Coming off back to back seasons that resulted in having surgeries, the Texas Longhorn Alumni and Washington Redskins outside linebacker Brian Orakpo is looking to quote, “rip it up” this season.
“I’m going to rip it up this year. I have expectations. I want to win, be in contention for Defensive Player of the Year, get Comeback Player of the Year.” Orakpo said in an interview
Last season Orakpo wasn’t apart of the team’s run to the NFC East division championship after tearing his pectoral muscle in the 2nd game of the season. With more than enough time to rehab his injury before the 2013 season, the determined linebacker is fully healthy.
“I’m 100, 200, 300% – whatever that number may be.” said Orakpo
Since being drafted in 2009 at the 13th overall spot in the 1st round, Orakpo has picked up 29.5 sacks with 170 tackles and 6 forced fumbles. He recorded almost identical numbers while playing for the Longhorns from 2004-2008, having 132 tackles, 22 sacks and 6 forced fumbles.
“I’ve been doing this for a long time. I’m going to continue being a powerful, edge pass rusher. I do have counter moves, inside stuff like that,, but you have to know what type of player you are. You don”t want to go out there and look stupid trying to imitate someone else.”
The production has been the same since being drafted and should continue to rise. I believe Brian Orakpo has a good chance of winning Defensive Player of the Year multiple times in his career, along with the Comeback Player of the Year award. He seems set and focused on helping the Redskins reach that NFC East division title again, as he believes sitting on the sidelines has made him a smarter player.
Although the numbers he has posted are very good, he still gets criticism. People saying he doesn’t use a wide variety of moves to escape blockers.
“I could care less what people say. You just have to go out and do your thing. Believe in what your coaches are critiquing you on your game, and try to establish that on Sundays.”
No matter how good you are in this league, you will always have your critics. Being named to the pro bowl 2 times early on in his career and making the NFL All Rookie Team, whatever Brian Orakpo seems to be doing is working just fine. Just think if he wouldn’t have gone down early last season, what kind of an impact he would have had on this team?
Now he is completely healthy and ready to lead the Redskins back to the post season. If he stays healthy and looks as if he hasn’t missed a game, he could very well win those awards he’s looking for and make the Washington Redskins a major threat in the NFL.