After making the Pro Bowl his first two years in the league, Brian Orakpo was not named to the squad when it was announced earlier this week. Few if any analysts called Orakpo’s omission a snub.
His sack total has been declining annually. Orakpo posted 8.5 last year and 11 as a rookie in 2009 and he has seven this year with a game to go. That is not the direction anyone wants to see his numbers heading.
But Jim Haslett said that Orakpo’s game has improved in areas that do not necessarily show up on the stat sheet. “I think he’s gotten better [against] the run and his coverage has been excellent.”
Still, Orakpo has to get sacks to be effective. Haslett said that he will be one of the best pass rushers in the business if he learns to beat double teams.
“I think he has got to understand that no matter where he lines up, they’re going to have two guys on him,” Haslett said. “Either they’re going to chip him or they’re going to have two guys on him because they’re going to slide to him. And that’s kind of the way it’s been and he gets frustrated.”
Shanahan said that players like Jared Allen of the Vikings and Dwight Freeney rack up sacks despite having to beat two blocker virtually every time.
By Rich Tandler
Despite some buzz that many of you apparently picked up over the last 24 hours or so, there do not appear to be any coaching staff changes imminent on the Redskins’ staff, at least not at the top or at the coordinator level.
The chatter about change seemed to emanate from a few different places. One was speculation by NFL Network’s Michael Lombardi the Redskins’ coaching situation was “worth watching”. Don Banks of SI.com said that we should “keep an eye on Washington for the surprise factor” when it comes to coaching changes, including changes at the top. In other words, Banks also was dealing in unfounded speculation.
Then at Mike Shanahan’s Thursday media availability, Joe White of the AP asked Shanahan if he felt secure in his position given the two straight seasons of double-digit loss totals. White prefaced his question by saying that it was just one he felt he had to ask; call it a fishing expedition if you want. Shanahan replied, of course, that he believes he is secure and that he hopes that Dan Snyder feels the same way.
So, none of the coaching change talk out there comes from any reporter digging out any solid information. That doesn’t necessarily mean that nothing will happen. Things could always change and it’s possible that planned changes are being kept under tight wraps. But for the moment, anything out there along those lines is based on guesswork and not on hard reporting.