WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – Brian Orakpo, in an interview with Jim Rome on CBS Sports Radio Monday, talked about the emotional release he felt after the Redskins’ 24-14 victory over Oakland Sunday, what it was like playing on a baseball field, and how much he hates having a bye week this early in the season.
Orakpo, who, much like an 0-3 Redskins team which won its first division championship in thirteen years last season, dug a hole for himself to climb out from at the start of the 2013 season.
In a town in which the sole media focus has been Robert Griffin III and his apparent loss off speed following offseason surgery, Orakpo, who tore his pectoral muscle a year ago, had some rust of his own to knock off.
Registering just one sack through his first three games, he just hadn’t been playing like himself, until he racked up 4 tackles, 2 sacks and 2 pass deflections, as the Redskins battled back from a 14-0 first quarter deficit to defeat the Raiders in the Super Bowl XVIII rematch, on the baseball field in Oakland.
“You guys were down two touchdowns, you were staring 0-4 in the face, as I mentioned, how good did it feel to come out of there with a win yesterday, and get on the board?” Rome asked Orakpo.
“Ah, it’s a release,” Orakpo said. “It was almost like déjà vu almost again, you know, going down fourteen-zero in the first quarter, and everything just wasn’t going our way, but we were able to get a huge turnover from Amerson for a touchdown, and it kind of turned things around for us, and it’s a great feeling to finally get a W, and we can get back in the swing of things.”
Orakpo, when asked if a loss to the Raiders to start the season 0-4 was in the back of his mind, responded, “Yea, absolutely.”
“We definitely didn’t want to be 0-4, and especially getting back on the plane 0-4, and still have to ride six hours back to D.C.,” he said. “That would have really not been good, but it was great that we were able to play for 60 minutes and finish the game strong, and it’s also great that everybody else in our division lost when we won, so, even though we’re still bottom of the barrel right now, we’re still in the thick of things in our division.”
On playing football on a baseball field:
“It’s nothing I’ve never experienced before,” Orakpo said. “My first time, and it’s very tough. I don’t know how those guys do it on a consistent basis, but, you’re basically playing on hard gravel out there. You’re tracking, you see a lot of guys slipping, and it’s not a great feeling once you hit that turf.”
On the Redskins getting their first win:
“This W was a huge stepping stone for us moving forward. And now we’ve got a bye week to really clear our minds and really get ready for a twelve-game stretch. Obviously, we put ourselves in the hole by starting 0-3, but the great fortunate thing about it is, like I said, our division is not doing as well this year, and everybody is kind of still in the thick of things, and we can still really come out of this hole that we put ourselves in.”
Orakpo was then asked to give his thoughts on the Redskins’ week five bye, and whether it may prevent them from capitalizing off any momentum earned in their first win in week four.
“Do you like the bye right now, or coming off a win like that, do you like to build on that momentum, and would rather play again?
“No, I hate it. I hate early byes. I don’t know why the NFL decides to give us an early bye. But you gotta do what the schedule says, because obviously, it is what it is, but normally I would love to have a bye Week 10 or Week 9, something like that.”
The Redskins defense broke the negative trend of giving up record-setting yard totals, getting after Matt Flynn for seven sacks, and allowing just 298 net offensive yards.
“It was great, because I mean, that’s the defense we’re normally accustomed to knowing we’re capable of doing,” Orakpo said. “Obviously the first three weeks hasn’t been great for us, and we just gotta continue to build. This is was a great motivational tool for us to build on, with seven sacks and turnovers and stuff of that nature, and it was a great feeling, because that’s the defense I know, and that’s the defense Haslett has been dreaming of, as far as going out there and performing like that.”
Orakpo went on to talk about having to be the provider for his siblings while his parents were incarcerated during his time at Texas, his former coach, Mack Brown, being on the hot seat, and RGIII.
Follow Jim Rome on Twitter. Listen to the full interview below.