CINCINNATI - Owa Odighizuwa is not going into his preseason debut with his mind cluttered. In fact, he has one philosophy he hopes to remain true to during his time on the field against the Bengals:
"Attack, attack, attack," he said.
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Instead of trying to develop an assortment of moves as a rookie defensive end and pass rusher, he'll be focusing on the few that work and keep pounding away at them (and, with any luck, the Bengals' quarterbacks).
He's gotten a good feel for what is successful and what isn't from the two days of practices against the opposing team. On Friday night he gets to put that knowledge and those moves to use.
His name may be complicated, but he wants his game to be kept simple.
"The biggest thing that [defensive line coach Robert Nunn] has been telling me is just play to your strength, practice the things that I'm telling you to do and figure out what works for you from there," Odighizuwa said.
"He talked to our group the other day and said the most consistent things for any pass rusher is how fast they get off the ball and their pad level and their leverage as a pass rusher. Different moves, guys figure out their moves or what works for them getting to the quarterback. I've really taken that to heart. I've been really applying it these past couple of days against the Bengals. I feel like I'm making some great improvements."
Odighizuwa has been part of a defensive line that did a very good job of getting to the quarterback in the joint practices. Most of the other players were veterans, though, and Odighizuwa's ability to reach the quarterback might have been the most pleasant surprise. There were times when he didn't quite reach the quarterback, but his pressure altered the passing lane and caused an incompletion.
"He's understanding the defense," Robert Ayers Jr. said of Odighizuwa. "Once he fine-tunes his technique and understands the game and understands how to attack offenses and what they're trying to do to him with formations and things like that, dude is going to be a monster."
Right now, though, Odighizuwa is trying to be more physical than cerebral.
"I'm pretty confident in my ability to study and recognize plays and things like that, but sometimes that can slow a player down," he said. "That's something I don't want to happen to me."