Brian Orakpo isn’t about making public guarantees, but the Washington Redskins’ outside linebacker did have one message for Redskins fans Monday in his appearance on the NFL Network’s “Total Access.”
“The only thing that I’m going to say is will be a perfect time to be a Redskins fan,” Orakpo told the NFL Network’s Warren Sapp. “Because I think we have the things and pieces to really take that next step, and the sky’s the limit for us.”
Sapp quizzed Orakpo on a variety of topics, including how the 2011 season shaped up for the Redskins:
“We have to be consistent,” Orakpo said. “You know, play week in and week out — the same intensity as if we play within the division every game we play. The only division games we won, I believe, was the Giants. We need to play like that every game. You know, the way we played against the Giants when we opened up the season last year, we were on a high. I believe we went 3-1, hit the bye week and then everything went downhill from there. But we need to start fast and able to maintain it throughout the whole season.”
And what happened after the bye week, Sapp asked?
“It wasn’t about feeling too comfortable at all. The guys in the locker room were here to work each and every day; and that’s how we treated it. We came in and worked each and every day, we put in our effort each and every day — it just didn’t fall in our lap. Things became difficult to make plays, things were difficult just to get things rolling. And it doesn’t pay tribute to the hard work we put in, because we put in a lot of hard work and guys in there each and every day, but at the same time, things just didn’t go our way (last) year.”
And, as is the norm now, Orakpo was asked to describe Redskins’ rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III:
“He has that “It” factor about him, and that’s one thing I love,” Orakpo said. “You see a lot of quarterbacks that advertise — you don’t really know what they’re all about. With this kid, man, he brings the leadership role off the bat. He’s humble, comes in ready to work each and every day. Every time I come into (the facility) — because I’m an early guy in Redskins Park — but he’s there before me working already, already getting ready with his playbook, already in the classroom watching film. I mean, this guy is the real deal, and I’m excited that he’s instilled in that offense with Coach Shanahan and company, and he has a good defense to back him up.”
Sapp then asked Orakpo about the outside linebacker on his opposite side, Ryan Kerrigan:
“He’s a non-stop motor,” Orakpo told Sapp. “That’s one thing about (him). He’s going to bring a lot of motor, a lot of energy to the field, to our defense, and he’s going to make plays for us — and makes my job a lot easier, makes everybody around him a lot easier. And that’s the type of defense we have. Guys are going to go out there and play relentless, give it their all, ’cause our diehard Redskins fans, man, they’ve been craving for a winning team. They’ve been craving for it and, for me, the only thing that I’m going to say is will be a perfect time to be a Redskins fan, because I think we have the things and pieces to really take that next step, and the sky’s the limit for us.”
Then the conversation was shifted back to guarantees – but Orakpo wasn’t taking the bait.
“I don’t make any guarantees, and if I do make guarantees, it’s going to be behind closed doors,” the fourth-year outside linebacker said. “I won’t let everybody hear it. We have a lot of high expectations for ourselves, and we kind of want to be just low-key right now, and just let the season start right now and handle our business.”
NFL.com writer Dan Hanzus also got a chance to talk with Orakpo Monday (see below the video), and asked him about his Geico commercials and his personal goals for the 2012 season.
Tags: Brian Orakpo, NFL Network, Robert Griffin III, ryan kerrigan, total access, washington redskins
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