Luckily, Orakpo was in town to promote the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society Classic, which he’ll host on May 9 for the first time, so I got to ask him what was up.
“You know what’s so funny, I normally don’t go on Twitter a lot,” Orakpo told me. “But I see what a lot of fans write, just keeping up with them, just showing some love to those guys. And they said ‘Hey Rak, you was off the top 10 list.’ I normally don’t pay no mind, but then I checked it out, and for them not to even list me is ridiculous. It’s all good, though. It gives me more motivation. That’s how it is. It always takes something to get motivated about. Same thing how they did me in the draft.”
Orakpo didn’t want to name anyone in particular who didn’t deserve to be on the list – “If I didn’t see my name, I wasn’t even worried abut it,” he said. He acknowledged that he doesn’t often use such language in public, but said that “Redskins fans love it. Passion, man -- I love the game. I’m a competitor, just like anyone else would be.”
He jokingly (maybe) said that football fans should pay no mind to writers, but he also identified the one thing that would most help Redskins players get more recognition.
“I don’t listen to writers, but when they’re talking to us and they’re giving lists, the season hasn’t started yet and they’re going off just numbers, I mean, it’s ridiculous,” he told Comcast SportsNet’s Chick Hernandez. “I got a little salty, wanted to express how I feel for a guy that’s steadily being disrespected because we don’t win ballgames. That’s all it is. We just don’t win ballgames, so they’re disrespecting the players that we have on this team. I’m very excited that once we start winning, they’re going to show us a lot of love.”
Still, after so vocally expressing his dissatisfaction with this top 10, I figured I should ask him to construct his own.
“See, that’s the thing: I’m not doing that,” Orakpo said. “I’m just irked about not being in it. I’m not gonna put myself anywhere. We’ll just let everybody speak for themselves.”
I also pointed out the common criticism of Orakpo, that his most productive games have happened earlier in the season and that he has tailed off late.
“I’ve heard that,” he said. “Obviously I know that. I know that’s what happened, exactly. I started off hot, then it tailed off. It’s something I‘ve just got to continue to be more consistent, don’t worry about holds and all this stuff, because they’re gonna hold me, they’re gonna double-team me, they’re gonna chip me, they’re gonna do a lot of things. I’ve just got to get over that hump.”
With new techniques?
“I’m not changing anything about my game,” he said. “I got to this point for a reason. I’ve been doing well so far. I’m just tweaking here and there, and I’ll be fine, good to go.”
And I also asked Orakpo about John Keim’s recent report that he’ll be seeking advice from other pass rushers, including Dallas’s DeMarcus Ware.
“I talk to D-Ware a majority of the time,” he said. “You build relationships, great players do, as far as helping each other, just having fun with each other, Pro Bowls, all types of offseason stuff. I try to ask them. Me and -W are planning on getting together, working on some different things. I’m like a sponge man, I like taking stuff from older guys that have been in the league and just trying to extend my game.”