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NFL Washington Redskins

Brian Orakpo Aims for Return to Washington Redskins Defense, Ascension to Elite Level

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

Brian Orakpo wants the type of cred the elite sack-masters in the division and league as a whole are already receiving. The Clay Matthews and DeMarcus Ware‘s of the world drum up crazy high sack numbers and get their rightful attention among the NFL‘s elite edge rushers but the Washington Redskins linebacker wants his due as well; this according to a recent Washington Post article by lead sports columnist Jason Reid.

“I’m not rushing as much as some of those other guys (3-4 outside linebackers),” Orakpo said. “And you have a lot of one-dimensional guys out there. All they do is get after it. Man, I take pride in everything I do in my craft. I take pride in getting it done on both sides and helping my teammates. … and the perception is that if you don’t get around that [16-sack range], you had a good year but you didn’t have a huge year. Obviously, I haven’t hit the range. But if you look at the film . . . it’s havoc all the time, man. I’m creating stuff — hurries, this and that. . . . Now, don’t get it twisted. I always want to have a big year. And I know I can.”

After combining for 28.5 sacks en route to two Pro Bowl selections in his first three seasons in the league, Orakpo saw his 2012 campaign tragically cut short with a torn triceps Week 2, which on the bright side gives him a long recovery period that should see him back in full form for Week 1 2013. He still has a long way to go to match the all-around game of someone like Matthews, but with a pass-rushing productivity number ranking him fifth in the league by Pro Football Focus in 2011, he could very well add the sexy sack numbers on top of his already impressive pressures-per-pass-rush stat.

Thomas Emerick is a Senior Writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @ThomasEmerick, “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google