Brian Orakpo, Fred Davis Are Bright Spots In Redskins’ Preseason Opener

But so too — Fred Davis Roy — junior and Brian Orakpo who told me unlike last year when he had some concerns about his surgically repaired pectoral muscle. He’s a 100% confident in it now. All three of those players are expect played big roles in 2013. But they’re still one major question mark that strong safety Brandon meriwether. He’s been slow to come back from ACL surgery and now he’s battling a tight groin muscle. He didn’t practice on Monday Tuesday was a player’s day off. And on Wednesday coach Mike Shanahan refused to give an update on his status makes you wonder doesn’t it.

The pass-rushing linebacker — coming off a season-ending torn pectoral muscle suffered in Week 2 last season — hopes to share something else with quarterback Robert Griffin 3, besides all those grueling hours spent rehabbing this offseason. “If we can both get Comeback Player of the Year honors, that would be remarkable, that would mean we did something special as a team,” Orakpo told USA TODAY Sports after Thursday’s practice. “Me and Griff worked extremely hard to not let our fans and this team down, because we know how much they rely on both of us. “If we come back at full strength like I know we both will, we’re going to be a team to be reckoned with.” RGIII: Says he’ll be ready for camp ‘without a doubt’ A share of Comeback Player of the Year honors is not the only individual goal Orakpo is chasing. “Defensive Player of the Year is a goal of mine,” Orakpo said. “I worked extremely hard this offseason and Defensive Player of the Year is very obtainable.” Griffin said all that hard work is showing for the linebacker who counts 28.5 sacks during his first three healthy seasons. “Rak’s been great,” Griffin said.

Redskins’ Brian Orakpo not concerned about thigh injury

Just stuff, you get nicked up in camp, so just precaution. Youve got to be smart, Orakpo said. Im not sure what the staff wants, but well figure it out. Its a day-to-day process with this. I had a knee to the quad, so once it calms down, well see where were at. Orakpo suffered the injury while trying to defend a running play in Thursdays practice. Guard Adam Gettis inadvertently kneed the linebacker in the right quad. Orakpo watched Fridays practice, and spent much of it riding the stationary bike at the edge of the field. He jogged off the field following the final huddle break and to the locker room. Redskins coach Mike Shanahan said that Orakpo hasnt yet been ruled out for Mondays preseason game against Pittsburgh.

Being able to come back and make plays felt really good. Davis had two catches for 14 yards, including his three-yard touchdown on the Redskins second offensive series. The touchdown came on a second-down play on which Cousins faked to his left toward tailback Roy Helu Jr., then rolled to his right and threw a pass to Davis in the back of the end zone. Davis made the grab, but also was given a 15-yard penalty for falling to the ground as part of his touchdown celebration. Said Cousins: Fred certainly is a talent and a guy whos played a lot of football here. We love seeing him show up there in the stat line with a touchdown catch. It was the sort of confidence builder for Davis for which he and the Redskins had hoped. The Redskins lost one of their most reliable receivers last season when Davis suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon. It was far from certain that Davis would be back with the team this season, given that he was a free agent in the offseason and drew interest from the Buffalo Bills and other teams. But Davis re-signed with the Redskins, and has seemed to be running well on the training-camp practice field.

Brian Orakpo’s recovery overshadowed but no less crucial for Redskins

”You’re always hoping that it’s healed the right way,” said Washington coach Mike Shanahan. ”So far, he looks very good. The strength is there. . If you can’t put pressure on the quarterback, the chances of you being a top five defense aren’t very good.” Redskins at a glance Looking for more dirt on the Redskins? Get the inside slant, stats, scores, schedules and more scoops right here . The Redskins dropped from 13th to 28th on defense in Orakpo’s absence last season while rallying to win their final seven games and their first NFC East title since 1999.

Image: Brian Orakpo of the Washington Redskins (© Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

Last year, once Orakpo went down, the Redskins found out they had quite the playmaker in reserve outside linebacker Rob Jackson , who came off the bench to start 14 games, turning in 4.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and an interception returned for a touchdown. But in March the NFL suspended Jackson for the first four games of this season after he tested positive for a banned substance, underlining all the more how much the Redskins need Orakapo back in the lineup and producing. “He’s what you call a difference-maker,” veteran Washington inside linebacker London Fletcher said of Orakpo. “He can make some of the other players better, where you’re able to pressure the quarterback, get sacks on the quarterback. And also from a gameplan standpoint, the offensive coordinators have to account for him, so he’s going to help other guys play better football.” The injured Orakpo missed out on the Redskins’ season-ending seven-game winning streak and first NFC East title since 1999, and it was like doing plenty to help plan the party, but then missing out on all the fun. BELLER: Can RGIII be a fantasy difference-maker?

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