DT Larry Ogunjobi (1.20.21)

DT Larry Ogunjobi:

On how he is processing reaching the second round of the playoffs and losing to the Chiefs: 

“I am still kind of processing it. It is tough, especially when it is one play away and it is right in your hands. At the same time, it is very optimistic because we know what we can do to be better and to have it swing in our favor next time. It is just good to see everything come together the way that it did. It was a tough one. It is even harder to talk about. It is just a testament to the men in the locker room and the organization as a whole just to fight. At first, it seemed like it was going to get out of hand, but then we just kept battling, battling and battling, and it went down to the wire. It is a testament to this team, these men and this organization.”

On what went through his mind on Chiefs QB Chad Henne’s third down scramble at the end of the game: 

“Just like, ‘Damn.’ (laughter) One you wish you could have back but you can’t. Just have to find ways to continue to just get better and get him down. Even if he gets up, just get him down before he gets close.”

On how optimistic he is about the future of the Browns defense, including the expected return of S Grant Delpit and CB Greedy Williams: 

“I feel like the sky is the limit. First year in the defense, but I feel like it just allows everybody to just go out there and make plays. I feel like you get those guys back and it is going to add depth to the secondary and more playmakers and things and just once again, kind of work in cohesion. I feel like the sky is the limit.”

On if he likes the freedom for everybody to make plays within the defensive scheme: 

“Yeah, I feel like it gives guys all across the board opportunities to make plays. Just being in the right spot, keeping everything in front of us and when the ball is in the air, it is ours. That kind of mentality. I feel like guys have adapted to it and took it over.”

On his contract situation and if he has talked to the Browns about a new contract, given he speaks optimistically about the future of the Browns: 

“I think I talk more in a tone of just pure optimism, regardless of if I am here not. I just feel as though the right pieces have been put in place – the right coaches, the right scheme and everything is just trending in the right direction – so I have no reason not to be optimistic for the team, regardless of if I am here or not. As far as the contract stuff, it is really with my agent. I know we will find out more with that during March when free agency opens up.”

On if he primarily stays out of the contract discussions and waits to hear about it from his agent: 

“Yeah, that is the biggest thing. I do my own personal research, but at the end of the day, nothing can really be done as far as other teams are concerned. When you hit free agency, you kind of just see where the market falls and what kind of goes on with that. I just leave it up to my agent. I have a lot of faith in the God I serve. I know everything is going work out for the best so I am not really worried about it.”

On if the Chiefs game was a measuring stick for him and the Browns defense to see what it takes to reach the next level: 

“Yeah, for sure. Once again, I feel we were just one play away here and one play away there. It could be a different week and we are talking about paying the Bills this week. Once again, it is a game of inches. I remember he asked me that question about the scramble, and it is just like you are so close to grabbing him, but it is just a game of inches. It fell the other way this time. You look back on it, you reflect on it, you find ways to be better and then just be better. Yeah, I am optimistic as far as everything is concerned just in my personal future as a whole, and I just can’t wait to see what the future holds. Just trusting the process and going to continue to work and to continue to get better. That is the biggest thing.”

On his level of desire to return to Cleveland next season, especially with what the team was able to accomplish this year: 

“Of course, I love Cleveland. Obviously, I have been here the past four years now, but I understand that this is a business and I understand what goes into it. Once again, I just let my agent kind of handle all of those kinds of things. For me, I love this city, I love the fans and I love being a Brown. At the same time once again, I understand the business aspect of it as far as making sure my family is straight and being in a position to set them up for an extremely long amount of time. Obviously, those all will weigh into it. It has been a blessing to be a part of this and a blessing to finally see it turn around and go in the right direction, starting from 0-16 and making it to the second round of playoffs, even though you got cut short early. It is a learning experience, an amazing experience, and it is just one to continue to build on. Like I said, looking forward to the future.”

On if it would be tough to move on from the Browns after the team’s success this year after experiencing tough seasons: 

“Yes and no. Once again, I do not really look at it as a bad thing. Either way, it is a new chapter regardless of it is here or somewhere else. It is just a new chapter, and it is me moving forward. Like I said, your normal emotions, you want to be like feeling a certain type of way, but at the same time, it is just human nature. Certainly, it kind of brings that. At the same time, I feel like you have to look at uncertainty with optimism and know that you just never know where you could be and how good it could be for you. There are plenty of examples that I can use. Once again, I feel like just the hard work, dedication and the grind, it will all take care of itself. Sometimes it does not happen on a timeline that you want it to, but if you trust the work that you put in and the work that you have done, I feel like everything is just going to take care of itself. Once again, that is what I am continuing to do. I am going to continue to work hard, and I am excited to see where the cards fall.”

On if he has always been as mentally mature and optimistic as he is now: 

“No, it is not always easy. Sometimes people will tell me I have to take my own advice because I will be in my head sometimes. At the same time, you just learn from it. There are so many stories and you see so many different people and you see their growth, their change and the situations that they went through and how they won with it. You just realize that the hard work is not going to fail you. Sometimes it may not always go your way or swing the way you want it to, but I do not think there is ever loss in learning. You learn from it. When you learn from something, you become better and better and better. Then you look up and little by little, you start to become the person and the player you want to be. It does not happen overnight, and it is a grind, but if keep your foot on the gas and you keep working, eventually it is going to work out for you. If we were talking about optimism and trusting the process, just look at the team. You start 0-16, and everybody was like, ‘What are we doing? What is going on? A whole bunch of different coaching changes.’ Now, we are sitting here, even though we took an L in the second round of the playoffs, we took a Super Bowl team to the wire. That is big. It is just a testament to once again the men in the locker room, the organization and the staff just continuing to just work hard and grind. Sometimes nobody else can see it, but as long as you see it and as long as you want willing to work towards it, then eventually it is going to happen.”

On if it is fair to say he will go to whichever team will pay him the most: 

“I think I will go wherever is just right. I am going to pray about it, talk to God about it and talk to my family about it and really just go from there. I do not know where the cards are going to fall. It is too early to say. There are a lot of things that I am looking for. At the same time, I know once again that my faith is very strong and rooted. I am going to pray about it. I am going to feel it out and see what the best situation is for me and for my family and then go from there, whether that is in Cleveland or somewhere else. It is just too early to tell.”

On if it is disappointing that the Browns did not sign him to an extension earlier: 

“No, I do not really look at it like that just because I know it is kind of a different season with COVID and everything going on and how the cap is going to shake up. I have just never been like that. If it is supposed to happen, it is going happen. If not, it is what it is. I know the person I am, the player I am, the potential I have and the work I am going to continue to put in to get better to be better so I am not really worried about any of that because I just know that it is all going to work out.”

On if he feels like over the last four years he established himself as one of the best interior guys in the league:

“Yeah, with the potential to be better. There are obviously things that I have to clean up in my game, and I am definitely my hardest critic. I think I have watched that Chiefs game probably like four or five times already, just trying to see what I could have done better to help more. At the same time, the hunger and the want to is always going to be there. Just continuing to find the right direction, understanding that I have to correct my technique and the things I have to work on and then just continuing to be better. That is my main narrative is I just want to continue to get better little by little, look at the weaknesses of my game and look at my strengths, building on both and just continuing to be a complete player. I feel like I am young, and I still have a lot of time to grow and a lot of time to learn.  The best way to look at any obstacle or anything you are going through is that there is opportunity within it. It is just another opportunity to go out there and prove to myself that the work that I have been doing and the work that I continue to do is all for a reason.”

On if he feels he would be better playing as a 3-technique compared to NT:

“I do not know. Maybe. I do not know really. It is just one of those things where when I came in I was playing both, starting at 3 and then we traded (Lions DT) Danny (Shelton) away and I moved to nose. It kind of was just back and forth trying to kind of figure out a fit. Really once again, when I go into training this offseason, just kind of figure out what fits bests for me and then obviously when you get into March, you figure out where the team wants you as, what they see you as and what role they want you to play here or somewhere else. I think that is just the biggest thing. Once again, I feel like it is just too early to tell. The dust has not settled yet as far as the rest of the season and when March opens up and free agency hits. Just a lot of factors. Once again, there is work to be done, and it is going to get done. That is just kind of how I feel about it.”

On if there is a sense of anticipation and excitement of making it to a second NFL contract:

“Oh yeah, I do not want to seem Debbie-downer or anything. I am just very chill, and I am obviously reflecting on the game still. I am very optimistic. I feel like a lot of my family and my friends are way more optimistic than me because they know how I get after games and stuff. For me, it is an amazing time. When you look at things in hindsight and in retrospect, you kind of look back and you look at your journey, your process, the things that you have done and how the team has been able to be turned around. It is just an amazing experience. The opportunity now to set my family up for generations and just change my life entirely, it is amazing. It is different. I feel like a lot of times with people, the unknown can be a great thing, it can be a bad thing or it can just be a thing, but it is just a lot to take in all at once. It is different than when you are younger, you post your post ‘Be back next year’ and all of that kind of stuff. When you do not know, it is definitely a different feeling, but it is exciting. Once again like I said, it is a new chapter regardless of whether it is here or somewhere else. It is a new chapter and a new opportunity to continue to build on the person I am, the player I am and just continue to get better. I have seen that there is things that I need to work on and things I can get better at. Now, I know what to attack and what to do. That is why I am so optimistic because it is not anything crazy or out of the word that it has to be – it is just the details, the details and the technique that can really take your game to the next level.”


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