RB Chris Ogbonnaya, Free agent
HT: 5-0, WT: 220, Born: 5-20-1986, College: Texas, Drafted: Round 7
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Chris Ogbannaya continued to show his versatility in 2013, catching 48 passes. The team signed Ben Tate in free agency, drafted a running back in the third round, and signed undrafted (but supremely talented) Isaiah Crowell. The league knows who Ogbannaya is at this point, which means the team is likely to give its rookies a chance before Ogbannaya gets another.
2013 Game Summaries
Week 2 - Ogbonnaya did not receive a single carry; however, he was a factor in the passing game. Ogbonnaya seems to have cemented his role as the backup to Trent Richardson, as Ogbonnaya was in on most third downs. However, Obi-Wan squandered his only real chance at a big play when Brandon Weeden's deep pass on a wheel route glanced off his hands. The throw was slightly off-line, but those are the catches that NFL running backs have to make. Ogbonnaya's two catches were as a safety valve, one coming off a deflection at the line of deep pass attempt. The other was as a dump off on a 3rd and 15 that netted
Week 3 - Chris Ogbonnaya recorded the Browns longest run on a draw play up the middle on 3rd and 30. Nobody on the Vikings defense saw it coming as Ogbonnaya waltzed his way off a would-be tackler for 21 yards. Obi-Wan's other run was a first down run early in the first quarter. Whereas McGahee and Rainey are handling the running duties, Ogbonnaya has become the Browns passing down back. Ogbonnaya is a talented receiver out of the backfield and has enough speed to gain yards when defenses are preoccupied with other receiving threats. Ogbonnaya made a big play on the game-winning drive, catching the ball in the flat, making a defender miss, and gaining 11 yards to extend the drive. While frustrating for fantasy owners, it looks like moving forward that the Browns backfield will be split between the law firm of McGahee, Ogbonnaya and Rainey.
Week 5 - Chris Ogbonnaya suffered a head injury (later classified to concussion) via the Browns Twitter feed on Thursday. Ogbonnaya's concussion came via Kiko Alonso early in the second quarter, the same player who knocked Brian Hoyer out of Thursday's game. Ogbonnaya was spotted at practice on Monday, however he did not participate.
Week 6 - Chris Ogbonnaya received only five carries on Sunday; however, he looked very sharp on the ground despite not being known as a talented runner. If one had to describe Chris Ogbonnaya's running style in one word, shifty would be the most applicable adjective. Also, Chris Ogbonnaya has assumed the pass catching duties in the Browns' backfield, receiving an insane number or targets in limited snaps. Obi-Wan's touchdown came via a pass where he jogged into the end zone after being left alone in the far flat. On that play, there was a coverage breakdown in the Lions' secondary, as both DeAndre Levy and Louis Delmas followed Josh Gordon into the end zone on a crossing route. Throughout the game, Ogbonnaya continually made defenders miss with his shifty moves. Specifically, Ogbonnaya received the ball off a screen in the second quarter, made a Lions linebacker miss and accelerated forward for 9 yards and a first down. What he lacks in power and breakaway speed, Ogbonnaya makes up for in agility. One could view him as a poor man's version of Giovani Bernard, the Bengals agile rookie running back.
Week 7 - The Browns have cut Chris Ogbonnaya's snaps, with Fozzy Whittaker assuming some of the role that Chris Ogbonnaya filled during the first six weeks of the season. While Obi-Wan had 12 targets last week against the Lions, he was only targeted twice against the Packers. Ogbonnaya's best run of the game came early in the second quarter, gaining eight yards after contact and stumbling his way to a nine-yard gain. However, with only five touches, it looks like Ogbonnaya has been relegated to only sparse backup duties for now, rather than a leading pass option in the Browns offense.
Week 8 - Whereas with Willis McGahee the idea is to get McGahee between the tackles with good running lanes, the Browns are best off giving the ball to Ogbonnaya on stretch plays and pitches. When towards the sideline, Ogbonnaya has a ìone cut and goî mindset and can quickly gain significant yards as shown on a 12 yard run in the second quarter. However, Ogbonnaya looks weak and unaware between the tackles, carrying the ball twice for zero yards. The Browns offensive line was simply overmatched in the trenches. In the passing game, Ogbonnaya's three catches came simply as a dump off on third down.
Week 9 - Chris Ogbonnaya had been quiet up until the Browns' final drive, where Ogbonnaya came through with two huge first down receptions. Ogbonnaya is simply a receiving back without real running talent. However, Jason Campbell has made good use of his running backs the past two weeks (18 targets), so consistent receiving production will be there for Ogbonnaya.
Week 11 - Chris Ogbonnaya was able to collect the Browns longest run play of the season on Sunday, however, that did not save Ogbonnaya from criticism on other facets of his game. Chris Ogbonnaya shows good burst coming out of the backfield, and is a ìone cutî running back ñ often using that cut to his advantage. For example, Ogbonnaya cut right past Dre Kirkpatrick to get deep into the Bengals secondary on his 43-yard run. However, when Ogbonnaya got past the safeties in the Bengals secondary, he lacked the long speed to separate from the defensive backs chasing him and was eventually brought down from behind. In addition, Obi-Wan lacks vision once he makes it past the offensive line, as he will usually plow into defenders rather than find an auxiliary running lane around defenders. Between the tackles, Ogbonnaya is an underwhelming runner ñ and he can thank the Browns offensive line for the push that turned what would usually be negative or no gains into two or three yard gains. The biggest negatives that Ogbonnaya can be blamed for on Sunday were two Bengals defensive/special teams touchdowns. Chris Ogbonnaya fumbled deep in Browns territory after being lit up by Vontaze Burfict, leading to a touchdown. Before that occurred, Ogbonnaya failed to block a rusher on a punt block by the Bengals that led to six points. Otherwise, Ogbonnaya was productive as a checkdown back, but was not as impressive as his main competition ñ Fozzy Whittaker. While Ogbonnaya replaced McGahee in the second half, Whittaker got the majority of the work as a passing down back in the 4th quarter. Whether that was due to Ogbonnaya's struggles up to that point or the Browns desire to get a look at Fozzy Whittaker remains to be seen.
Week 12 - Chris Ogbonnaya opened the game running tough, consistently getting past the line of scrimmage (a big accomplishment for Browns running backs). However, Obi-Wan was stripped by frequent Browns killer Troy Polamalu in the third quarter. This was Ogbonnaya's second fumble in as many weeks. Ogbonnaya failed to see another carry from that point on. With such marginal return on running the ball, the Browns coaching staff feels like any turnovers from running the football defeat the purpose of even attempting to run. Ogbonnaya averages one fumble per 42 touches in his short NFL career ñ a statistic that must be improved to stay in the league.
Week 13 - When confronted with a defender in a hole or running lane, Chris Ogbonnaya rarely wins. Ogbonnaya is usually driven back or completely stopped at the point of impact. This leaves a lot to be desired when Ogbonnaya is given the ball. Ogbonnaya hit holes pretty well on Sunday, but he lacks moves in the second level as well as lower body strength to make much of his vision. In the passing game, Ogbonnaya is forced to split receptions with his cohorts in the backfield, limiting his effectiveness and value (2 catches).
Week 14 - As usual, Chris Ogbonnaya operated in as much a passing role as a running role, seeing 4 rush attempts compared to 3 receptions and targets. He displayed solid hands and was there when Jason Campbell needed a dumpoff or outlet.
Week 15 - Chris Ogbonnaya's marginal running ability was on full display on Sunday, further cementing him as strictly a check down receiving back. This marginal talent was exemplified on a designed cutback in the first half. Ogbonnaya was able to cut back and had a huge gap with blockers ahead of him, yet he was tackled behind the line of scrimmage due to an inability to burst through a hole with speed. This happened multiple times against the Bears. Ogbonnaya lacks natural running ability but benefited from Jason Campbell's check down habits - leading to his five receptions.
Week 16 - Ogbonnaya only managed two touches as Edwin Baker dominated the touches throughout the game.