Veteran LB Brian Orakpo: "Put the Pressure on Me"


NASHVILLE, Tenn. —Brian Orakpo has a deep voice and a no-nonsense approach.

And on Monday, the Titans linebacker was loud and clear when speaking about his approach for the 2015 season, along with the team's mission on Sunday in the season-opener at Tampa Bay.

For starters, Orakpo wants to be a difference-maker with his new team. After racking up 40 sacks in three Pro Bowl seasons with the Redskins, he knows he was brought to Tennessee to do a job – get to the quarterback.

"Put the pressure on me, I don't care,'' Orakpo said. "We have to put pressure on (QBs) to be successful. We can't put our (secondary) out to dry. That's what it is all about. We want to get there with four….We don't want to be blitzing every play."

Orakpo, whose season was cut short last year because of an injury, said he's ready.

"I am primed and ready to rock and roll,'' he said.

The target on Sunday will be Buccaneers rookie quarterback Jameis Winston, the first overall pick in the NFL Draft.

Even before Winston's first regular season game, the Titans respect him, Orakpo said.

"He went No.1 for a reason, so we definitely can't take that lightly,'' Orakpo said. "He had a phenomenal college career and he has been throwing the ball all his life. We can't go in there with the mentality like, 'he is a young guy and he is going to make mistakes and is going to do this and that.' We have to go out there with a great game plan and play our defense and hopefully things go our way."

In recent weeks, the Titans have watched plenty of film of the Buccaneers, and Winston.

In the preseason, the former Florida State quarterback threw for 311 yards. But he completed just 48.9 percent of his passes while posting a passer rating of 52.7.

Something else stood out: Winston was sacked seven times.

"Hopefully we'll have some success getting him down,'' Orakpo said. "(But) he's a great quarterback. He's a guy who was born quarterback ready, born ready for this type of opportunity and I know he is going to be ready and I know his offensive line is going to be ready. It's going to be a great task for us."

Titans Online looks at the career of new Titans LB Brian Orakpo, a three-time Pro Bowler who began his first six seasons with the Washington Redskins. (AP Photos)

As a defense, Orakpo believes the Titans are ready for the regular season opener as well.

He said the unit showed just a glimpse of what it is capable of in the preseason.

"We don't want to waste any time. We don't want to be saying we have stuff to work on and improve on in Week 10. That's ridiculous. We want to hit it with flying colors come Tampa Bay,'' Orakpo said.

"You guys have seen a glimpse, you guys have seen just a taste of what we are capable of when we are on all cylinders. Obviously we still have stuff to improve on, but I think we are ahead of schedule and I am excited about what we can do as a total defense. Overall, I think we are going to be just fine."


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