Orakpo Named NFC Defensive Player of the Week

The National Football League announced today that Washington Redskins linebacker Brian Orakpo has been named NFC Defensive Player of the Week for his performance in the Redskins’ 17-10 victory against the St. Louis Rams in Week 4.

Orakpo registered five tackles (four solo), two tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks and three quarterback hits against the Rams. The Redskins’ coaching staff also credited Orakpo with a forced fumble. His 2.5 sacks in the game represent the second-highest single-game sack total of his career and are the most by a Redskins player since he registered four sacks against the Oakland Raiders on Dec. 13, 2009.

The award marks the 32nd time a member of the Redskins has been named NFC Defensive Player of the Week since the NFL began awarding weekly honors in 1984. Orakpo is the team’s first winner since cornerback DeAngelo Hall earned the award after a four-interception performance against the Chicago Bears in Week 7 of the 2010 season.

Orakpo previously won weekly honors following Week 14 of the 2009 season while listed on the roster as a defensive end/linebacker. Prior to Orakpo, no Redskins linebacker had won the award since Ken Harvey following Week 13 in 1997. Orakpo is now one weekly honor shy of tying Wilbur Marshall for most by a linebacker in team history (three).

Orakpo, a two-time Pro Bowler, leads the Redskins in sacks this season with 3.5. The Redskins have 15 sacks on the season, tied with Philadelphia for most in the NFL. Orakpo has 23 career sacks, the fifth-most in the NFC and ninth-most in the NFL since he entered the league in 2009.

The 3-1 Redskins have a bye week, before facing Mike Vick and the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday October 16th at FedEd Field.

On how the guys will spend their time off, Mike Shanahan weighs in:

“These guys have come in in very good shape coming into camp with the lockout. I’ve asked them to get at least a couple of days of running in and told them, ‘God is watching.’ We’ll have to go with the honor system. We have guys that understand – we’re four games into the season and we have a lot to get done. I want their bodies to rest and mentally get away from football a little bit even though some may watch on the weekend. But, when they come back Monday, they’ll be ready to go against Philadelphia.”

But before that, family first. Right coach?

“I think there is time for everything. You have to make time, especially when you have kids and family. You better make time. Those are an important part of your life. I think as you get a little bit older, like I am now, and the kids are grown, it’s not as important, but now there are grandkids. It’s budgeting time and making sure you get a little bit of time for everything and have some priorities – you better make that a priority.”