Jul 17, 2013, 6:00 AM EDT
Here is what you need to know on this Wednesday, July 17, eight days before the Redskins start training camp.
Rak says he’s going to rip it
Brian Orakpo has had a difficult time convincing everyone that he’s healthy.
“I’m 100, 200, 300 [percent]—whatever that number may be,” the linebacker told Larry Michael on Redskins Nation. “In OTAs or minicamp, I didn’t miss a day, I didn’t miss a practice. I was ready to go. In training camp, I’m going to be full go.”
So there you go.
But despite Orakpo’s pronouncements, many will remain skeptical that he is as good as new after he suffered a tear to the same pectoral muscle twice in nine months. And there also is skepticism about his ability to “rip it up” as he said he would because he doesn’t have a second pass-rushing move to keep blockers off balance.
“I’ve been doing this for a long time. I’m going to continue being a powerful, edge pass rusher,” he said. “I do have counter moves, inside stuff like that, but you have to know what type of player you are. You don’t want to go out there and look stupid trying to imitate someone else.
“I could care less what people say. You just have to go out and do your thing. Believe in what your coaches are critiquing you on your game, and try to establish that on Sundays.”
If he is healthy, his sack total may not depend as much on any moves he might develop as it will on what the Redskins can get done on the other side of the ball. In Orakpo’s first three years in the league the Redskins per-game scoring averages were 16.6 (26th in NFL), 18.9 (25th), and 18.0 (26th). That meant that Orakpo had precious few opportunities to play with a nice lead and rush the passer without having to worry about the running game.
Last year, as Orakpo watched for 14 games, the Redskins averaged 27.2 points per game, fourth in the league. If the points continue to soar for the Redskins, Orakpo could well end up with that monster season that everyone has been looking for.
Value up, ranking down
The Redskins grew in value last year but they slipped in the Forbes rankings.
The business magazine figured that the team’s value grew from $1.56 billion to $1.6 billion from 2012 to this year. However, the Redskins fell from being the fifth most valuable sports franchise in the world to eighth.
Three European soccer teams top the list and baseball’s Yankees and Dodgers also are ahead of the Redskins in terms of value. Washington was the third most valuable NFL franchise behind the Cowboys and Patriots.
Overall the NFL dominated the Forbes top 50. Thirty of the leagues 32 teams were in the top 50 most valuable sports franchises and the two that missed, the Jaguars and Rams, were 51st and 52nd.
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Days until: Training camp starts 8; Preseason opener @ Titans 22; Final cuts 45
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