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Film Room: DL Larry Ogunjobi Made His Presence Felt Against The Run In Miami

The Pittsburgh Steelers lost on Sunday night Football to the Miami Dolphins in Hard Rock Stadium by a score of 16-10. After marching down the field to score on the opening drive, it appeared as if the Dolphins were going to run the Steelers out of South Beach with the track team they assembled on the offensive side of the ball. However, the defense stiffened up as the game went on, holding Miami to three field goals the rest of the game, including no points in the second half.

The Film

While watching the game live, DL #99 Larry Ogunjobi stood out on tape as a disruptive presence against the run. After going back through the All-22 tape, it’s evident that Ogunjobi truly made life difficult for the Miami OL in terms of establishing a consistent running game. Ogunjobi’s first of three tackles comes on this first down attempt inside the red zone where Ogunjobi pushes RG #68 Robert Hunt to the side and shows some finesse as he swims over the outside shoulder of RT #71 Brandon Shell who he catches dropping his head. Ogunjobi sheds the block and tackles #2 Chase Edmonds for a gain of only a yard.

 

Ogunjobi proved to me a pest for the opposing OL even when he wasn’t directly the one making the tackle. For example, on this play Ogunjobi works across the face of RG #68 Robert Hunt who attempts to seal off the defender as #2 Chase Edmonds take the hand off to the left. Ogunjobi successfully beats Hunt to the spot and blows up the play, making Edmonds try and leap over him as the blocker yanks him down. Ogunjobi may not directly get the stop here, but he does blow up the play and allow the rest of the run defense to rally to the ball and hold Edmonds to a minimal gain.

 

Here is another example of Ogunjobi being disruptive against the run with the hand off to #31 Raheem Mostert on the quick toss to the right. Ogunjobi gets caught leaning into hunt on the snap of the ball but manages to work through the blocker’s inside shoulder and force Mostert back to the left where he runs into the waiting arms of #55 Devin Bush. Ogunjobi could play with better body position here to prevent falling forward, but overall, a good rep by him to blow up the run and force Mostert to redirect.

 

One thing that consistently sticks out when watching Ogunjobi is his effort in pursuit of the football. No play better captures that effort than this rep where he squeezes through the right-side A-Gap and proceeds to get on his horse to try and hunt down Mostert from behind as the runner tries to get the corner. Sure, Ogunjobi doesn’t make the play as he lays out for the runner, but the fact that he nearly caught Mostert who is one of the top five fastest players in the NFL in the open field is a testament to his motor and effort as a run defender.

 

Here at the end of the game, we see Ogunjobi pick up two more stops as Miami attempts to run out the clock. His first stop comes on a run up the middle where Ogunjobi stands up Brandon Shell at the LOS and then sheds the block to make the tackle on Mostert for a gain of four yards. The second stop comes just a play later as Ogunjobi does a great job anchoring at the LOS as Shell attempts to down block him. He then proceeds to chuck Shell who stands 6’5, 324lb to the side to get into the gap and make the stop on Mostert to force third-and-short, giving Pittsburgh another chance to get the ball back at the end of the game.

 

Conclusion

Overall, it was a good performance by Lay Ogunjobi in terms of his run defense on Sunday night against the Dolphins. He was consistently getting penetration into the backfield and making life difficult for the Dolphins OL, using a combination of finesse and strength to defeat blocks and either make the tackle himself of blow up the play and give his teammates chances to make the tackle. Pittsburgh’s run defense noticeably had a tougher time bottling up the run when Ogunjobi was off the field, speaking to the impact he had in that facet of the game.

Thus far, Ogunjobi hasn’t made the impact as a pass rusher that he had last season with the Bengals which can be seen as a disappointment. Still, with teams like Miami getting the ball out quick and the lack of T.J. Watt to take the focus of a team’s blocking scheme, teams have been able to devote more resources to Ogunjobi and Cam Heyward in the middle. While Pittsburgh looks to be out of it in terms of contending this season in the AFC, the signing of Larry Ogunjobi looks to be worth every penny as we sit here today in terms of getting a disruptive player upfront that can help improve what was a dreadful run defense last season.

What are your thoughts on DL Larry Ogunjobi’s performance against the Miami Dolphins? Do you think he was a disruptive run defender? Has he been worth the one-year deal that Pittsburgh signed him to this offseason? Please leave your thoughts in the comments section below and thanks again for reading!

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