May 29, 2014; Ashburn, VA, USA; Washington Redskins linebacker Brian Orakpo (98) stands on the field during warm ups during organized team activities at Redskins Park. Mandatory Credit: Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Can Brian Orakpo have a monster season?

We’ve seen Washington Redskins outside linebacker Brian Orakpo have good seasons, but not dominant seasons.  We’ve seen him have dominant stretches within seasons where he’s playing at a high level, and then he’ll suffer an injury.  The talent is there, the opportunity is there, but can Brian Orakpo catch lighting in a bottle and finally have that monster season?

You know, that season where he’s among the league leaders in sacks.  Not ten or eleven sacks, but a season where he has 15 or more sacks, and is a plague on NFL quarterbacks.  The first thing Orakpo needs to do is stay healthy.  He’s missed nearly all of the 2012 season with a shoulder injury, and that was probably the reason he got off to a slow start in 2013.

However, Orakpo finished the 2013 season strong with 7 sacks in his last six games alone.  If he can but duplicate that performance for an entire season, the Redskins defense will surely show dramatic improvement over last season.  Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett has stated that he intends to turn Orakpo loose in 2014 after being handcuffed by Mike Shanahan’s micromanaging.

But new head coach Jay Gruden has stated that he will focus on the offense, so the defense will be Haslett’s baby. But we’ll see if the defense was really being held back by Shanahan, or if Haslett’s plan to be more aggressive will make a difference.  If it does, the Brian Orakpo will be one of the top beneficiaries.

We all want to see Orakpo dominate in 2014.  The door is open for him, and Brian Orakpo just needs to walk through it.


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Tags: Brian Orakpo Jay Gruden Jim Haslett Washington Redskins

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