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Osi gets friendly with division rival

Redskins linebacker Brian Orakpo knows how he plans on improving his game in the offseason. He has been texting with the Giants’ Osi Umenyiora and Dallas’ DeMarcus Ware and tapping their minds on different pass-rushing tricks.

Umenyiora and Ware are good friends who went to high school and college together and now they are helping out a division rival.

“Osi is a good friend of mine and tells me stuff to work on,” Orakpo told the Washington Examiner. “DeMarcus is a good friend and he gives me little things to help me achieve and to help me get off the hands. I’m trying to engage with other guys and see what’s on their mind.”

Orakpo said he hopes to workout with Umenyiora and Ware in the offseason and help each other improve. Ware led the NFL in sacks with 15.5 and Umenyiora tied teammate Justin Tuck with 11.5 sacks last year.

Orakpo, who had 8.5 sacks, has recorded a total of 19.5 sacks in his first two seasons.

Some of ESPN’s NFL writers recently ranked the top 10 pass rushers and Orakpo and Umenyiora were left off the list.

Orakpo hopes to improve in the offseason by working with his division rivals.

“We plan on getting together and working in the offseason and working with each other,” Orakpo said. “Showing each other skills and getting better as we work together. It’s funny to be good friends with rivals, but that’s what happens in the offseason.”

“Everyone respects each other’s game. As soon as I came in they showed me so much love for what I bring to the game. You always pick up stuff. You’re like a sponge; you’re always trying to soak up information.”

Orakpo, by the way, is squaring off against Giants wide receiver Hakeem Nicks in the first round of the bracket tournament in which fans will vote to decide who will grace the cover of Madden 12.