IRVING, Texas -- On a conference call with reporters on Wednesday, Redskins outside linebacker Brian Orakpo said the 2011 version of the group is more relaxed than last year's team.
It's one of the reasons the Redskins are a surprising 2-0 heading into the Monday night game against the Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium.
"We're not antsy, we've got a lot more confidence in what we're doing," Orakpo said. "Our abilities and everything we're showing out there so far from preseason to the first two games has been through the roof. We couldn’t ask for anything more. I really feel like guys are playing well, playing hard and playing fast. That’s the most important thing."
The Redskins made countless changes following the 6-10 2010 season, starting with the release of quarterback Donovan McNabb. After two weeks, the new-look Redskins have the 11th best passing offense in the NFL at 270.5 yards per game and 10th best rushing attack at 123. On defense, Washington has allowed an average of 84 rushing yards per game, good for eighth in the league and is 17th in passing defense at 235.5.
Orakpo said it takes time for the players to get used to the new offensive and defensive systems of coach Mike Shanahan. It's something the veteran coach, now in his second season, agreed with.
"What you try to do is get everybody used to your system," he said. "With the lockout, you have a number of new faces -- at wide receiver, at offensive line, quarterback, fullback, same thing on the defense. So any time you put a new system in and you do have a bunch of draft choices who come in and play, and you get some free agents, you’re hoping to get better each week. Hopefully we can keep on doing that."