The key to Chicago Bears unlocking Larry Ogunjobi

Chicago Bears - Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Chicago Bears - Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports /

After spending four seasons with the Cleveland Browns, the Cincinnatti Bengals signed Larry Ogunjobi to a one-year deal. The move obviously worked out for the Bengals who bought low and saw Ogunjobi put out a career year on their way to a division title. Now, Ogunjobi gets paid elsewhere which helps their compensatory pick formula. The Chicago Bears are paying Ogunjobi, and it may be because they see what he did in Cincinnati as just the beginning.

Larry Ogunjobi should not play nose tackle for Chicago Bears

Larry Ogunjobi was heavier in high school than he is today, and that meant playing nose tackle in high school and in college at Charlotte. When the Cleveland Browns drafted him, they ran a 4-3, but Ogunjobi was in the A-Gap a decent amount, which often had him over a center.

When the Bengals signed him, they moved further away from the football and it worked out.

For his career, Ogunjobi spent 57% of his snaps in the B-Gap, which went up to 62% with the Bengals. However, the big change came in how often he lined up over the A-Gap. With the Browns, he was in the A-Gap 33% of the time. With the Bengals that moved down to just 6.6%.

Instead, they moved him closer to the tackles. He only spent 9% of his snaps closer to a tackle than an interior lineman with the Browns, but that number shot up to 27% with the Bengals. It is a clear difference in usage.

The results are noticeable. Ogunjobi posted a career-high in sacks, tackles for loss, and a quarterback hit. He saw his pressure rate and run stop rate soar to career highs as well.

So, there is an argument that this could be just the beginning of Ogunjobi getting into the backfield with ease. When he was lined up over the center he was in more of a position to hold the line and stand his ground.

Next. 5 stats to know about Larry Ogunjobi. dark

The Bengals did not ask him to do that and were much more interested in him getting into the backfield. The Chicago Bears saw the spark in production, saw that it was related to a small adjustment and alignment, and they clearly believe that they can consistently get this type of play out of him.