Larry Ogunjobi may not have had a home in the Pittsburgh Steelers’ scheme a decade or two ago. But he’s a solid fit for the current version of it. One that’s predicated on getting upfield, causing disruption and getting into the backfield. It’s what he does best and appearing on Sirius’ Movin’ The Chains with Jim Miller and Pat Kirwan, Ogunjobi broke down what his game offers the Steelers.
“That’s always been part of my game is just first step quickness. Getting off the ball, things of that nature. That’s just something I always have naturally done well.”
Side note: Ogunjobi’s seemed to already pick up on that “things of that nature” phrase from Tomlin.
Ogunjobi is coming off his best statistical year, one that showed him repeatedly get into the backfield. He finished 2021 with the Bengals by racking up 12 tackles for loss and seven sacks. He has a sort of Javon Hargrave-looking build, maybe not quite as squatty but a big and powerful lower half that makes for an explosive get-off.
Ogunjobi told the show Cincinnati used his abilities the best, leading to the excellent year.
“My first four years in Cleveland, I never really got to use all those kind of tools of being able to play through technique and really utilizing that skillset.”
After a strong year with the Bengals, he seemed poised to cash in on the open market and ink a $40.5 million deal with the Chicago Bears. But a foot injury he suffered during the postseason lingered and caused him to fail his physical, voiding his deal and keeping him a free agent. Chicago’s loss has been Pittsburgh’s gain, who added about the best individual replacement for Stephon Tuitt possible. Still, the Steelers’ defensive line will need to be collectively much better. Cam Heyward was an All-Star in 2021 and the Steelers’ d-line had arguably their worst season ever so one man, or even two, can’t do the job themselves.
But Ogunjobi will jive well in the Steelers’ evolved system, one that’s largely left two-gapping and eating blocks and focuses in one getting penetration and making big plays.