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News & Notes: Orakpo's Ready To Be a Leader


Brian Orakpo is beginning just his second year in the league, but he already senses teammates looking to him as a leader.

That's what happens when you record 11 sacks and earn a Pro Bowl berth as a rookie.

Orakpo, who turned 24 years old on July 31, has taken his cue from London Fletcher.

Fletcher, the Redskins' 35-year-old, 12-year veteran, was Orakpo's teammate on last year's Pro Bowl squad.

Fletcher leads by experience. Orakpo leads with his exuberance.

"I try to be a leader," Orakpo said. "I'm just trying to keep doing what I'm doing and also be more vocal out there. Obviously a lot of people depend on me to make big plays and to go out there with London and the rest of the older guys to lead this defense.

"We have a really good chemistry this year, and everybody is on board. I really feel like we're going to do some big things this year."

Last year as a rookie, Orakpo split time at defensive end and linebacker in Greg Blache's 4-3 scheme.

This year, Orakpo is a full-time outside linebacker in Jim Haslett's 3-4 defense. He is expected to be more disruptive and could rush the passer more than 600 times this year.

"We'll see, man," Orakpo said. "Obviously they're going to put me in situations where I can rush a little bit more and am able to create these turnovers and get the ball back to our offense. We'll see how it all transpires as soon as the season gets started."


Apart from Mike Shanahan and Jim Haslett, Redskins assistant head coach-running backs Bobby Turner is probably the most accomplished coach on the field.

Turner has coached the likes of Terrell Davis (who is a Redskins coaching intern this training camp), Clinton Portis, Mike Anderson, Olandis Gary and Mike Alstott, among many others.

Turner is an old-school coach. Even in the hottest of days, he is on the practice fields wearing a long-sleeve sweat shirt and sweat pants.

"I've had coaches come up to me and say, 'What's up with Bobby?'" Shanahan said, laughing. "I can't answer that. But he always seems to make it. He's a disciplined guy himself, and I'm not sure how he [handles the heat]."

Shanahan praised Turner for being a perfect fit for his offense and his style of coaching.

"There's a standard that Bobby has and we want every back to have that standard," Shanahan said. "If you have that standard, it's pretty easy to ask guys to buy in. As long as you're consistent with your approach, Bobby demands perfection. Guys love Bobby because there is no nonsense."


Defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth did not take the conditioning test on Wednesday as he continues to rest a sore knee.

Haynesworth again watched practice from the sidelines, going through mental reps as the defensive linemen went through installations.

He participated on the field when linemen worked against the sled and batted blocking dummies during drills.

And Haynesworth continued to spend extra time working individually with Jim Haslett and Jacob Burney after practice.

Asked if Haynesworth would take the conditioning test on Thursday, Mike Shanahan replied: "I really don't know. The knee is still getting a lot of treatment. He is in here early getting treatment three times a day. He's getting a lot of work on that treadmill, so hopefully he passes the test in the near future."


The Redskins held right tackle Jammal Brown out of practice on Wednesday morning after he experienced some soreness in his surgically repaired hip earlier this week.

He underwent an MRI on the hip on Tuesday and the results were positive.

"We check everything out, and we gave him an MRI just to make sure," Mike Shanahan said. "And he's fine. Doctors say that's typical. After a guy has been injured, he is going to be a little sore.

"He wanted to practice and I just thought it was best to give him some rest. He'll be out there [on Thursday] ready to go. Hopefully there won't be a setback."

Brown missed all of the 2009 season with the New Orleans Saints due to the hip injury.

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