Brian Orakpo, the former Washington Redskins linebacker who signed with the Tennessee Titans earlier this month, told Sirius XM this week that he thinks Redskins quarterback Robert Griffin III can be a productive quarterback once again if he is able to stay healthy.
Orakpo played the last six seasons with the Redskins and spent the past three in the locker next to Griffin's.
After helping guide Washington to the playoffs in 2012, his rookie season, Griffin has fought injuries and inconsistency over the past two seasons. In 2014, he was limited to nine games (seven starts) by a dislocated ankle and completed 68.7 percent of his passes for 1,694 yards, four touchdowns and six interceptions.
"I always tried to stay positive with him when he was handling all that adversity that he was going through," Orakpo said. "I think he’ll be able to turn it around once he’s able to stay healthy, and [he’ll] prove everybody wrong. And don’t be too much worried about the criticism and the bad stuff that goes around being the quarterback of a big-time franchise like the Redskins. I think it will turn around eventually for him, once he stays healthy and kind of, you know, eliminates all the negativity around him."
After returning from the dislocated ankle in Week 9, Griffin was benched three weeks later before the Redskins' Week 13 game against the Indianapolis Colts.
Griffin later called Redskins head coach Jay Gruden's decision to bench him an "unfortunate decision, and something we all had to go with because that was coach’s choice."
"RG is a good guy, man," Orakpo said. "He's a guy that works extremely hard. He's a guy that has great character. He needs to, obviously, stay healthy so he can perform and get back to the level he was his rookie year."
As a rookie in 2012, Griffin appeared in 15 games and completed 65.6 percent of his passes for 3,200 yards, 20 touchdowns and five interceptions. He also rushed for 815 yards and seven touchdowns on 120 attempts.
Last season, the Redskins finished 4-12 and missed the playoffs for the second straight year.
- Mike Fiammetta