NFC East: Ken Harvey

Redskins envoy returns from Haiti

January, 20, 2010
As we told you last week, Redskins owner Dan Snyder sent his private plane to Haiti stocked with items to help the earthquake-ravaged country. Former Skins linebacker and current team employee Ken Harvey joined a delegation from one of the club's corporate partners, Diageo, in distributing more than 50,000 pounds of food, clothing and medical supplies to Haitians who have been displaced because of the devastation.

Harvey returned to Washington earlier this morning on Snyder's plane and he talked about the relief effort.

"The people are trying to survive, they're all trying to figure out what next. They're scared to go back in their homes. Everything normal to them has been destroyed," Harvey told The Washington Post. "I look at it like, in America ... when something happens in the winter time when the power goes out, we run around trying to get candles and freaking out -- at least we have the confidence that lights will come back on, and people are working on it. Here, it's hard for people to have confidence that things are going to get better."

Harvey knew going in that he wouldn't be able to make a huge impact during a two-day trip, but he hopes discussing what he witnessed will influence others to contribute to the relief efforts. Here's what he had to say about the smell in the air:

"It's hard to describe the smell," said Harvey, who played for the Redskins from 1994-98. "It's a unique smell. You can smell it coming. It's death. It's bodies decaying. You want to put on your mask, but then you feel guilty because you realize that there are people that are going to have to deal with this all every day. They can't just put on a mask and pretend it doesn't exist. Even if I wanted to turn away, I can't turn away. I'm only here for a short time. But this is their life.

"You walk by, and you see a body. Well, they see one of their relatives. That smell is a reminder of everything that's happened."

From watching the tragic images on television and reading the reports, it's obvious that Haiti needs a tremendous amount of support. I'm still amazed by the staggering amount of money that was contributed by football fans across the country during last weekend's games. The Vikings made it very clear that fans could contribute to the Red Cross via text message during Sunday's game against the Cowboys.

I know making the trip to Haiti isn't feasible for a lot of us right now, but there are numerous ways in which we can contribute.

Redskins join in Haiti relief effort

January, 15, 2010
Redskins owner Dan Snyder will donate the use of his private plane to help fly medical supplies, clothing and personnel to earthquake-stricken Haiti, according to the club. The Skins are teaming up with one of their longtime business partners, Diageo, in the disaster relief effort and they'll send former Pro Bowler Ken Harvey to Haiti as their official representative.

Snyder's plane is scheduled to leave for Haiti Sunday morning and it will transport relief personnel and clothing donated by the team.

"We’re not a relief organization, but there are times when our resources allow us to step in and make a difference, if only a small one,” Snyder said. “Diageo has been involved in relief efforts around the world for many years, and we’re fortunate to be able to partner with them. Getting the right people and supplies to Haiti is critically important, and we’re providing our best resources."

Like many of you, I've been struck by the images from the tragic scene in Haiti. Hopefully the Redskins are setting an example that others in the NFL community will follow.

Redskins' Orakpo honored by league

December, 16, 2009
Redskins outside linebacker Brian Orakpo has been named NFC defensive player of the week for his performance in the Redskins' 34-13 win over Oakland on Sunday. Orakpo finished with four sacks, a forced fumble and six tackles in the game, tying a Redskins record in the process. Only Ken Harvey, Dexter Manley, Diron Talbert and Phillip Daniels have had four sacks in a game. And since the NFL began tracking yards lost on sacks, Orakpo's 44 yards are the highest.

Orakpo's only the third rookie in league history to have four sacks in a game. Cornelius Bennett did it in 1987 and Leslie O'Neal has the record with five in 1986. Orakpo is only the second Redskins player to earn one of the league's weekly honors this season. Punter Hunter Smith earned special teams player of the week in Week 10.

In what has been a miserable season for the Redskins, Orakpo's play has been a very positive sign for the future. He's the type of player you build a defense around, and hopefully Greg Blache -- or whomever the next defensive coordinator is -- will continue to feature Orakpo. Teams are going to start scheming for him now that he's had so much success, so he'll have to continue in his development. But he's an absolute beast and it's nice to see him receive this honor from the league.