Brian Orakpo will play the upcoming season on a franchise tag, as he auditions for a big payday next offseason. Orakpo has only hit double-digit sacks twice in his career thus far, but could have the opportunity to out up being numbers while being “turned loose” on defense, writes Keith McMillan of the Washington Post. New defensive coordinator Jim Haslett used that phrase to describe the new, more aggressive philosophies the team will use in 2014.
Here are some other notes from around Washington D.C.:
- With the new aggressive defense focused on increasing their sack total, an even more important number might be yards per pass attempt, write John Keim of ESPN.com. The Redskins were 31st in the league in that category in 2013, and Keim writes that better tackling in the back end of the defense is more important than a lofty sack number.
- New head coach Jay Gruden certainly has his own tendencies, but like his predecessor Mike Shanahan, he loves running the football, writes Rich Tandler of CSNWashington.com. From 2011-2013, the Bengals were 11th in rushing attempts, only three attempts short of the Redskins. They also ran the ball on first down consistently, finishing fifth in that category.
- Star quarterback Robert Griffin III is happy to have a new coaching staff, but needs to move on from the relationship troubles he had with Mike and Kyle Shanahan, writes J.P. Finlay of CSNWashington.com. Griffin mentioned his old coaches having “ulterior motives,” but Finlay hopes the quarterback is able to move on and leave the past behind.