Referred to as “flashy” last week by Coach Carroll, Ben Obomanu has yet to start a game in his NFL career.
“Hey Ben, give me a play a day.”
“That’s what Coach asks of me,” said Obomanu. “One big play a day.”
“So that’s my thing, to do something flashy… whether it’s taking a 5 yard hitch and trying to make some moves after the route or taking an 80 yard bomb… just do something to make yourself standout.”
With the team now down to just twelve receivers – the fewest this offseason – Ben knows that Coach Carroll’s revolving roster door remains wide open and that come training camp, the list is going to get a whole lot shorter.
“Somebody goes in and makes a big play and then you start to think they are beating you out. But at the same time, you just have to wait for your day.”
Ben Obomanu has been through this “competition thing” his entire NFL career. He explained:
I’ve always been one of those guys who has struggled to make the team. A questionable guy that doesn’t have a starting spot on the team. I’ve never started in the league anyway. So this gives me a comfort level, knowing how to come to this competition, how to handle those days when you have ups and downs and when they change depth charts.
Obomanu compares his challenge to that of teammate T.J. Houshmandzadeh, also a 7th round pick. From special teams, to third and fourth receiver, to finally getting the big contract and the start, Housh “weathered the storm,” said Obo. And Ben now looks to Housh as somewhat of a mentor.
With Housh and Deion Branch back on the field, things are beginning to feel a bit more “normal” for Ben and the rest of the wide receiving corp. But Ben Obomanu wasn’t going to miss his chance.
“When those guys are out – and the coaches have told us this too – take advantage of the opportunities,” said Obo. Opportunities like one-on-one coaching, running plays with the first team and catching passes from Matt Hasselbeck.
“Instead of having to sit back and watch somebody else do it,” he continued, “you get to be out there. It gives you the confidence to know that you can compete and do well in this league too.”
For now, Ben is headed back to the hot heat of Alabama before the start of training camp. He feels confident going into the summer break that he’s given it his best shot.
“We’ve covered so many situations that we can actually go out and play a football game right now,” he said. “Jeremy Bates has a pretty big playbook, but once you learn the concepts, then you can refine the nuisances of the formations.”
Ben Obomanu realizes that he has a ton of individual work to do if he is going to compete for a spot on the final roster. And for now, he just wants to make sure “he’s involved and not forgotten about.”
One big play at a time.