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Burning Questions

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8 questions for Larry Ogunjobi, who wants to 'take it to the next level' after intense offseason

The moment his 2019 season came to a close, Larry Ogunjobi had one goal.

Make 2020 his best season yet.

That's why Ogunjobi attacked his offseason in a way he hadn't in the past. Clips of his workouts went viral as he put himself in the best shape of his career.

The fourth-year defensive tackle is understandably counting down the days until he can hit the field as a key part of a Browns defensive line that returns its full assortment of starters. caught up with Ogunjobi earlier this week. Looking at the first week-plus of camp, how have you felt about the installation of the defense and everything else?

Ogunjobi: I think it's going well. We've been firing on all cylinders for the most part. Guys are really coming together on offense and on defense. Guys are playing really well and playing really fast. You can see that chemistry and camaraderie. We're kind of gelling out there. We're kind of getting to the dog days of camp and starting to see guys get really comfortable in their positions and what they have to do in their assignments, understanding the playbook and things like that. You can definitely see it translate on the field. People are getting a lot more comfortable with what they're doing and it's showing. What's it like to come back to a defensive line that returns all of its starters from the previous season?

Ogunjobi: It helps because you know the guys already and know how each guy rushes and how each guy plays and can play off each other. You can understand what this guy does well and doesn't do well and play off each other's strengths and cover each other. When you go into Year 2 with the same group, it makes things easier because now you kind of know how each guy operates. I've been with Myles (Garrett) since we got drafted, so I already know how he rushes and goes about his business. With Sheldon (Richardson) and OV (Olivier Vernon), it's kind of the same way now getting to understand them over the offseason. Just being able to understand these guys and how we can all work together because rushing is an art form and you've also got to rush together.

Check out photos from the ninth day of Browns Camp What went into your offseason plan and getting into the best shape of your career?

Ogunjobi: It's just that I want to be great. At a certain point in your career, you want to get over that hump. You want to take it to the next level. You want to showcase what you can truly do. I just go into every offseason trying to get better than the one before. This offseason, I feel like it was one of my best ones, if not my best one, because of my attention to detail, my level of training I was doing and the people I was around. Overall, I was just focused and had the ability to get it done and worked on all of the things I didn't do so well. I was able to master those things and was more comfortable with myself and what I'm doing. I'm really excited for the season. I just can't wait. What did you do differently and how did you have to adjust with all of the restrictions?

Ogunjobi: I got a new trainer, worked on a lot of balance, mobility, core, all of the intrinsic muscles we don't really think about. I was just working on being a better athlete. When you become a better athlete, you become faster, quicker, stronger and more in tune with your body, it helps you become an overall better player. That was the biggest thing about my offseason. I was trying to get my strength up, my quickness, my agility, my core. I did that and I feel really good coming into camp. It looks like Sheldon Richardson is the same way. What's it been like seeing him play in the shape he's in?

Ogunjobi: It just means he's focused and ready. He came in and said he wants to have the best season of his career and I believe that. You've just got to come out and do it. He looks great and feels great. He's lighter than he was last year and moving better. I'm just excited. What's it been like working with new D-line coach Chris Kiffin?

Ogunjobi: I think it's a blessing, to be honest. I'm really appreciative of him being here. A lot of times you may have coaches that tell you things and then … there's a vision but no road map. Coach Kiffin and JG, Jeremy Garrett, do a great job of making it make sense. They know how to apply certain things to football outside of football and make it make sense to you. They explain why you're doing something and how it works and how the whole defense works together as a whole. It just makes you understand the overall picture better. When you've got a guy like that and you start learning about the history of your coaches and their history and their background and why they do what they do, it makes it way easier to play for him. How have you seen rookie Jordan Elliott adapt to his surroundings?

Ogunjobi: He's doing great. I'm very impressed with him based on his want-to and his attitude and overall demeanor. He wants to play and he wants to be great and you see that. Everything he does, he asks questions and wants to learn. He has an attitude that you don't really see a lot of times with other rookies. He just wants to be out there and wants to get better. When you see that, it makes you say, 'all right, let's do it. Let's help you get better. Let's teach you the things you've got to learn.' He just makes it easy. He's a really cool rookie. How are you getting yourself ready to go without preseason games to be ready to go Game 1 against the Ravens?

Ogunjobi: You've just got to attack. Each and every practice, you just have to know you have X amount of days until kickoff. It's one of those things where you know there's no wasted days. Every day you have to find a way to get better. Whether it's in your craft, whether it's in your performance, whether it's in your football IQ, you just have to find ways to get better because the clock is ticking. It's a different season for everybody. The biggest thing is taking one day at a time and maximizing each and every day.

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