On Friday, July 26, 2013, Redskins LB Brian Orakpo addressed the media following morning walkthrough of training camp at the Bon Secours Washington Redskins Training Center in Richmond, Va.
On linebacker Keenan Robinson's injury:
"When we heard the news, man, it's devastating. But the one thing about it, you don't want to look too sad because that makes his morale down, so we've got to make sure we pick him up. And for myself, being in the same, similar situation, man, you've got to do what I did, the proper protocol as far as how to handle it, and as soon as he gets his surgery, if he needs surgery, the right steps to get better. Obviously it's his second one, so I'm kind of familiar with that. I'm going to try to help him as much as I can, give him the steps I took to get to the level I am at today."
On having young players shadow him during practice:
"It's fun, man, it's fun, because I can remember when I was young, trying to learn stuff and pick up on the veterans. And now I'm one of the veterans that, like you say, you have a lot of the young guys following your lead, following your footsteps and trying to do the best they can to help our defense, or offense per se. I think it is very fun to be a player's coach out there."
On how it feels to practice at a fast pace again:
"The way we practice, regardless if it is training camp, minicamp, OTAs, we pretty practice much fast paced in the first place. It really does not matter, I just feel like it is a big step towards having a successful season this year. Obviously the tempo does increase but it's football. We are experienced; we get experience each and every year and take it from there."
On the depth of the defense after the recent injuries:
"I am very confident in the guys we have on this team regardless of some of the guys that we have down. It is always an unwritten law, 'Next man up.' That is on every team. When you have significant injury, it's always that next guy that is going to step up, lead by example, step out on that field and do what they are here for and that is to make plays. I am very confident in guys like [linebackers] Bryan Kehl and Roddrick Muckelroy to come in and fill that void, the younger defensive tackles and defensive line as well to fill that void for [defensive end Adam] Carriker and so on."
*On his mindset entering the season: *
"It was hard for me because I've never missed significant time like that. It was the first time missing a full year like that almost. I know I wanted to pick up where I left off. I get better every year, I feel like, in experience, in the way I play and what I pick up. That is what I wanted to do. The first day I stepped out on the field, I did not want to lose a step, I did not want to get my feet wet, I just wanted to pick up where I left off and I feel like I have been doing so. Shanahan and all of the coaches and players have seen that in the way I have been playing so far. I just have got to keep working extremely hard and carry it throughout the season."
On if he thinks about mental obstacles after his injuries:
"You can't. You've got to be relentless, man. You've got to play this game with an edge. You've got to play this game tenacity and not be scared because injuries happen. It my case it was some freak stuff that happened back-to-back; one at the end of this regular seasons and one at the beginning of the regular season. I didn't lose my confidence at all. I never lose confidence in my body. I never lose confidence in the way I play. Nothing like that. I'm a very confident guy. I knew it was going to be a matter of time before I'd be back and playing at a very high level."
On things the defense needs to do to regain their edge:
"We've got to limit the big plays. That's the one thing I noticed. I think the second half of the season we did a great job with turnovers. I really feel like we've got to continue to do so. But like I said, we've got to limit the big plays. That's what hurt us a lot. That's what hurt us statistically when it comes to ranking our total defense. I think if we do that and if we be consistent week-in and week-out we're going to be just fine."
On what causes pectoral injuries:
"The way we tackle, sometimes it could be an arm tackle and it kind of gets hyperextended. Just kind of random stuff, man. It's nothing really particular. It just happens. In my case, when I hit [Rams quarterback Sam] Bradford, I remember, Week 2 it was just a routine sack, wrap up and it tore. It can happen by all kinds of variations, but the primary one is when you're arm kind of gets tangled up and kind of gets hyperextended a little bit to where it kind of aggravates that pectoral muscle. I think that's what happened to Keenan [Robinson] the first time he had it in Dallas, so that's pretty much the standard procedure for that."
On becoming a more avid student in the film room:
"I've always been… a film rat while watching my opponent and watching practice and stuff like that. But [being] able to actually see it from the sideline and what I could, when I come back, what I can be able to take advantage of from the defensive side, it's a different perspective than just watching it in the classroom. That's what I meant by that. I really feel like it's going to be beneficial. It sucks that I was out for a year, but it kind of helped that I was out for a year because, like I said, I was able to look at football from a different angle. Hopefully it can lead to me having a successful season."
On playing with [linebacker] Darryl Tapp:
"He's doing phenomenal, man. For a guy that's been an [defensive] end all his life, coming in so far and picking up the defense so fast… This year, these guys are picking it up so fast. It took us a while just from scratch, almost two years exact to really get this defense down, and these guys are getting it in less than a year, and getting better at it each and every day. Tapp is doing so by the way he studies, by the way he prepares himself every day and he brings power to the game. He is a power-type rusher. He's really been doing a phenomenal job getting after the quarterback and also in his drop coverages as well."
On what he's noticed watching film and being on sideline:
"It's just a different view. It's refreshing just to see from the sideline what you can be able to take advantage of once we're able to get out there. One thing that I have noticed is that I am a little too unselfish, if it makes any sense, when I'm out there playing to where if I'm able to tell [Stephen] Bowen, 'Hey, watch out for me. I may make this move real quick, but I need you to have my back.' Just pick up on little stuff like that, what I'm able to see out there. I can try to take advantage of [it] instead of just sometimes playing by what the playbook says. I'm able to kind of be more aggressive… I've always been vocal, but just being more aggressive when it comes to trusting your playmaking abilities instead of just going by what the book says, what the play is called, and just by an overall picture of what you see and be able to make sure that somebody is able to cover you if you do want to take a chance."
On linebacker Brandon Jenkins returning from injury:
"Yeah, obviously he had his injuries at Florida State and this is his first time back in a while, but he's been looking great so far. I was able to share some tips. 'Even though you're feeling good, make sure you stay with all types of maintenance you need on your body. That's the most important thing.' To this day I still, once I'm done talking to you guys, I'm going to go in the training room and make sure I take care of my body maintenance-wise. It's really not nothing that important, but it really is really beneficial in the long run if you just stay on top of your body and make sure it doesn't happen again. That's what I try to relay to Brandon and, like I said, he's been looking great so far."