Cleveland Browns defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah has a chance to make a major jump in his second year if his offseason work pays off on the field.
As the Cleveland Browns move through training camp and the preseason later this summer, much of the attention will be on first-round draft picks Myles Garrett and Jabrill Peppers, who will be tasked with adding a much-needed boost to the defense.
If things go according to plan (hey, things are changing with the Browns, it could happen), opposing offenses will have their hands full dealing with Garrett, which should make fellow defensive end Emmanuel Ogbah a happy man.
Ogbah, the team’s second-round selection in 2016, got off to a slow start his rookie season thanks to the incompetence of former defensive coordinator Ray Horton, who mistakenly had Ogbah initially playing as a 3-4 outside linebacker.
But once things settled down and Ogbah moved back to defensive end, he went on to have a productive season, leading the Browns with six sacks and, according to Pro Football Focus, finishing third among rookie edge rushers with 46 quarterback pressures:
With Horton sent packing and defensive coordinator Gregg Williams now in charge, Ogbah will move to his natural defensive end position on Cleveland’s four-man defensive front, a move that has him eager to get on the field, according to clevelandbrowns.com:
"“Oh yeah, definitely. That has been my bread and butter since high school and college. I am excited with the defense. Definitely since I was inside in the 3-4. Now, I am outside. I am just excited that now I am in a position that I am comfortable in and used to.”"
While Ogbah had a solid rookie season, he knows more will be asked of him this fall if the Browns are going to improve on their 26 sacks from last season, which is why he has been focusing on getting to the quarterback during the offseason, according to the team’s website:
"“Pass rush. I did a lot of pass rushing. I did a lot of weights and just perfected my craft Like I said, that is why I spent this offseason working on my pass rush. I feel like I really only had a one or two-move cut and developed a lot more moves to get after the quarterback more effectively to help the team win more games.”"
The Browns are building something along the defensive front seven, and the defensive line may be growing into a unit that will keep opposing quarterbacks up at night.
And Ogbah is working hard to make sure he is a major part of those sleepless nights.