FanPost

Orakpo at LB, Pt. 2


My last entry questioned whether or not Brian Orakpo should be considered our starting SAM back as of right now (he is also designated an LB in the new Madden). While I haven't heard anything new to change my opinion either direction, I have been trying to think of the possible benefits Orakpo could have while playing LB. Jamie Dukes and Rod Woodson demonstrate how to use Orakpo with Haynesworth in the 32 in 32 video on nfl.com (we were voted 17th overall by fans).

One thing Rod Woodson points out is that Orakpo should try to line up far outside Haynesworth to get an inside gap to open up. I agree with this strategy, but am concerned about the possibility of opening a big running lane between two. Solution: Line up Orakpo as a Sam LB in a 4-3 Over formation. This puts him up far outside and (usually) opposite of Haynesworth, who we know will (usually) demand a double team. Orakpo is then picked up by a FB or HB (maybe a TE), a matchup that I would love to bet on every time.

The obvious disadvantage is leaving the midfield less covered, though I think Fletcher, Blades, and McIntosh are more than smart enough to play as two-gap LBs. And with Chris Horton frequently playing close to the line, TE coverage can be supported. There's no need to blitz him every down, but having Orakpo's monster figure on the outside of the line will definitely force adjustments to the offensive schemes. 

Any other strong benefits to having #98 off the line?

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