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Ogbonnaya: 'Good to be wanted'

Posted Mar 14, 2013

In an exclusive interview with ClevelandBrowns.com, running back Chris Ogbonnaya said that after conversations with coach Rob Chudzinski and Trent Richardson, he feels the team is headed in the right direction.

After spending the first 2½ years of his NFL career bouncing around between the active rosters and practice squads of the St. Louis Rams and Houston Texans, running back Chris Ogbonnaya settled in with the Cleveland Browns in 2011.

In nearly two years with the Browns, Ogbonnaya rushed for 364 yards and one touchdown on 81 carries. He also proved to be a dual-threat back, one able to catch the ball out of the backfield. He was on the receiving end of 47 passes for 352 yards since joining the Browns. Prior to his arrival in Cleveland, Ogbonnaya caught only one pass for 19 yards.

A restricted free agent at the start of the new NFL year which began Tuesday afternoon, Ogbonnaya agreed to terms on a two-year contract with the Browns on Thursday.

“My thoughts are very positive right now,” Ogbonnaya said. “In this business, it’s always good to be wanted or to feel like another team wants you. Going through a new staff and a new change, it definitely means a lot. To continue playing in one place with some guys that I’m familiar with, teammates that I’ve become close to is definitely something I’m excited about.

“Having that opportunity to go somewhere I was familiar with, even though it’s a new staff, I felt comfortable. It didn’t hurt having Trent (Richardson) call me and kind of get in my ear a little bit, like some of the other guys. That’s what our relationship has come to. We’re very close, very tight-knit and playing this game before, I didn’t want to up and move again. When Cleveland presented that opportunity to stay, it meant a lot.”

In addition to Richardson, Ogbonnaya said he spoke with head coach Rob Chudzinski and running backs coach John Settle during the offseason and is excited about the plans they have for the team moving forward.

“They are very excited and I’m looking forward to the opportunity to get a chance to work with them and see how we can continue to better ourselves in Cleveland,” Ogbonnaya said. “I think we’re on the right path. We’re taking the right foot forward to doing that.”

Although he was excited to receive the contract offer from the Browns, Ogbonnaya has not changed his mind set when it comes to the work that needs to be done, both in the classroom and on the field.

“My goals are the same as they always are, first and foremost, work hard and make the team,” Ogbonnaya said. “After that, I just want to solidify myself on the team, whether it’s special teams or playing offense. I hope to have a bigger role and make a bigger impact than I have in the previous two years.”