“I am going to rip it up this year. I have high expectations.”
That is what every fan wants to hear from their NFL superstars.
Washington Redskins linebacker Brian Orakpo was selected as the 13th overall pick in the 2009 NFL Draft. As a recognized All-American from the University of Texas, he was expected to become one of the Redskins’ top defensive players, bringing both leadership and skill to a depleted defense.
In the 2009 NFL Combine, Orakpo showed determination by following in the footsteps of his old college branding of a”workout warrior.” Running a 4.63 40-yard dash time and throwing up 31 reps of 225 pounds on the bench, Orakpo proved he has both speed and acceleration to go along with significant strength. At 263 pounds, he pressed 515 pounds, power cleaned 380 and squatted 600. Further, ever since joining the NFL, he was been working out to improve all aspects of his game.
This is definitely a player any coach would want to have on their team. Orakpo is extremely athletic and dedicated to his work. He also takes everything just a little personally.
After two stellar seasons in 2009 and 2010, in which he made the Pro Bowl both times, Orakpo stepped up his game even further in 2011. In Week 4, against the St. Louis Rams, he was named NFC Defensive Player of the Week for recording 2.5 sacks, five tackles, two tackles for loss, three quarterback hits and a forced fumble. The rest of his season, although not as eventful as that game, remained at a high caliber of play.
In week 17 of 2011, Orakpo tore the pectoral muscle in his left shoulder after tackling Philadelphia Eagles QB Michael Vick, leading to surgery. After a healthy recovery in the offseason, he again tore his left pectoral muscle in the second week of the 2012 season, this time against the Rams. The next day it was confirmed that Orakpo would miss the rest of season and he was placed on injured reserve.
In 2013, Orakpo is angry. He knows that he should be a leader of the defense. To be a leader, you need to play. He knows that fans are looking on with reservations. Can he stay healthy?
When asked how healthy he is, Orakpo stated, “I’m 100, 200, 300 (percent) — whatever that number may be. 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.”
Redskins Head Coach Mike Shanahan could not be happier with a player like Orakpo.