After losing a tough game to Oakland to start the 2017 season, the Tennessee Titans got back to what they do best in Week 2 against Jacksonville, playing tough, physical football to beat the Jaguars 37-16. Titans outside linebacker Brian Orakpo joined The Jim Rome Show Wednesday on CBS Sports Radio and said the team made it a priority to get back to their true identity of tough football.
“We preach being a physical front, both on the offense and defensive lines, and that contributed to our W in Jacksonville,” Orakpo said. “If we can make sure we take the ball, create turnovers, and win the line of scrimmage, that’s Titan football all Sunday. Any time we play an opponent that’s what we want to distribute. Just be physical up front and create turnovers.”
Orakpo’s hit in the second quarter on Jacksonville quarterback Blake Bortles forced a fumble, a play the 31-year old took tremendous pride in.
“You always want to get the sack. The bonus, the icing on the cake, is when you are able to get the ball out and actually recover it,” Orakpo said. “To get your offense another opportunity to score.
“It was an obvious passing situation, and if you get me in a passing situation most likely I’m going to get there. I had the opportunity to get around the corner on the left tackle, and just went for the ball and that’s what we preach. Go for the sack, but also make sure you try to get the ball at the same time.”
The 4-time Pro Bowler talked about the benefit that comes with having other teammates who can get after the quarterback, a luxury he’s not always had.
“You’re not playing with pressure, you’re not that one guy, that if you’re not getting there nobody else can do stuff,” Orakpo said. “We have a team that has a tremendous amount of pass rushers on our defensive front, with myself, (Derrick) Morgan, (Jurrell) Casey to name a few. Guys that know how to get after it, guys that get sacks for a living and hunt quarterbacks for a living. It takes a lot of pressure off my back.”
Orakpo has plenty of coaching, too. Aside from the Titans coaches, his wife, Bitura, breaks down tape with him as well.
“We were actually watching yesterday,” Orakpo laughed. “She knows how I play, she knows my moves, just my mannerisms out there on the football field. I did a spin move in the fourth quarter, and that’s something I don’t normally do, and she was like ‘why don’t you start incorporating that more in your game, kind of throw people off, show them you can or you are capable of doing that.’
“So she likes to critique me on certain things and I definitely appreciate it because we’ve been together for so many years, I mean freshmen, when we were in college. So she knows my mannerisms out there on the football field, she knows what I’m capable of doing, so it’s always good to get her insight.”