Orakpo: Redskins must remain unified, block out distractions

Brian Orakpo said he and his teammates must block out distractions and remain united. (Photo by Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post)

Brian Orakpo said he and his teammates must block out distractions and remain united. (Photo by Jonathan Newton / The Washington Post)

As his team comes off of a week that featured a number of off-field controversies, Washington Redskins linebacker Brian Orakpo said he and his teammates need to remain united and block out distractions that could prove divisive if not handled properly.

Orakpo and his teammates acknowledge the fact that their losing record and poor performances subject them to scrutiny. But Orakpo said matters such as Robert Griffin III’s leadership skills, rumors of the quarterback’s dissatisfaction with his coaches and more, a report that tight end Fred Davis had missed meetings last week are both disturbing and potentially dangerous to the locker room.

“We have to remain unified, be brothers and stick together,” Orakpo said. “For stuff to get out – this problem with Fred, this problem with Griff, and this problem with so-and-so – it just becomes annoying at times, and it becomes a distraction. But we have to stick together, keep believing and trust our craft out there. Obviously, the sources that are from the outside are trying to break this team apart, it’s tough to deal with because we’ve got a lot of guys in this room that stick together and fight for each other every day. Like I said, we’ve just got to stay together, keep believing and don’t worry about the distractions.”

Orakpo said communication and dedication rank among the most important keys to overcoming such distractions.

“You’ve got to [discuss them],” Orakpo said. “Like I said, it’s major distractions and you’ve got to make sure everybody’s on the same page. You can’t go about things amongst yourselves like it’s not being talked about. We have to address it and do a good job of keeping everything in the team. For stuff to leak out, and these are just rumors, and it’s unbelievable. So, we have to do a better job of keeping everything in-house.”

What’s ahead:

● The Redskins practiced at 10:25 a.m. on Thanksgiving morning.

● An open thread prior to the three Thanksgiving games.

More from The Post:

Wise: Kedric Golston has a lot to be thankful for | Hall: Bring coaches back

Giants prep for Redskins holding out a sliver of playoff hope

How NBC will pull broadcasts in Balt., Wash. together

Fred Davis denies missing meetings | Griffin defends father’s locker room visit

Jenkins: Bench Griffin for his own sake | Bog: Brooks agrees | Gruden: Play Cousins

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