Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Looking Forward: Orakpo and Kerrigan

Looking forward to Eva Mendes!
Ryan Kerrigan and Brian Orakpo are arguably the brightest spot on the entire Redskins roster. They  are young, have a great attitude, and should be playing together for a long time. Both were defensive ends converted into outside linebackers. They have both made the transition extraordinarily well. If nothing else, they are a promise of consistent quarterback pressure, something that has been lacking for quite a while. So, lets look forward.

Brian Orakpo:

Brian Orakpo is in his third year out of Texas, after making the Pro bowl in his first two seasons in the NFL. He is on pace to record 30 sacks through his first 3 years in the league. He is known for his speed rush to the outside. One thing you notice about Orakpo right away is his attitude. He loves the game, hates to lose, and always does the right thing. You don't have to worry about him slamming his teammates, or missing meetings. He made the transition from defensive end to outside linebacker as well as anyone could have hoped. He is still improving in coverage, but his pressure on the quarterback has been compared to the Cowboy's Demarcus Ware.

He still needs to learn a few more moves when rushing the passer however. He has relied on his speed to get around offensive tackles, or to draw holding penalties. He lacks a solid spin move and swim move, which is catching up to him this year. If he can open up his game to include these kinds of things, he will be mentioned among the elite, until then, he will be just excellent.

Ryan Kerrigan:

Ryan Kerrigan has exceeded all expectations this year. He, like Orakpo, made the transition from defensive end to outside linebacker. In his rookie year out of Purdue, he has already recorded 6 sacks, 4 forced fumbles and an interception for a touchdown. He has shown a lot of football IQ, reading plays and batting down passes. He is average in coverage, but has plenty of time to grow under Haslett's 3-4 defense.

Kerrigan needs to continue to learn the defensive scheme, as well as how offenses run in the NFL. He has done very well at learning on the go, but he must continue to work and avoid a slump in his second year. He is in a dogfight for defensive rookie of the year with Vonn Miller, but as of right now, Miller has the definite edge.

Sum it up:

It has been a long time since the Skins have had a tandem like this on defense. The have the ability to rush the quarterback from both sides, which limits opposing offenses' ability to run plays away from our strengths. If both of these guys continue to improve and learn from a seasoned vet like London Fletcher, they have the potential to be perennial Pro bowlers, and become the best linebacker tandem in the NFL.

. . . Your thoughts?

No comments:

Post a Comment