The Cleveland Browns are a relatively young squad. Some of their most essential players do not know a world outside of the one that comes with bright lights and notoriety.
A week ago, it was announced that production for HBO’s ‘Hard Knocks’ would begin in two weeks. The presence of cameras leads many to wonder whether it will be a distraction for the team while others note that it is impossible to finish worse than 0-16.
Second year defensive tackle Larry Ogunjobi is excited about the opportunity.
“I think it will be cool. I think it is a different experience. Of course, I’ve watched it a few times especially when Gregg, coach Williams was with the Rams. I was like, ‘man, I couldn’t imagine him being my coach,'” Ogunjobi said during an appearance on NFL Network’s ‘Good Morning Football.’
“I think it is going to be really cool to get all the guys in the building – I don’t think it changes anything. I don’t think it changes our focus, our goals, and the things that we want to do this season. I think everybody likes the drama. You have last year’s first round pick, you have this year’s first round pick, you go 0-16, so a lot of people are like ‘alright, so what are they going to do?’ I think it is good for the drama and everything but I feel, as a team, that we are really focused on what we have to do each and every Sunday. So that’s really important. I’m excited though.”
Cleveland selected Ogunjobi in the third round, No. 65 overall, of the 2017 NFL Draft out of Charlotte. Ogunjobi fought to earn repetitions during his rookie campaign but those opportunities should become more plentiful in the years ahead. Since the season concluded, the team parted ways with TY McGill and shipped former first round pick Danny Shelton to the New England Patriots. It leaves the Browns with Trevon Coley, Jamie Meder, Caleb Brantley, Jeremy Faulk and Ogunjobi as well as some undrafted free agents.
As a rookie, the 23 year old recorded 32 tackles and a sack. Although he played in a limited role, Ogunjobi was able to share his potential. He finished the season with the four highest grade on the Browns’ defense (82.0) according to Pro Football Focus. He also graded as the second best rookie interior defensive lineman last season and was No. 14 of 71 eligible players in pass rush productivity from the defensive tackle position.