What has gotten into Larry Ogunjobi?
Larry Ogunjobi is definitely the most improved Cleveland Brown this season, after three years of playing just well enough to be a regular but not really being a start. In the opening game, he was tremendous against Baltimore, forcing a fumble and making a tackle for loss.
He made an immediate positive impression on Dawg Pound Daily’s Cory Kinnan, who pointed out that Ogunjobi was disrupting the Ravens run game in a spectacular play, though he probably didn’t even get credit for the tackle.
Against Cincinnati, he continued to disrupt the run and also pressure quarterback Joe Burrow. There was one play where Sheldon Richardson got credit for the sack, but Johnny Kinsley points out that Ogunjobi was in position to shut down Joe Mixon had the play developed into a designed handoff. There is actually a group of Browns in the area including Myles Garrett (95) and Adrian Clayborn (94).
Mixon is a very good runner, with over 1,000 yards the past two seasons, but he went nowhere on Thursday, and that is part of the reason why the Bengals put the ball in the air 61 times. Very likely Bengals coach Zac Taylor and offensive coordinator Brian Callahan were not planning to go airborne so frequently, but the Browns run defense forced them to go to the air that many times.
That has just not happened in Cleveland the past few years.
It was not just Cleveland sportswriters who were impressed. Pro Football Focus graded Ogunjobi’s performance third-highest overall among interior defenders in the NFL in the early going. That is a quantum improvement from a player who has been a borderline starter, especially on running plays. Jordan Elliott is graded 10th overall, and Sheldon Richardson is graded 14th overall.
You have to admit, the Baltimore Ravens (Lamar Jackson, Mark Ingram, Jr., Gus Edwards and J.K Dobbins) and Cincinnati (Joe Mixon, Burrow, and Giovani Bernard) are not exactly chopped liver. If the Browns can hold those two teams to 89.5 yards per game, that bodes well for the future.