The mounting losses are starting to take their toll on Washington Redskins linebacker Brian Orakpo.
Following Sunday’s loss to the Miami Dolphins, the third-year pro struggled to come up with a reason for his team’s continued struggles, and Orakpo said teams are starting to lose respect for the Redskins.
“I’m just frustrated, man. Pissed off. Tired of losing,” said Orakpo, who recorded two tackles in Washington’s 20-9 defeat. “I don’t know, man. It’s just frustrating. You’re trying to hold your head up, but it’s just frustrating and we just can’t get it together. It’s like every team we’re going to play, they already know they’re going to win because of the way we’re playing. It’s just ridiculous, man. We’ve got to figure out a way to turn this [stuff] around.”
Orakpo continued: “I wish I had an answer for you, man. It’s frustrating. We just have to dig deep. It’s cliche, but I’m running out of material. I’ve never been through something like this before. We just have to keep fighting, man. I know we’ve got a great team. I know we’ve got great character. [But] forget the character, we’ve got great players on this team. Great playmakers. We just have to put it all together.”
Orakpo was a member of the 4-12 team from the 2009 season, but even that squad managed to avoid losing five straight games. And last season Orakpo and his teammates endured a 6-10 campaign, but never dropped five straight then, either.
Orakpo called this year’s losing ways more surprising than those seasons because Washington entered the year having eliminated the off-field distractions that had plagued them, and players felt more comfortable as they kicked off Year 2 of the Mike Shanahan era.
“Last year and my rookie season we just had a bunch of nonsense off the field, so I’m not even going to compare,” said Orakpo, who leads the team with 5.5 sacks. “The mind-set was totally different. The coaches, the players, everybody was all on board and we didn’t have any drama. [This year], we started off fast and for some reason, man, we’ve just teetered off completely. That’s the frustrating part. How can we fall off like that? We just have to keep fighting.”
Orakpo wasn’t the only player miffed over the team’s dismal stretch. Strong safety LaRon Landry – always an outspoken player – could offer little insight.
“There’s nothing really to say, man,” Landry said. “It’s the same story week in and week out. There’s nothing really to say. I can’t say anything. We lost. Week in and week out. I’m at a loss for words. We just need a ‘W’.”