Redskins linebacker Brian Orakpo paid a visit to the NFL Network studios yesterday, to discuss the direction of the team this offseason.
With the much-ballyhooed additions to the offense and secondary, Orakpo is confident that fans will have a team to be proud of in 2012.
"Our Redskins fans, they've been craving a winning team," he said with a smile. "The only thing I'm going to say is, this would be the perfect time to be a Redskins fan. We've got the key pieces to really take that next step and the sky's the limit for us."
Since arriving in Washington as the team's first pick in the 2009 NFL Draft, Orakpo has endured three losing seasons, with a combined record of 15-33.
During that stretch, the Redskins have started four different quarterbacks, none of whom are slated to start in 2012.
Like most other people associated with the team, Orakpo's confidence has been buoyed by a fellow first-round draft pick, quarterback Robert Griffin III.
"He has that 'it' factor about him, and that's one thing I love," Orakpo said. "He comes in ready to work, each and every day. I'm an early guy into Redskins Park, but he's there before me, already getting ready with his playbook and in the classroom watching film.
"This guy is the real deal, and I'm excited that he's instilled in that offense with coach Shanahan and Co. He has a good defense to back him up."
Orakpo acknowledged that the fate of the organization does not rest on Griffin III and that the rest of the team will need to play at high level in order to make strides.
"We have to be consistent, and play week-in and week-out with the same intensity," he said. "The only division games we won were against the Giants--we need to play like that every game.
"We need to start fast and be able to maintain it throughout the whole season."
Orakpo stopped short of making any team projections for the 2012 season, but let it be known that the Redskins believe in themselves. "I don't make any guarantees, and if I do make any guarantees it's going to be behind closed doors," he said. "We have a lot of high expectations for ourselves, but we just want to be low-key right now. Let the season start and we're going to handle our business."