Skip to main content

News | Washington Commanders -

Brian Orakpo Media Session On Making Pro Bowl


On being selected to the Pro Bowl:

"It's a great honor my first year playing and not knowing what to expect. I can't say enough about how much I appreciate this honor and hopefully get some more in the future--and turn this team around as well."

On how he felt when he found out:

"I was very surprised. This is, like I said, my first year coming into the league, and I didn't know what to expect. We didn't have a great season with our 4-11 record, and like I said, I was just so surprised. I was just trying to go out there and make as many plays as I could and I pay tribute to a lot of my play and my success to a lot of guys on this team."

On thinking he might be passed over for the Pro Bowl because of the team's record:

"At the end of the day, I'm not an individual guy. I'm always a team-oriented type of guy, team-first before any individual accolades. So Pro Bowl and all this other stuff never really came across my mind. I was just so disappointed about our season. But when you look back at it and the coaches and fans and everybody really knew what I brought to the table each and every time I played, it really humbled me because it really showed that people watching really knew what I could do out there."

On thinking he had a chance because of his sack total:

"Well, I saw other guys make it -- when you look at the other stats, compared to around the league, I was up there tied [in sacks] with DeMarcus Ware, I believe. It's just a great honor. Sacks are really a huge stat in this league, and I just did the best I could to get to the quarterbacks all year long. One thing I would like to say though -- I pay tribute to guys like Andre Carter and London Fletcher, especially -- those guys really helped me excel at my game each and every time I was out there. If I could give my spot up to those guys I would do that in a heartbeat because they've done so much for me. Fletch is out there correcting me in the middle of plays. If I make a mistake, he has my back and I pay tribute to those guys for really helping me out throughout my first year."

On talking to Andre Carter and London Fletcher about making it to the Pro Bowl:

"I haven't talked to them yet. But I will talk to them and express how I feel when they make the announcement. But I want to thank them from the bottom of my heart, because they have done so much for me. Especially London Fletcher, helping me make the transition into being a linebacker. It's so hard when you never played it before and he has done a great job of getting me well prepared to play that position."

On how much London Fletcher has meant to him and it being bittersweet because Fletcher didn't make it to the Pro Bowl:

"I felt great when I got it and I still feel great about it, but when you look back at it, Fletcher has done so much for me and I would trade spots with him anytime because he deserves it just as much as me, if not more. It's like a number game, with so many good middle linebackers in the NFL. It is what it is, but I would trade my spot with him any day, for just what he brings to the table and what he brings to this team."

On this being a special goal that he wanted to obtain:

"It's very special. When you sit back and look at your career, you always want to make the Pro Bowl, because it always puts you in that elite class and it shows that you had a good season. That was what I wanted to do. I'm not an individual type of person, but at the end of the day it shows that my game has been up to par with the elite players that I have been looking up to and watching. It's just a great opportunity."

On this year being better individually than what he expected and transitioning to playing linebacker:

"Oh yeah, it has gotten a lot better. Making that transition, I just wasn't too excited about it, because I didn't want to let my teammates down or the fans down. I didn't know what to expect by moving, so when they gave me the go and the coaches and players trusted me, it just really let me loose to be active for this team. Obviously our record didn't speak for it, but we can build off this and hopefully get better in the future."

On going as a linebacker instead of defensive end:

"It doesn't matter to me, they have a number of rush linebackers that are going to the Pro Bowl. I guess that is the nature of the game nowadays, seeing that a lot of rushing linebackers are making a name for themselves and making big plays around the league."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.