Lane Adkins: Babatunde Oshinowo is an extremely bright young man out of Stanford. Featuring adequate size and improving strength, Oshinowo was selected by the Cleveland Browns in hopes of developing him to play the nose tackle position.
Much more of an interior lineman in a 4-3 base defensive scheme due to his lack of overall bulk, Oshinowo shined at times in training camp this past year with the team at that position. But he was released due to the Browns' relying on veterans such as Ted Washington, Ethan Kelley and newly-signed Shaun Smith to manage the interior of the Cleveland 3-4 defense.
Oshinowo improved his strength with a full season on the practice squad under his belt heading into this season, but quickness and understanding of the game are his greatest attributes. He gets off the ball quickly and has the ability to penetrate. Due to inexperience and strength concerns, Oshinowo can be moved and controlled by bigger, more physical guards and tackles.
He was a player I watched closely in training camp due to issues at the position in Cleveland and was surprised the team released him. Relatively inexperienced, Oshinowo will provide a workman-like effort but won't be confused with the upper-tier players at his position.
JC's Take: Even though Jimmy Kennedy is the newly-signed defensive tackle with first-round pedigree, it certainly appears that Oshinowo is the one with a better chance of making an impact this season and securing a roster spot for 2008.
While Kennedy has battled weight issues and questions about his desire have been around since he entered the league, Oshinowo seems to fit the mold a little better in terms of what head coach Lovie Smith looks for in a D-tackle. I've heard from a couple Cleveland insiders that they were surprised when the Browns gave Oshinowo his walking papers, although several of them said the same thing about WR Brandon Rideau – remember him? With both Anthony Adams and Antonio Garay on injured reserve plus Darwin Walker struggling to stay healthy, Oshinowo could see a fair amount of snaps Monday night in Minnesota.
Coach Smith still doesn't want to admit he's already preparing for next season, but that's exactly what he should be doing at 5-8 and out of the NFC playoff picture.
All of that plus much more in the January issue of ...
BEAR REPORT, the only publication exclusively dedicated to your Chicago Bears ... CLICK HERE to subscribe today