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Orakpo: 'I'm Going To Rip It Up This Year'


Given the wear and tear of the NFL season, every player wants to begin his season feeling 100 percent healthy.

Redskins outside linebacker Brian Orakpo estimates that he is somewhere closer to 300 percent healthy.

"I'm 100, 200, 300 [percent]—whatever that number may be," he said. "In OTAs or minicamp, I didn't miss a day, I didn't miss a practice. I was ready to go. In training camp, I'm going to be full go."

In an effort to improve one of the NFL's most porous pass defenses from a year ago, the Redskins will lean on Brian Orakpo to provide steady pressure on opposing quarterbacks all year.

"The thing that hurt us a lot was the big plays. We gave up the big plays, and if we limit those we will be fine," Orakpo explained to Redskins Nation's Larry Michael. "We have our front-seven back, so we will continue to stop the run and stop the pass as well.

"We can be a lot better. We drafted a few new pieces in the secondary, to challenge the guys and keep getting consistently better. If we can be consistent, week in and week out, we will be just fine."

Now fully recovered from surgery to repair his torn pectoral muscle and heading into a contract season, Orakpo needs no motivation.

"I'm going to rip it up this year. I have high expectations," he said. "I want to win, be in contention for Defensive Player of the Year, get Comeback Player of the Year."

Orakpo looks to improve on the havoc he wreaked during his first two seasons in Washington, where he registered 19.5 sacks and was elected to consecutive Pro Bowls.

One of the criticisms from fans and the media has been the perception of a lack of a second move to keep him from getting held by offensive linemen.

As far as Brian Orakpo is concerned, he already has all of the necessary tools at his disposal.

"It's not hard [to add moves], but you have to play your game. I'm going to come out and do what I do," he said. "You are never going to see a spin from me, because that's not my type. You're not going to see other moves that other people are doing, because that is their body types.

"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.

"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."

Orakpo says he got a jump-start on his training for 2013, using his time off the field last season to build his speed, agility and knowledge in the unit meetings.

During his lonely time on injured reserve, Orakpo says he grew an even deeper appreciation for Washington, D.C. and could see himself being comfortable here long-term.

"At first, I hated the cold weather and everything else that comes with it," the Texas-native said with a smile. "But I love it. It's growing on me a lot, the DMV environment, the people are terrific, and it's been a blast living out here.

"My family loves it, and we are thinking about making it a long-term deal when I'm done."

He has remained a familiar face around the facilities during the five weeks when players are permitted to leave the area, in part because he wants to be there for his newborn child.

"Part of the reason is my daughter is a newborn. It's kind of hard to travel with a newborn, so I stuck around this time," he said. "Obviously, normally I would've been in Texas relaxing. I've just been stuck around working.

"I might as well and come in and get a good workout."

So just how much can the workout warrior lift these days? Truthfully, he's not quite sure, but says he maxed out at more than 500 pounds on the bench press during college.

In the lead up to training camp, Orakpo will be joining forces with fellow pass-rusher Ryan Kerrigan to offer a youth football camp to area children.

"[Sign up] if you want to have a great time with the Redskins, myself and Ryan Kerrigan," he said. "We have a few others coming out to surprise the kids. You can fine tune your football skills to get ready for your upcoming season.

"It's going to be overnight camp, and it's a lot of fun. A lot of great things are going to happen out there."




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