OGUNLEYE MAKING PUSH

Defensive end Adewale Ogunleye is sure to get a lot more playing time this season as he continues his development as an NFL player. But that's not enough for the third-year player from Indiana.

Ogunleye wants nothing short of the starting job at left defensive end.

"I've always said my goal is to start," Ogunleye said Monday. "I'm not one of those guys who's comfortable with just making a 53-man roster. That's not me, that's never been me. My goal is to start, my goal is to be out there and playing a lot. Anything less than starting any year ... anything less than that is real disappointing."

Ogunleye is involved a tight three-man battle for the starting job with newcomer Jay Williams and David Bowens, who made such a splash in limited action and on special teams last season.

Williams got the start in the preseason opener against Tampa Bay, but it was Ogunleye who stole the show with an eye-popping four sacks.

Ogunleye was rewarded for that performance by getting the starting nod against New Orleans, but he wasn't able to duplicate that success, finishing with one tackle.

"I was able to do some good things out there," Ogunleye said of his performance against the Saints. "I missed some assignments, made some mistakes. I played OK. The coaches are looking for consistency, and hopefully that's what I'm giving them.

"You can't get four sacks every game. But my mentality is, why not? With the opportunity and the drive, you never know."

There has been no official announcement as to who will start on Saturday against Houston, although the feeling is Bowens will get his turn.

For the time being, Coach Dave Wannstedt is faced with a good dilemma: one starting position, three worthy candidates.

"I'm excited about it because Wale is playing as good as we hoped, Jay Williams is as good as we had hoped for, and David Bowens has picked up where he left off last year," Wannstedt said. "I feel pretty good about it, to be honest with you."

For his part, Ogunleye isn't worried about who starts Saturday or who might have the edge or anything other than his own performance.

"I've just to go out there and perform," he said. "Looking at it from a broad perspective, it's a good thing that you have three guys that can possibly start for your team. But all I can really worry about is myself and how hard I practice and how hard I play. Hopefully, that'll take care of itself."


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