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Veterans Have High Expectations For 2013


Unbridled enthusiasm in the locker room is usually reserved for younger players, but it is the Redskins' veterans that are predicting a big step forward for the team in 2013.

"We're growing," receiver Pierre Garçon told fans during a Mastercard event at Redskins Park. "We've got a long of young guys on the team; a lot of young coaches and players.

"We've got one year under our belts and we're continuing to work on our craft, looking over tape from last year."

Last season, the Redskins offense embraced a more mobile identity behind Robert Griffin III and a host of fleet-footed receivers.

Garçon spent last offseason learning the playbook but expects that he can hit the ground running this year.

"Instead of learning everything brand new this year, we'll be taking a step forward and perfecting it," he said. "We definitely will continue to grow and be one year smarter, one year more consistent."

He was joined at the event by linebacker Brian Orakpo who spent all but two games last season on injured reserve.

For Orakpo, the team's top draft pick in 2009, winning football has never been the norm in Washington, and last year's playoff run has him hungry to contribute in 2013.

"It was phenomenal to watch because I've been here through the down times," he said. "Now I see our team growing and rising, having that popularity around the country."

That national popularity was self-evident in cities around the country, as fans took over Raymond James Stadium in Tampa Bay and chanted 'R-G-3' in Dallas on Thanksgiving.

With the NFL's top grossing jersey (Robert Griffin III) and five prime time games scheduled for 2013, Orakpo credited the front office for bringing the Redskins positive national attention.

"We've been getting better each year since general manager Bruce Allen and head coach Mike Shanahan took over," he said. "As far as personnel, as far as tradition and bringing in the right type of guys with the right type of character."

Orakpo assured fans that he is 100 percent recovered from his pectoral surgery and is looking forward to full participation in OTAs and looking ahead to training camp.

"I'm very excited because we won the division last year and went to the playoffs for the first time in a long time," he said. "We can build off that to make the playoffs be a consistent thing every single year."




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