of Fletcher’s hamstring injury:
“I know that the hamstring needed some rest. You can’t do a lot for hamstrings if you can’t run. I’m sure his hamstring is getting better. Could he play? I can’t tell you that for sure until he’s out on the field and until we find out what the problem is with his balance. We can’t do that as well until we find out exactly what it is.”

On Fletcher and his ability to play Sunday:
“If he is able to go, then you know he’s going to be able to go. I’m sure he’s a little scared to because any time you deal with a balance issue, it’s something that is out of your control. London is a smart guy. He wants to play, but at the same time he understands that if there is something wrong with your balance then it’s a pretty tough situation to be in. He’s smart enough to not put his body into a situation that could hurt him.”

On the fluctuating optimism level about Garçon’s return from injury:
“I think it’s tough on a player. Here’s a guy who comes in and is your No.1 receiver through the offseason. First of all, it’s hard to answer the question, 'When are you going to come back?’ He really doesn’t know. He wants to play. He tried to push through that pain. It got to be so bad that he couldn’t be effective doing it. At least he was honest with us from that standpoint. We knew he was tough and he was trying to push through it. I told him, ’You’re going to know when it’s well.’ Some guys, you worry about toughness. Other guys, you don’t. With the two guys we’re talking about, London you don’t have to worry about him and you don’t have to worry about Pierre as well. That’s a good situation to be in.”

On Steelers Defensive Coordinator Dick LeBeau:
“He’s got a good scheme. We talked about that when we first came in. The Steelers, over the last 20 or so years, have been running their scheme. They’ve drafted for their scheme. They’ve kept their organization intact. Everyone knows what type of players they want. They’ve got some of the best players. They’ve got a really good scheme to keep you off balance. When you have both of those and you’ve been together for a while, usually you have continued success.”

On LeBeau’s style of coaching and preparation:
“He’s been doing the same thing forever, but with different tweaks and different game plans. He’s always been able to adjust. Very low key, very smart guy. You can tell that he’s a teacher. He gets the most out of his players. The thing that has been very consistent too is they know what they are drafting for. They’ve drafted the same type of guys. They’ve done a good job in replacing guys. When a guy is at the end of his career, they bring a young guy in and keep a little depth at the outside linebacker position, nose tackle and safety, which is key to the defense in the 3-4. You have to have those players. You have to have safeties, you have to have a nose tackle, and you have to have outside linebackers. They’ve been able to consistently do that over the years. When they haven’t, they’ve been average.”

On the status of safety Brandon Meriweather after yesterday’s practice:
“He’s a little sore. You don’t want to over-push him. I thought he had a good day yesterday. He was limited, but you could tell that pushing him today maybe would have been too much. We don’t want to set him back.”

On how tight end Chris Cooley performed in his second practice:
“I was pleased with Chris and what I saw. Again, it’s your second day in practice. You really don’t know a lot until he goes through the whole week. Chris is very sharp mentally. It doesn’t take him a long time to pick up on anything. He seems like he’s his old self. He’s out there having fun, giving guys a hard time, and doing what he can to help the team.”

On if any player has been definitively ruled out for game against the Steelers:
“Obviously, Pierre doesn’t sound good. I don’t rule anybody out for sure for obvious reasons. Same thing with London. I really don’t know until we talk to the doctors here or even get a feel for what’s going on.”

On if there is a clear cut No.1 tight end or if it will change throughout the game:
“I think guys have an opportunity now to prove what they can do. Guys will take advantage of the opportunity when one tight end goes down. Logan Paulsen is our No.1 tight end. He was number two, obviously, throughout the season. With his blocking ability, with what he has accomplished when he has played, he has played very well. He’ll be the guy.”

On if Paulsen’s game experience last season will help him in this opportunity:
“Yeah, I think it’s always good when you have some experience. Now you’re not going in as a rookie and you have a chance to not only start, but to play quite a bit. When he’s played, he’s been effective. He’s got a lot of confidence in himself as well.”

On how Robert Griffin III and Ben Roethlisberger put pressure on the defenses:
“Any time you have a quarterback that can extend the play like Ben has done and Robert has done, it puts a lot of pressure on the defenses. They’ve been good. Any time you hold a couple of teams under a couple hundred yards…They take Cincinnati and hold them to 185 yards and you’re top 10 in pass defense, run defense, total defense, all those types of things, there’s a reason for it. They’ve got good personnel and a good scheme.”

Offensive Coordinator Kyle Shanahan

On tight end Chris Cooley:
“He’s looked good. We’ve had two days with him. I thought he came in healthy. He looks in shape and he’s doing good.”

On how Cooley will handle the first week back:
“You never know. We’ll see how it goes. You never know how the plan will go. There’s a lot of different things in and we’ll judge that through the week and kind of judge him throughout the game also.”

On if signing Cooley, who has knowledge of the system, was the best-case scenario in replacing injured tight end Fred Davis:
“That helps a ton. You can’t just bring any tight end in and expect him to know what you’re doing and be ready for Sunday. Cooley is a very smart player. He’s as smart as anyone I’ve been around. He’s on top of it. Him being away from it doesn’t make him miss a beat. He knows what we’re doing and was able to hop in right away.”

On what kind of shape Cooley is in:
“You know a guy is 'in shape, but 'in shape’ is totally different than 'football in shape.’ It’s different once you take hits and stuff. It’s more about how long it takes him to recover in the next couple days. From a cardiovascular standpoint, he’s in shape.”

On if they plan to use Cooley, Niles Paul and Logan Paulsen the way they used Davis:
“I think all three of the guys are capable of doing a little bit of everything. No one is exactly like Fred, but all three of those guys are a little bit different also. None of them are just 100 percent run blockers or 100 percent pass catchers either. They all can do a little bit of everything. I think that really gives us an advantage, too.”

On Paulsen’s ability to catch:
“Logan has gotten better ever year. Logan is a gym rat. He is in this building as long as anybody. He came in as an undrafted free agent who didn’t have much chance to make the team. He’s overachieved every year and Logan is a legit player now. He is a very good blocking tight end. He’s not blowing by anybody or not really doing just a lot of one-on-one stuff for him, but he takes…I call him the 'angle king’ because he takes the best angle to everywhere at every time. He gets to spots fast and he’s a big, friendly target for quarterbacks.”

On how much variety in the running game helps the offensive line slow down defensive linemen:
“I think it’s huge. The zone game makes defenses play sideline to sideline. You try to run them, you try to get them on the ground, throwing at them. When you have teams playing sideline to sideline, it’s tough for them to transition and play up the field. It’s really one of the important things when you face some teams in this league that have very good pass rushes. It’s hard for any team to just drop back and throw against some of these defensive linemen. I think it’s a key to slowing those guys down.”

On what they have to emphasize this week to prepare for the Steelers’ blitzes:
“They’re as good as any defense. I think they’re ranked second in the NFL right now. I played them in the preseason last year, but I haven’t played [them] in the regular season since I think 2009 when I was at Houston. They’re the same guys out there. We’ll see about [safety] Troy [Polamalu], but they have everyone else out there. They’re a tough defense. They cause a lot of problems. They don’t give you any easy throws. They match everything. They’re in man [coverage] most of the time, so when stuff’s covered it’s really hard to just check it down to a back because he is usually covered too and the pass rush is coming at you. They have guys who can hit the quarterback and strip the ball. You have to make sure when guys are covered that you just don’t turn it over.”

On if the similarities in the Redskins and Steelers defenses will make preparation easier for the offense:
“You’re a little more familiar with it. It’s a confusing defense, so when you haven’t seen it and you just turn the tape on, it takes a few days to get used to really what’s going on. We’re familiar with it from going against our defense. We have an idea, but by no means is it the exact same thing. They do a lot of different stuff, we do different stuff, the techniques are slightly different. We do have some familiarity with it and that does help a little.”

On what contributes to recent success on third down:
“I think we’ve all just done a better job. I think there’s been some better plays for the guys. I think the guys are doing a better job making plays. I don’t think we’ve had any drops on third downs. There’s been a couple situations where we didn’t have a play and [quarterback] Robert [Griffin III] made an off-schedule play running around – moved the chains a couple times with his feet. I think we had a couple plays with the reverse and stuff. You just get a few conversions on third down and it changes everything. Fifty percent usually leads the league and that’s usually only the difference of about four plays in the game. We’ve made those four plays.”

On Steelers linebacker James Harrison only having one sack but still being disruptive:
“I think he’s one of the top guys in the league. That’s funny, I don’t think [Giants defensive end Jason] Pierre-Paul had too many sacks either. I’m not sure, but I remember someone telling me he didn’t have many sacks going into that game. You can see on tape…I would’ve guessed he had a ton. Harrison is the same way. I didn’t think he only had one and I think he’s missed some games too because he’s been injured. The guy is a beast. He’s physical as can be, he can move, he throw people out of the way. He’s just like I remember him.”

On lining up tight end Niles Paul wide last week:
“We were hot as can be so we had to throw it right now. He was the hot route on it. There was a progression on it, but [with] the all-out blitz we got, it’s going to him. If not, it was probably going to Fred. It was just about the coverages we got.”

On if he likes Paul wide:
“I like all our guys. We can put our fullback out there. A lot of that stuff doesn’t necessarily have to do with that. They’re out there doing their one-on-one routes. It’s about distributing the field. You get a lot of coverage reads when you put different personnel guys at different spots. It helps you know what the defense is doing. Whatever the coverage dictates, I’m confident the guys can make the plays. We didn’t make that one, but I’m not afraid to come back to him on it.”

On being in the top five in yards and points with a unique or “gimmick” offense:
“It’s fun trying new stuff out. It’s fun to have the players to do that. It’s exciting when you have guys like Robert and what [running back] Alfred Morris has done for us this year has been pretty unbelievable. When you have guys like that and you can drop some gimmick-type stuff…It is sometimes gimmick with the reverses and some of the reverse passes that we’ve done in weeks past, but a lot of it just looks like it’s gimmicky. It’s pretty designed up. The guys are reading and we’re trying to isolate down to one guy and trying to put a guy in a position on defense and make him decide what to do – try to put two guys on one guy. He can’t be right. He picks one guy and then the other guy is open. It’s just putting guys on defense in that situation.”

On his sense of pride amassing those yards and points with an unconventional offense:
“I don’t think it’s about pride really. It’s more about it feels good to do your job. You have some players, you have to figure out the best way to use them. I think our guys are doing a good job. We moved the ball well last week, but it’s still real disappointing. I think we could have won that game if we didn’t turn the ball over so much. It’s constantly a work in progress. I’m excited about the direction we’re going, but I think we still have a long way to go.”

On if he enjoys watching defensive players like Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul not know where the ball is:
“We enjoy that a lot [laughter]. We enjoy that a lot. That’s the goal and when you accomplish your goal as far as your plan, you get excited about it. Those are some really good players. When you just line up and try to play them man-to-man, just say, 'Trent, hey, you’re in charge of him one-on-one all game” I don’t care who it is, he’s going to get some big plays. The more you confuse those guys, the better chance to get your players to be successful. I felt like we did that in the game and I think it helped us.”

On running back Keiland Williams:
“We’re real confident in Keiland. That’s why we brought him back. Keiland is a real smart player and has a chance to help at everything. He’s been a third down back for us. In 2010, we had a few injuries to where he started a few games for us as our starting running back. The second year he was here he played fullback throughout the preseason also. Keiland is capable of helping in any area we need him.”

On if it’s rare for a player to play well in the zone and the power like running back Alfred Morris:
“I don’t think so. I think when you have a good runner, you have a good runner. I think that’s what Alf is.”

On how differently defenses play without wide receiver Pierre Garçon:
“It’s kind of hard to say because Pierre hasn’t been out there really long enough to say. He was out there eight plays vs. New Orleans. It was only eight plays then and we mixed him in a little bit vs. Tampa and a little vs. Atlanta. Pierre is a hell of a player and we cannot wait to get him back. He is a huge difference maker. I think once he does come back, everyone will see that.”

On how much Morris opens things up for other players:
“A ton. Alfred makes it a lot easier to call runs when you call a run that’s blocked for two yards and he gets six yards. It’s a lot easier to call a run on second-and-10 knowing that we don’t have to block it perfectly and it can still be third-and-four. When it’s like that, it’s a lot easier to keep going to him.”

On wide receiver Santana Moss:
“’Tana has just been unbelievable this year. He hasn’t been playing as much but his production, to me, has been as good as it’s been for us. He probably doesn’t have the number of receptions, but we made a big point in offseason that we need to get better in yards after catch and 'Tana is second in the NFL in yards after catch. His first play in the game was the screen that we gave to him and he went 35 yards and scored a touchdown. Even though we’re limiting him in his reps and stuff, he’s still having a huge effect on the game and I think he’s playing better because of it.”

On if Moss’ 35-yard touchdown catch was blocked perfectly:
“Perfectly. It was great. It had a lot to do with 'Tana, too. 'Tana set all the guys up. Everybody was working their tail off to get to their guys. 'Tana really hit it one gap at a time, set one guy, went to the next one, went to the next one – all the way back to our backside tight end. That’s why it looks like walk-in 35-yard run. It was really good to see.”

On if tackle Trent Williams is playing at a Pro Bowl level:
“I think he is. You can always make a highlight tape on Trent and just make him play at that level. What Trent has been great at is the consistency. Sometimes, when you’re that good of an athlete, you can get a little sloppy in the game because you think you can just do everything and be an athlete. Trent has really toned down his technique. He’s real dependable. He’s in the same spot every time and when he does that, he’s very hard to beat.”

On if Griffin III is the ideal fourth down quarterback:
“I think he’s the ideal every down quarterback. Fourth down has been good for us. There’s no absolutes. I think it’s worked out that way, but there’s been good plays on fourth down and our guys have made good plays on fourth down. I think if we go for it on fourth down four times a game for the rest of the year, I don’t know if that stat will continue, but it definitely has worked good for us so far.”

On the versatility of fullback Darrel Young:
“That’s why we really like DY. He came here as a linebacker and we moved him to fullback. DY has very good hands and he’s very fast. He will run through anybody. When you have a guy like that, you can use him in any position. Especially when Fred went down, we had a big plan to use him in some three tight end sets. We don’t miss a beat when Fred goes down because DY is able to step in and do the same stuff.”

Defensive Coordinator Jim Haslett

On the potential of playing without linebacker London Fletcher:
“Hopefully, he’ll be cleared. I don’t know. We feel good about it between [linebackers] Lorenzo [Alexander] and Keenan [Robinson]. They did a nice job when they stepped in last week for London and did a nice job. It would be weird because of the situation he’s been in with, whatever the streak is, 231 [consecutive games played]. That would be a different feeling obviously. But we feel good about the guys we’re playing. We’re playing all our players. I thought they did a nice job when they played last week.”

On if he feels the team is positioned well with Alexander, Robinson, and Perry Riley:
“We drafted Keenan obviously for a reason, with a purpose in mind. It was, obviously just like Perry, to groom him to be ready to play some day. That position is a hard position to learn. Obviously, you’re running the whole front. You’re running the back end. You’re telling everyone what to do. You’re not just the strong inside linebacker. You’re also the weak inside linebacker. So there’s a lot of learning to it. He’s really smart, Keenan, I mean. He understands the game. He’s really good in the pass part of it and he’s learning on the run. I think he’s going to be a heck of a player. I think he’s a great prospect for this organization.”

On if Alexander is a better fit inside:
“When he played outside, he was about 265. He’s lost weight. We asked him to get down so he could play inside. He’s a remarkable athlete. Obviously, he was a five-star coming out of high school. For a guy to go and play all the positions he’s played on defense, not including the offense, is remarkable. Obviously, he’s very intelligent. He’s got a good feel for the game. He did a nice job when he went in last week.”

On the difficulty in defending Steelers tight end Heath Miller if Fletcher can’t play:
“London’s awesome when he’s on the tight ends. Heath is a heck of a football player. He’s averaging six catches a game. He’s a good player. He’s a really good blocker. So, 'Zo he will have his work cut out for him, but he’ll be up for the challenge and do a good job on him.”

On how to prevent big plays:
“It is execution. Last week, we gave up two big plays, obviously the one that everybody will talk about was at the end of the game. We didn’t execute it right. We had a double on [Giants wide receiver] Victor Cruz and a double on Hakeem Nicks. If you really look at it, the Giants… would’ve thrown to the guy that had zero coverage outside. Obviously, the quarterback went to the guy that had double coverage and we didn’t execute it well enough. We’ve got to get better in that area, not just the players, the coaches, everybody. We’ve got to make sure we’re all on the same page. Then we got beat… earlier on a seven-cut. We just didn’t play well on the three-deep coverage.”

On doubling players:
“We’ve got to make sure that they know exactly what we want, how you’re going to execute it and work it, and obviously, we just didn’t get the job done. That’s something we’ve just got to keep fighting away at and working at it.”

On how hard it was to lose to the Giants:
“I felt bad for the players. They played their butts off. You play 63 plays, or 62 plays, you think you’ve got the game won. We kept them in check. They couldn’t run the ball. We got turnovers. We hit the quarterback more than probably anybody’s hit him all year. One play spoiled a good game.”

On stopping the run:
“We’ve done a good job. When we first got here, I think they had 128 yards a game rushing and we got it down to 117 last year and now we’re down to about 85. If we can keep it in that area and then fix the problem areas… I’m going to be on the positive side, we’re doing a great job in the run game. We’re getting turnovers. We’re scoring points on defense. We’ve got to fix the back end part of it, and it’s not just the back end, it’s everybody, the coaches. We’ve got to get on the same page, make sure that we’re doing the right things, don’t give up those big plays and we’ll win some games on the road here.”

On the players’ adjustment to the coaching change for the secondary:
“We’re running the same. We gave up 222 yards a game, in the passing game last year. I think we were 10th or 11th, right? We’re giving up 328 right now, which is crazy, but you add those two or three plays every game, you get 100 yards. So it hasn’t been anything with new coaches. It’s the same scheme, the same players. We’ve just got to execute better.”

On taking injuries into account:
“Anytime you have injuries on a football team and you lose good players, you’ve got to find out what the guys that are replacing with can do best. There’s a transition, but we had [safety] Reed [Doughty] play last year. [Safety] Madieu’s [Williams] a good football player and we’ve got the same corners. So it’s basically the same group. We’ve just got to execute. We’ve got to be on the same page as the coaching staff with the players. We’ll get all that fixed.”

On preparing the defense for big plays:
“We try to put them in every position in practice that they’re going to see in the game, whether it’s that route at the end of the game or that snag seven they cut for 35 yards. We try to give them every look against what we think they’re going to do versus our coverages. I think the coaching staff, [Defensive Backs Coach] Raheem [Morris] and Slow [Linebackers Coach Bob Slowick], do a good job of doing that.”

On if Cruz’s splitting the double team was unexpected:
“Like I said, we just didn’t execute it well enough.”

On safety Jordan Pugh:
“He’s an athletic guy, more on the sub stuff. We’ll work him in to get more work on Okie, but more on the sub stuff. He’s a really athletic guy, smart guy. He hasn’t had a lot of opportunities to make plays in the two games he’s played, but hopefully in these next couple games, he’ll have some opportunities to be involved and we’ll see if he’s a playmaker.”

On knowing what to expect from their defense:
“In some retrospect, the first game going into the year, we knew we were going to have our hands full with Drew Brees. We knew we were going to give up passing yards. You look at some of the teams we’ve played. That has part to do with it, but more it’s just us. It’s execution. This guy is a great hell of a quarterback that we’re playing this week. It’s like endless in this league. We’ve just got to step up and do a better job as a whole. I’m talking coaches, players, everyone involved. We’ve just got to do a better job and we will. Our guys are good. I love coaching these guys. These guys are fun. Our front’s awesome. They do a great job. The safeties are involved in the run. They were awesome last week. We’ll get all this fixed the best we can, because as good as our offense is playing right now, it’s exciting to watch. We’ve just got to do our part and not give up big chunks of yardage and we’ll win a bunch of games.”

On Steelers defensive coordinator Dick LeBeau:
“I took Dick’s spot when he left. I know him really well. I think he’s a great coordinator. They run the same system – same system we’re running for the last 16-17 years. Three guys have run that defense – Dom Capers, myself, and then Dick… It’s been the same guys for 16-17 years or whatever. They’ve always had a great defense. They do the same things we do.”

On what he has taken away from LeBeau:
“Everything we run is basically what they run. They can be mirror images of themselves this week. We’re going to see a lot of the same things.”

On the importance of a nose tackle:
“When you’re building, you have to have the nose. That’s the most important part. It’s not easy to find. Then you have to have two great rush guys, outside linebackers, in some cases, three or four because you play a lot of them. Then you’ve got to have the other parts for running. You’ve got big defensive linemen. You’ve got to have safeties that can cover. It kind of falls in place. They’ve had those parts. They’ve had Joel Steed. They’ve got Casey Hampton. They’ve had their main cog for a long time.”

On if linebacker Rob Jackson has impressed him:
“He really has. To make those interceptions, the one for a touchdown and even the one from last week, you’ve got to be a great athlete to get that ball. It came out fast and to come out and make that interception was a great play by him.”

On linebacker Ryan Kerrigan:
“He does a great job on tight ends. He loves playing the run. He’s really good on the run. He’s really good in pass coverage. He’s a guy that has power and strength, and when he uses that, he can turn that power into speed and then he’s much more effective on the rush.”

On if teams are playing Kerrigan differently:
“I see guys chipping him. I see extra guys looking at him. The back last week was kind of hanging around him the whole day. He’s always going to have that issue right now.”
 

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The very last quote about the attention Kerrigan is receiving has only highlighted the absolute failure of Chris Wilson and Rob Jackson to adquately backup the OLB position on this team.

Next offseason we need to find guys who can actually play the position and not look lost out there.

Wilson especially seems not to have progressed since he was here 3 years ago. At 30, I honestly don't know what his contribution is that kept him on the final roster.

As a young team trying to rebuild that spot should go to someone with a decent upside that can be realized.

Wilson is a finished product and from what we have seen, that means a fringe NFL player that is the 52nd or 53rd guy.
 

Lanky Livingston

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The very last quote about the attention Kerrigan is receiving has only highlighted the absolute failure of Chris Wilson and Rob Jackson to adquately backup the OLB position on this team.
Yep...and maybe now the "Orakpo is overrated" crowd will realize their folly.
 

Lanky Livingston

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The balance issues scare the crap out of me - could be anything from a concussion to a brain tumor. Very scary stuff....sending some good vibes out to London to hope he gets this resolved!
 

Elephant

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Yep...and maybe now the "Orakpo is overrated" crowd will realize their folly.

If it were only Orakpo that were lost along that line due to injury I would definitely change my tune on his worth, but we've lost more than just Rak. We are getting very little production from the interior of that line in the pass rush. Carriker was as big a loss this year as Orakpo. He had 5.5 sacks last year from the interior of our DL. And I believe the loss of Chris Nield was bigger than originally anticipated. The rotation he had with Cofield seems to have made Cofield better. I am surprised Baker has not been as effective as Nield, he looked good in pre-season.
 

Lanky Livingston

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If it were only Orakpo that were lost along that line due to injury I would definitely change my tune on his worth, but we've lost more than just Rak. We are getting very little production from the interior of that line in the pass rush. Carriker was as big a loss this year as Orakpo. He had 5.5 sacks last year from the interior of our DL. And I believe the loss of Chris Nield was bigger than originally anticipated. The rotation he had with Cofield seems to have made Cofield better. I am surprised Baker has not been as effective as Nield, he looked good in pre-season.
In my opinion, Orakpo is what makes the defense go (I believe it was D$ who pointed out this defense is built around him). Opposing teams simply HAVE to respect his pass-rush - he's always among the top-20 or so in QB hurries - and that opens up everything else. We've seen it the past few weeks, as Kerrigan has been pretty much neutralized.

Carriker was a big loss as well, but he's more of a run-stopper; he's not going to scare anyone as a pass-rusher. Jenkins has also filled in admirably in Carriker's role, as our run defense has been pretty dang good since he came in. I think Jenkins will only get better also, as he gets reacclimated to his surgically-repaired knee.

I'm also surprised Baker hasn't done more - he needs to step it up.
 

Elephant

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I am not going to say there was no effect by the loss of Orakpo. I know the double teams he commanded freed Kerrigan to get going, but last year when Carriker and Nield were still in there after Rak went down, the line still performed at a high level with Rob Jackson filling in for Rak.

This year, we lost Rak...but we lost 2 other key figures on that defensive front. I may be placing too much value on Nield, but Carriker was a huge loss for us. He had 5.5 sacks last year Lanky, that is solid pass rush from a 3-4 DE so he was effective in the pass rush too.
 

Lanky Livingston

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He had 5.5 sacks last year Lanky, that is solid pass rush from a 3-4 DE so he was effective in the pass rush too.
5.5 sacks is okay pass-rush, definitely not solid...most were coverage sacks IIRC (EDIT: or where the QB was chased into Carriker by either Orakpo or Kerrigan). In contrast, look at JJ Watt in Houston, who has 9.5 sacks through 7 weeks.
 

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:laugh: JJ Watts is a beast! He is the exception to the rule. I think you're placing too little value on Carriker and I may be placing too little value on Rak, but the pass rush last year was not dramatically affected without Orakpo in there. It has been dramatically affected with Carriker gone. That is enough for me to suggest that Carriker is as much of a loss than Orakpo. Not sure I am completely sold on that notion, but there is something there.
 

Lanky Livingston

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:laugh: JJ Watts is a beast! He is the exception to the rule. I think you're placing too little value on Carriker and I may be placing too little value on Rak, but the pass rush last year was not dramatically affected without Orakpo in there. It has been dramatically affected with Carriker gone. That is enough for me to suggest that Carriker is as much of a loss than Orakpo. Not sure I am completely sold on that notion, but there is something there.
As a pass-rusher, maybe, but I definitely don't underestimate Carriker's role in the D. He holds the point of attack well, and doesn't allow OL to get to the second level allowing the LBs to flow to the ball. He's a beast at doing that - but he's no pass-rusher. I don't think he's ever been accused of being that. :)
 

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I am amused when I read posts from fans that say a guy like Orakpo that gets 11 sacks one year and 9 last year is 'not that good' and the team can survive without him.

On a team that registered 40 sacks, Orakpo last year accounted for almost 25% of that total.

Because he doesn't get 22 sacks like Ware fans underrate his contributions. You don't see Kerrigan getting to the qb as often with sacks or hurries with #98 out of the lineup and there is a reason for that.

Wake up.

Orakpo is not great in coverage. Neither are a number of the 'sack' linebackers out there including Ware.

Defenses can scheme for that. Just as they can scheme when they have an excellent cover corner on one side with a solid but unspectacular guy on the other side.
 

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But BT, last year we did see Kerrigan and Jackson get to the QB with Orakpo out. I know our line-up is better with him in there, but the drop off we've seen this year is not solely because Orakpo is out. It is Cariker couple with Orakpo and a key backup that has seen our DL diminish in their ability to get to the QB. Last year with just Orakpo out of the line-up, we were still getting to the QB.
 

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