Odenigbo embracing move from end to tackle on Vikings D-line
Ifeadi Odenigbo is learning a new position heading into his second NFL season.
Dane Mizutani of the Pioneer Press caught up with Odenigbo this week at training camp and spoke with the Nigerian defensive lineman about his family background, journey to the NFL and this year's challenge: moving from defensive end to defensive tackle.
Mizutani quoted Vikings Head Coach Mike Zimmer, who said last week that he feels inside is "the best position" for Odenigbo. Mizutani wrote:
While he's welcomed the change with opens arms, Odenigbo admitted it's been tough learning on the fly.
"It's a lot quicker," Odenigbo told Mizutani. "That's been quite a bit of an adjustment. I feel like the key thing about it is just getting my pads low and my hand placement has to be perfect. I'm a little undersized, so I've got to use my quickness to make a difference."
Some of the added challenges that come with playing in the trenches include taking on double teams, something he never really had to do when he was playing outside.
Odenigbo said that the fundamentals are "pretty new" to him, and he's adjusting to a tighter window and "all the hand movements" that accompany the interior position. While it's definitely a challenge, 24-year-old is more than willing to learn the new position and add value to himself as a player.
Odenigbo told Mizutani that he's ready to play defensive tackle, defensive end or being a significant contributor on special teams.
"I'm just trying to be a guy that sticks in the league," he said.