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Orakpo Excited To Get Back to Football


Redskins Park is buzzing again.

Players streamed in to the team facility around 10 a.m. on Tuesday morning, among them Pro Bowl linebacker Brian Orakpo.

In a day filled with meetings and a light workout, it turned out Orakpo was one of the last players to leave Redskins Park on Tuesday afternoon.

Needless to say, he was excited to be back.

"It's like a family back together, and you haven't seen them for an extended period of time," Orakpo said. "We're excited about this year. We're excited to be back. The lockout is over with and guys can get back to football."

The defense will have a slightly different look with the addition of Purdue's Ryan Kerrigan in the first round of the NFL Draft.

Kerrigan, like other rookies, must sign with the Redskins before he can report to training camp.

"We can get the ball rolling once he gets here," Orakpo said. "We can be a force that everybody expects us to be. I'm very excited to be working with him."

Kerrigan is expected to line up opposite Orakpo at the other outside linebacker position.

Both Kerrigan and Orakpo played defensive end in college and made the move to linebacker in the NFL, and it has paid off for Orakpo who has made two Pro Bowls in two years.

Orakpo said he met with coaches and some teammates to discuss the Redskins' defense in 2011. Learning new wrinkles to the defense is going to be compressed into a couple of days of practices.

"We're not the only team that's in this situation," Orakpo said about the frenzied beginning to training camp.

It was clear Orakpo was ready to get back to work, with or without his teammate Albert Haynesworth, whose status with the Redskins remains murky.

"This year we're not going through all of that Albert nonsense," Orakpo told reporters. "I love Albert to death, wish him the best. If he's here, let's roll. If he's not, we've got to move on without him."

Orakpo continues to emerge as a team leader on the Redskins.

"We just want to focus on us as a team," he said. "I thought last year and the years previous we talked too much about individuals who had problems with the organization instead of going out and trying to perform well. It just [bothers] you at times and it's something that we need to [change] this year.

"Forget about all the nonsense and all the negativity and just focus as a team. That's how it's supposed to be done. That's what the great teams do and we need to stop talking about being a great team and actually start playing like a great team."

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