The name game

Published on November 19, 2010 by     Tacoma News Tribune (Feed)

No matter how creative people get in mispronouncing his last name, Ben Obomanu is making a name for himself by working his way from special teams standout to starting flanker for the Seahawks.

When talking with Ben Obomanu, there’s no need to tiptoe around the primary reason he has been with the Seahawks for 4½ seasons.

He knows.

During an interview for his now-annual “player on the bubble” story heading into the final preseason game, Obomanu offered, “Don’t forget, I’m the only wide receiver who plays special teams.”

Excellent read of the situation by a player who not only survived the final cut once again, but is now thriving as a “gunner” on the Seahawks’ punt coverage unit and also has worked his way into the starting lineup at flanker.

So, what does Ben Obomanu the special teams mainstay think of Ben Obomanu the new starting flanker?

“He’s honored, he’s privileged, because he realizes how hard the guy worked and he realizes that the guy came in and does his thing on special teams and made plays; but at the same time he still has the ability to play receiver,” Obomanu said through a smile.

“So the special teams Ben Obomanu is just happy that the wide receiver Ben Obomanu is finally getting a chance.”

Don’t worry, his taste of success as a receiver has not gone to Obomanu’s dual-purpose head. He has not started referring to himself in the third person. He was led down that path by the question.

But what paved the way for coach Pete Carroll and offensive coordinator Jeremy Bates making the switch from Deon Butler to Obomanu for last week’s game against the Arizona Cardinals?

“Because he’s been working so hard,” Carroll said. “He deserves it. He just kind of earned his way.”

Given the chance, Obomanu responded by catching a career-high four passes for 60 yards – including a career-long 40-yarder. He also played a key role in Matt Hasselbeck’s 63-yard touchdown pass to Butler.

The effort earned Obomanu a second career start for Sunday’s game against the defending Super Bowl champion Saints in New Orleans.

“He’s got a little style,” Carroll said of the decision to go with – and stick with – Obomanu. “He’s bigger than Deon. He’s a good blocker. He’s good with the ball in his hands. Just a different guy.”

At 6 feet 1, 204 pounds, Obomanu is three inches taller and 22 pounds heavier than Butler. And Carroll likes bigger receivers. As for being good with the ball in his hands, Obomanu averaged 16.5 yards on his four receptions last week and also had a 13-yard run on an end-around. For the season, his 14.4-yard average on 10 catches ranks second on the team among the wide receivers to rookie receiver Golden Tate (15.1, also on 10 catches).

Butler obviously remains in the plans, but aside from that 63-yarder he has averaged 1.7 yards on his other seven receptions over the past three games. But the move to Obomanu was more about him earning a chance to get more plays – and make more plays.

“The fact that he’s starting is just kind of a statement that he’s worked hard and we wanted to give him a chance to see what he would do with that,” Carroll said. “I think we saw something positive out of it, so we’ll see how it goes.”

Carroll and his team-first philosophy had to love how it went when Obomanu was asked about the satisfaction in getting his first career start.

“It felt even better to get the win, more than anything else,” he said. “But to go out and actually get a chance to start, it gave me a little bit of satisfaction to sit back and say one of those things on my list of goals I want to accomplish I got a chance to accomplish.”

This opportunity has been a long time coming for Obomanu, the second of two seventh-round draft choices in 2006. During his time with the Seahawks, he has played for three different head coaches and offensive coordinators, and four position coaches. But with three more receptions he’ll surpass his single-season high (12 in 2007) and he needs six more to top the combined total from his first four seasons (15).

If he keeps it up, well, it’s like Carroll joked the other day, “We’ll count on Ben to do it again, and they’ll pronounce his name right if he does it a couple more weeks in a row.”

Now that might be asking too much.

“They’ve been mispronouncing my name since I was in Pee Wee league football, so I’m kind of used to it,” he said. “I kind of look forward to the different ways that people pronounce it.”

Does it upset his family to be watching a game and have his name – their name – butchered?

“Nah, not at all,” he said. “We always sit back and laugh and they tell me stories. Just like this past week, they told me some of the ways it was mispronounced. So it’s all fun and games for us.”

In last week’s telecast, Obomanu was referred to as “Obama-new.” Presidential, but not close to Obomanu’s favorite creation: “Ooh-boo-moon-new.”

“I don’t know where all those O’s came from,” he said. “That was one of those things when I was in Little League football and they pronounced it that way.”

For the record, it’s “oh-buh-MAHN-new.”

“It’s pretty simple,” he said. “People just try to make it harder than what it really is.”

As long as the coaches continue to call his number, Obomanu is willing to embrace the creativity in pronouncing his last name.

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Fair Use Notice This website may at times present copyrighted material, the use of which might not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. Such material is made available in an effort to advance understandings of democratic, economic, environmental, human rights, political, scientific, and social justice issues, among others. The author believes that this constitutes a fair use of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the U. S. Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the articles published on this website are distributed without profit for research and informational purposes. In most instances a link is placed to originator of Article and it is never expressly mentioned as written by, we use published by certain entities who write or publish for this said Blog..

Tell Us What's On Your Mind (0)




WP-SpamFree by Pole Position Marketing

REMEMBERING A LEGEND!

LATEST SEAHAWKS NEWS

141124wagner660

Bobby Wagner goes from not playing for five games to playing all but one play vs Cardinals

After missing five games with a toe injury, Bobby Wagner was back at middle linebacker for Sunday’s win ...
141125-nfcwest-660

Know Your Enemy: NFC West Update on 49ers, Rams, Cardinals

Seattle's Week 12 win over the Arizona Cardinals should make for a more interesting stretch-run in the hyper-competitive ...
141124mmm660

Russell Wilson’s impromptu plays paved way for important victory

This one, as it turned, also was on Russell Wilson. After a week in which the Seahawks’ third-year quarterback ...
141123wagner660a

Seahawks cut Cardinals’ lead in NFC West to two games

In a game they had to have, the Seahawks regained their swagger and recaptured their dominating ways in ...
140904glance660

Seahawks play like the champs, roll Packers, 36-16

So this is what defending a Super Bowl championship looks like. Actually, it looked plenty like how the Seahawks ...
140902britt600

The Avril affect has played into Justin Britt’s development

If Pete Carroll has said it once, the Seahawks’ coach has said it just about every time he ...
140828walters600

Seahawks re-sign WR Bryan Walters, waive WR Phil Bates

Bryan Walters’ weekend was a lot like his performance in the Seahawks’ preseason finale on Thursday night. It ...
20140901upnext600

Up next: Green Bay Packers

As Super Bowl champions, the Seahawks will host the NFL regular-season opener at CenturyLink Field on Thursday night. ...

Shop for 2014 Seahawks Gameday Gear at NFLShop.com

Shop for 2014 Seahawks Gameday Gear at NFLShop.com

lat-noise-wre0011368363-20130915

WELCOME TO THE SEAHAWKS 12TH MAN ARMY.

WE TAKE PRIDE IN GIVING SEAHAWKS FANS AROUND THE CLOCK UPDATES,  ALL SEAHAWKS ALL THE TIME. SO IF YOU WANT THE LATEST SEAHAWKS NEWS DELIVERED FOR FREE RIGHT TO YOUR EMAIL BOX ONCE A WEEK, SIGN UP AND ENJOY!

WE HAVE BEEN PROUDLY SERVING DIEHARD SEAHAWKS FANS SINCE 2004.

Enter your Email

Preview | Powered by FeedBlitz