Ifeadi Odenigbo looking for fresh start with the Giants

The emphasis his household’s Nigerian tradition locations on generation-to-generation storytelling matches as much as a long-lasting piece of recommendation Ifeadi Odenigbo obtained in school.

So, the new Giants pass-rusher understands precisely how one can see this subsequent part of his NFL profession.

“I remember someone saying, ‘Think of your life as you are the narrator of your own story,’ ” Odenigbo mentioned. “So, I just want to keep building. New beginnings, new team, new chapter.”

That’s not all that’s new to Odenigbo, who is also studying how one can play as a stand-up exterior linebacker in a 3-4 protection after success as a hand-in-the-dirt 4-3 defensive finish with the Vikings. The largest distinction is in pass-coverage tasks in opposition to a decent finish or working again.

“The type of coaching I’ve had is just like: How does the offensive tackle set? Is he an outside hand-puncher? Does he have inside hand placement?” Odenigbo mentioned. “One thing I’m excited about in this defense is just learning the differences between man coverage and zone coverage, where my help is, when I can take a calculated risk.”

Ifeadi Odenigbo
Ifeadi Odenigbo
Corey Sipkin

Just about the solely factor acquainted for Odenigbo resides in the shadow of New York. Or possibly it’s new once more as a result of, whereas he was born in Bayonne to a mom who labored in Jersey City, he was raised in Ohio.

“I’ve said I was the Prodigal Son,” Odenigbo mentioned. “Little did I know it was 30 minutes from MetLife Stadium.”

Every so usually, the 27-year-old Odenigbo seems to be at the names and tries to image the faces in his recruiting class at Northwestern or his 2017 NFL Draft class. What does he discover? It’s time to grow to be extra versatile.

“It starts shrinking and shrinking — guys have gotten injured — and you get to the point where any day could be my last day,” Odenigbo mentioned. “I talk to a couple guys in the league right now and we’re like, ‘What happened to this guy?’ It just brings to notice that this can end quickly. You never know what’s going to happen. I just don’t want to have any regrets.”

After he was launched 3 times in 2017-18, Odenigbo broke out with seven sacks in 2019 — and half that complete in 2020. While the Giants are hoping for a repeat of two years in the past, the reality is both quantity is increased than any edge rusher returning to the crew. If Odenigbo can generate exterior stress, it solely may help defensive tackles Leonard Williams and Dexter Lawrence construct off their totals of 11.5 and 4 sacks, respectively.

“The sacks will come, for the most part,” Odenigbo mentioned. “I just have to do my job and take it one day at a time. That’s when I’ve seen the most success in my career.”

Odenigbo was again on the follow discipline Thursday after lacking a day for a non-football situation. He ought to get loads of alternatives Saturday in opposition to the Jets, with Lorenzo Carter dominated out and Elerson Smith, Oshane Ximines and Ryan Anderson all in the infancy of coaching camp after recovering from accidents.

“He’s a high-motor guy who’s got some good speed and power,” coach Joe Judge mentioned. “He has really good measure on a tackle. He can really dip and crank, and turn that edge and make a play. Definitely a guy who goes 100 percent all the time.”

Before signing his one-year, $2.5 million contract, Odenigbo known as former Northwestern teammate Dean Lowry, who performed beneath Giants defensive coordinator Patrick Graham with the Packers. The suggestions indicated he would study lots.

Judge admittedly sees Odenigbo as a situational pass-rusher in nickel and dime greater than a possible every-down starter. Even in sub packages, Odenigbo should do greater than he did with the Vikings, the place he solely performed 13 snaps in protection final season, in accordance with Pro Football Focus.

“Learning a concept like this is good. I’m to the point where the more you can do, the longer you can prolong your career,” Odenigbo mentioned. “I just want to be a dependable guy. One thing about these coaches is they know your strengths and weaknesses, and they can carve you a niche once you put the work in.”

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