VIDEO: Owa on Return to Practice

Defensive end Owamagbe Odighizuwa talked about his return to practice after missing last season due to two hip surgeries...

Fifth-year senior defensive end Owamagbe Odighizuwa, talked to us after the first spring practice Tuesday.

On being back:
It feels really good. It's been a whole year. It's my birthday today so it's a good way to be back. I feel like I never really sat out. It was a good practice, I went hard, it was a good day.

On if he has any lingering pain in his hip:
Not at all. I was just talking with Angus about it and said I'm so thankful for rehab, my hips feel like 100% again. They feel better than last year or the year before. It's a really good feeling.

On any mental blocks:
That whole year was a big time mental barrier I had to overcome in the sense that I had to tell myself, when I get back 'I sat out or I'm rusty' or accept that mindset, so I had to prepare myself and making sure I came back for spring ball like I never left.

On what he's doing for his hips:
I do what I always do before practice, get here early, stretch, same routine I've always done and the trainers told me to keep doing that, just to keep it nice and fluid.

On his haircut:
It feels good. I had to get a helmet change because the other one was big, but I do feel lighter.

On his starting role:
It feels good to be back in this starting role just competing and getting better. The defense this year is tweaked up to fit the strength of the team. It's good to be back and with my strength of being on the edge. The biggest tweaks is getting me looks off the edge. We're still in the 3-4, but allowing me to be in the 3-point stance. Nothing too major but allowing me to play for my strengths.

On having an impact with Anthony Barr's graduation:
Absolutely, trying to have the impact on the edge. For pass rush concerns. This whole spring is playing for that role and see who can do that and see who can play good defense.

On replacing Anthony Barr's pass rushing:
There is a great number of guys who can rush the passer, the way the coaches set it up to have that guy on the edge. It works for everybody.

On the specific roles of the defensive line:
You've got Ellis and Kenny Clark bigtime interior guys, and that's what they're really playing. In that sense, I love it. Even though I'm a defensive end, it allows me to move from left to right.

On if the pass rush is the biggest question mark this spring:
Not necessarily. Obviously when AB is gone, you're going to want to figure out who the next guy is to rush the passer, but it's about playing as a unit, understanding the concept of the team, why we do certain things, not just focusing on passing, but making sure you play on the edge, understanding our role.


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