August 7, 2012
Redskins Park


Linebacker Brian Orakpo

On if he draws any motivation drawn from not being selected for the Pro Bowl last year:
“Somewhat, because I want to be a player that is in there every year, regardless of the situation, regardless of the stats, regardless of anything. Being an alternate? No, I don’t want to be an alternate. I want to be there every year. That’s my goal. Also, winning would help. We need to win some games and be a team that is relevant. That would obviously help a lot of guys on this team. That is something we’ve got to make sure we take care of.”

On how he performed last year individually:
“Last year was a good year. I felt like I got better and continued to progress as a football player, as a better overall linebacker and helped improve my game in every aspect I could to be a great player.”

On diversifying his pass rush repertoire:
“I can’t divert from my game. I am a physical guy. I am not a technician. I use a lot of my ability to get to the quarterback. I am not going to go out there and try to fake some stuff and not really play my game. Obviously there is some stuff that I would like to work on, some kind of moves to get more sacks and more pressures. At the end of the day, I am not going to divert away from my game. I am a physical pass rusher and I like to get into tackles and I like to get after it.”

On the type of things he has been working on this offseason:
“The same stuff that I have been doing. I have been working with my hands, working with different techniques, working with different counters and just getting together with all of the professionals trying to work on a lot of different areas to get better overall. Instead of just working primarily on my pass rush, I want to work on everything; my run defense, pass drops, everything it takes to be an elite player.”

On how he got better:
“Just my footwork, my awareness, and where my eyes would be when I am normally pass dropping instead of just running out there blind. I learned a lot from working with one of my homies [Kansas City Chiefs linebacker] Derrick Johnson. He taught me a lot of ways to drop and what he looks at when he is out there. I am just trying to get better at that aspect and where to make sure I am planting my feet when the quarterback sets his feet so I am able to react to the ball.”

On offensive tackle Trent Williams:
“He looks a lot better to me. He is really leading that offensive line. He is playing at a very elite level. I told him personally that he is top three for sure in the league right now. There are only two people probably better but he is top three for sure.”

On not relying on stats and numbers to gauge performance on the field:
“You can’t really look at the numbers, especially with our team. We’re not winning any games you know, so stats really don’t mean anything. Once we start having leads and we get after it and win some ball games around here then things are going to change. So, I’m looking forward to the season. I think it’s going to be a very big season for us. We‘ve got some high expectations in the locker room and you know, I can’t wait to get it started.”

On going back and forth against Trent Williams:
“It’s a great battle that we have and I think I haven’t worked as much with Trent in a long time because it’s always usually one versus two or two versus one. Coaches really kept it one and one and ones on ones and we’ve really been helping each other excel at what we need to do to get this team right.”

On advice he would give to a first-round pick before his first preseason game:
“Don’t worry about the pressure. Don’t worry about anything else. Just go out there and have fun. That’s the most important thing. He [quarterback Robert Griffin III] is a guy that likes to keep it loose, so keep it loose. Act like you’re just at Baylor when you’re out there. Make your plays, do what you can, don’t try to do too much and things will fall into his lap.”

On if he will pay attention to what Robert Griffin III does on the field on Thursday night:
“I’m not going to pay attention. Obviously, the defense and offense are totally different, so obviously they know what to what to expect from RGIII. Obviously, we want him to keep us off the field and that’s the goal. And we can get out there and get some more opportunities for him to score.”

On the readiness of the rookies for their first preseason NFL game:
“The guys are very loose right now. Obviously it’s Tuesday. I mean the butterflies and stuff starts kicking in on Wednesday, Thursday. I think they’re ready though. We’ve been practicing really hard and you know…the heat, everything. There’s about two or three guys that have excelled at a really high level and I really think those guys are going to perform well throughout the game.”

On the biggest difference he sees in Trent Williams:
“Just his footwork and his ability. He is very athletic and he is very strong. If you’re thinking about running around the edge on him, it is impossible. You have to work something else with Trent because he is very athletic and very strong.”

On the return of defensive end Jarvis Jenkins:
“He’s going to add a lot, penetration, making plays. He can pass rush his [rear] off. He’s going to help our pass rush a lot. If me or [linebacker] Ryan [Kerrigan] can’t get there, I know [defensive end Stephen] Bowen or Jenkins is going to be a big part of putting pressure as well, and the rest of the corps. I’m very excited, because he really was a big part of our season before he got hurt.”

On striving for a winning season:
“It still keeps me hungry. I’m not coming here where I’m just used to it or anything like that. I come out here each and every day, and I play just like I’m an undrafted guy and I have something to prove. That’s how everybody needs to approach it, and that’s how I feel everybody approaches it, because we haven’t done anything since I’ve been here yet. I’m looking forward to the future of this team, because we have a lot of great players to put something out there, a winning team out there. We obviously [are] going to try to get it done this year.”

On if this season feels different from his first three seasons with the Redskins:
“It’s very different, I feel like. We’ve got a lot of young guys. We figured out our quarterback situation, obviously. That’s really going to help us a lot, and our defense is coming along real well. We got some new, key pieces this year to kind of fill in those areas that we’ve been needing for a long time. I’m a kid in the candy store. I’m very excited to be a part of this team right now. I’m healthy. Everybody’s healthy, and everybody is ready to rock and roll. I can’t wait to strap up.”

On nose tackle Barry Cofield’s goal for the defense to be among the NFL’s top five or 10 and what Orakpo’s goals are:
“Exactly what he said. He’s one of the guys that we respect on this team, and he knows what he’s talking about. The first year with Haz [Defensive Coordinator Jim Haslett] we were 31, and the next year we were 13. That’s a huge improvement for any defense in the league. This year we expect to improve from 13 and get into those top 10, those top defensive numbers, so we expect a lot. We’re going to put a lot of pressure on ourselves to make sure we achieve those goals.”

On where he expects to improve:
“Just overall, I’m expecting to pick up where I left off. That’s what you have to do when you end the season. I feel like we started to do some good things, and I’m just going to continue to get better, pickup where I left off and try to get better as the games go on throughout the season.”