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Brian Orakpo says a season on the sideline made him smarter

Brian Orakpo AP

Redskins outside linebacker Brian Orakpo sat out the last 14 games of the season last year after suffering a torn pectoral muscle in Week Two. He says those 14 games on the sideline made him a smarter player.

Orakpo said on NFL Network that he believes he was able to learn a lot by watching, rather than playing, and he thinks that will help him now that he’s healthy and ready to play again.

“Just watching, missing so many games, and having a different perspective of the game, I was able to actually learn what offenses are really doing instead of just running plays, instead of just getting after quarterbacks,” Orakpo said. “I could kind of sit down and go over what is going to happen beforehand. That is something I picked up a lot. The first day in OTAs that I was able to participate in, I am out there flying around, calling stuff out; it is starting to become natural for me now instead of just going out there being athletic and rushing the passer.”

Orakpo has previously said that he likes his chances of being Defensive Player of the Year this season, and he stood by that when asked on Wednesday.

“Absolutely,” Orakpo said. “You always have to set high goals for yourself. If you don’t strive for the best, there’s no point in playing this game.”

In addition to being a smarter player, Orakpo sounds like he’s a more confident player.

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19 Responses to “Brian Orakpo says a season on the sideline made him smarter”
  1. commonsensedude says: Jun 26, 2013 9:23 PM

    I hope he plays up to his potential this year. He is a very good player but since he strives to be elite, comparing himself to the very best, he needs to start playing at that level. Hope he stays healthy and has an outstanding year.

    I also hope Kerrigan steps it up. He took a step backwards last year without Orakpo.

  2. tinbender2000 says: Jun 26, 2013 9:26 PM

    If it truly made you smarter why are you still playing for that bunch of losers in Washington?

  3. stunzeed5 says: Jun 26, 2013 9:32 PM

    I believe in Rak! HTTR

  4. tinkletinkleonyourstar says: Jun 26, 2013 9:34 PM

    ya, and I also just saw him on the nfln saying he was the best pass rusher in the league.
    what a tool, cant wait to see him and little bobby fail.

  5. manilarizzo says: Jun 26, 2013 9:38 PM

    Best case for skins fans, he is the DPOY. Worst case, he’s back to tying up two blockers, providing favorable matchups for Kerrigan who in his third year, will be quicker, smarter, faster, stronger. Either way he tremendously helps this Defense and the relatively weak secondary by getting much more QB pressures this year. This D will at least return to mid pack rankings, good enough for a top 5 offense.

  6. beerbudsnbevo says: Jun 26, 2013 9:43 PM

    Until his muscle tears again by week 6…

    Love Orapko, a hell of a Longhorn…

    But he is going to trouble with that Peck the rest of his careeer…

  7. skinswillsurprise says: Jun 26, 2013 9:43 PM

    Good luck Rak! Play ball and get that new contract. Needs at least 14 sacks for him to consider this year a success. HTTR!!

  8. unclemoobaa1911 says: Jun 26, 2013 10:07 PM

    At least he had plenty of time to talk the caveman into going to the pancake social!

  9. ttommytom says: Jun 26, 2013 10:19 PM

    Nice to have some ‘good guy’ news after a day filled with ‘bad guy’ news…

  10. diealreadyralphwilson says: Jun 26, 2013 10:31 PM

    That R-word defense is going to have to step it up if they’re going to make up for Shanahan’s football genius garbage again this year.

  11. deshackle says: Jun 26, 2013 10:52 PM

    Smarter on the football field, that’s the best statement out of Redskins’ park this off season. I’m still trying to figure out how an NFL quarterback is safest running the option. I’m hoping RG3 and the Shanahans will smarten-up.

  12. orakpocalypse says: Jun 26, 2013 11:02 PM

    PLEASE keep the Orakpo hate coming. This guy needs it. He feeds off it. I have no doubt that he has some NFL Defensive player of the year awards coming his way soon (provided he can beat out Kerrigan)

  13. flannlv says: Jun 26, 2013 11:44 PM

    If Orakpo could appreciate what was happening in the games, (not to say he isn’t intelligent, bc I think he is) imagine what Sean Payton learned.

  14. dmvtransplant says: Jun 26, 2013 11:47 PM

    The most famous bench warmer in DC since LaVar was on the team

  15. skinsfansince71 says: Jun 26, 2013 11:48 PM

    diealreadyralphwilson says: Jun 26, 2013 10:31 PM

    That R-word defense is going to have to step it up if they’re going to make up for Shanahan’s football genius garbage again this year.

    The Redskins offense was ranked 5th in the league in 2012,how is that garbage?Who is Ralph Wilson and why do you want him to die already?

  16. tyler4richardson says: Jun 27, 2013 12:47 AM

    One day NFL players will say this about college…………. One day.

  17. FlyFromTheInside says: Jun 27, 2013 4:26 PM

    Kerrigan did NOT take a step back last year. He was the victim of many double-teams as a result of Rak not being on the field. To suggest Kerrigan took a “step-back” is crazy.

  18. skinsfan76 says: Jun 29, 2013 5:50 PM

    Agreed. Kerrigan went to the Pro Bowl. That isn’t a step back. He’s better with Rak but he is awesome either way.

  19. rfiggatt76 says: Jul 3, 2013 10:38 AM

    Funny how I keep seeing them cowboy fans talkin smack over here…what’s wrong y’all??? Not much to read about??? Wanna come back home now??? Hurts don’t it???

    Doesn’t matter much now but even with being robbed by Mara n God dell, Having the Gutts to give up all them picks For R.G III….you can talk all the smack you want. Remember this though….”Same things that make you laugh, will also make ya cry!!!!

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