NASHVILLE, Tenn. – When he hit the practice field as a younger man, Brian Orakpo used to hurdle the gray garbage cans that are spaced out for drills to represent linemen.

“Before, I was the guy leaping over them getting ready for practice, that was my routine,” Orakpo said. “Now I look at them and there is no way I am jumping over the things. I just walk around them…”OrakpoRavens

“My jumping is not there anymore. I had a 40-inch vert. I don’t know what it is now. I used to be able to jump all over the place. Bat balls down, touch the rim.”

Orakpo, now 32, has come to terms with the facts. While some aging players engage in denial, this veteran is fully engaged in the process of trading some physical game – perhaps unwillingly – for the sort of mental edge that comes from 10 years of NFL knowledge.

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