John McDonnell/The Washington Post

Last season, Stephen Bowen switched to a facemask with six crossbars for more protection. This year he added a reflective visor, and talked to me about why he’s making the switch.

“No hands to the face,” Bowen said. “That’s why I first had it. I used to get poked a lot. And it looked nice, of course. Now that I have the visor, no one can even see where I’m looking at.”

Brian Orakpo switched to the six-bar mask and visor for OTAs and mini-camp, but he told me a couple of weeks ago that he’s having a different look custom-made for him.

“This is just for now. I’ve got something else in the works,” said Orakpo. “It’s a secret. No one else will have this one. I want to credit J. Tuck, the homie, for starting this trend. But I went ahead and created my own little deal. I got it coming soon.”

Orakpo has yet to wear the new mask, and when I caught up to him today he told me he decided to save it for training camp. He was willing to give me a teaser, though.

“Think Bane,” he said. “From Batman.”


(Ron Phillips – WARNER BROS. / DC COMICS)