“We have work to do, man,” Orakpo told reporters Tuesday, via the team’s official website. “What do I look like, a sucker? We have work to do. Expectations are very high within ourselves. But we are not talking about all that Super Bowl stuff right now, because we have a lot of work to do.”
Orakpo’s words, said mostly with a smile on his face, were a preemptive strike of sorts (the question from the reporter was about expectations in general, and wasn’t all that bad). Veterans of his ilk are smart enough to know there are no good answers to inquiries about games that haven’t been played. Shutting the questions down before the season starts could possibly curb talk about the playoffs or the Super Bowl.
The truth is that behind closed doors, the Titans have to believe they are on the doorstep. They nearly won the division last year but Marcus Mariota broke his leg on Christmas Eve. They have one of the youngest teams in the division and one of the highest-regarded general managers. The Titans do not have the star power of the Texans or Colts, though they might be the most complete team of the three.
With such a young team, it seems Orakpo is trying to set the tone early. Only ‘suckers’ talk about the playoffs in April.