Brian Orakpo's Health Might Be Key To Washington Redskins Defense

By Ben Grimaldi
Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Washington Redskins were a great offensive team in 2012, there is no question about that. Their defense, however, left a lot to be desired, finishing 28th in the league in total defense giving up over 375 yards per game. Part of the reason the Redskins defense gave up so many yards was because they don’t have a ton of talent on defense and some of that can be attributed to injuries this year.

The Redskins not only lost bruising defensive lineman Adam Carriker for the season against the St. Louis Rams but they also lost their best defensive player in Brian Orakpo in the same game to a season ending torn pectoral muscle. Orakpo has 29.5 career sacks in his season in just three years, plus two games, this season so he’s a big part of what the Redskins do on defense.

Defensive coordinator Jim Haslett muses an aggressive defense and losing Orakpo early was a big blow to the defense and it took them a long time to settle into their groove. Even though they were giving up points and yards, they were still causing turnovers and getting stops at the right times.

Of course, there is room for improvement by the Redskins defense but it starts with staying healthy. If Orakpo can stay healthy, Washington has a much better chance at cracking the top half of the league in defense, which is all they need with their explosive offense. Orakpo is a high energy defender who makes plays all over the field and he makes the Redskins defense go.

Brian Orakpo’s presence on the field will make the Washington Redskins defense better next year, if he can stay on the field.

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