NFL insider notebook: Ravens rookie Odafe Oweh making a name for himself, plus Week 3 picks

Odafe Oweh should not be a troublesome identify to pronounce. It takes 5 complete syllables from starting to finish.

uh-DAH-fay O-way

The rookie Baltimore Ravens defensive finish and reigning AFC Defensive Participant of the Week selected draft night time to now not go by his center identify, Jayson, however as an alternative embrace his Nigerian roots and be identified by his actual first identify.

And if people are nonetheless discovering problem in saying his identify, that is on them.

“I needed to make an announcement the place you are going to should be taught to pronounce my identify,” Oweh informed me by cellphone Thursday earlier than apply. “So persons are going to undergo the start levels struggling to pronounce it, however hopefully by God’s grace after I proceed to make performs, it turns into a reputation the place it comes to a degree the place when you’re mispronouncing it, why do not you understand? So by God’s grace I hope that is the scenario in just a few years.”

I do not assume it’ll take just a few years at this price.

Via two video games Oweh has a sack, a quarterback hit that led to an interception and a pressured fumble on “Monday Evening Soccer” that shifted the sport in favor of the Ravens and away from the Chiefs.

It is the kind of manufacturing that earns you conference-wide honors and creeps your identify into early Defensive Rookie of the Yr discussions. And it is also the kind of manufacturing that was lacking from his resume final yr when he got here out of Penn State. After gathering seven sacks by way of his first two seasons with the Nittany Lions, Oweh put up a doughnut within the sacks class in seven video games final yr.

So when he acquired by way of to sack Derek Carr simply earlier than halftime of the Week 1 match in opposition to the Raiders, Oweh felt aid.

“I am very pleased I acquired it out of the best way the primary recreation,” Oweh says. “That was undoubtedly a giant monkey off my again after I acquired that as a result of it is one thing that is been on the again of my shoulders ever since, actually my final school recreation after which main as much as the entire draft course of after which the draft. So simply to get that out the primary recreation, that is God’s timing. I am very grateful I acquired that.”

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The shortage of sack manufacturing by no means involved the Ravens, definitely not after Oweh wowed at his professional day together with his 4.36-second 40. Ravens GM Eric DeCosta noticed an aggressive, quick and disruptive participant on tape. So, too, did former Ravens GM and present EVP Ozzie Newsome, who informed defensive coordinator Wink Martindale earlier than the draft that Oweh had what the protection was searching for.

“I can bear in mind again within the spring earlier than the draft, Ozzie informed me you should watch this 99 from Penn State. He is a Raven,” Martindale informed reporters this week. “It is these traits that all of us search for in Baltimore and he checked each a kind of bins.”

The Ravens took Oweh with the No. 31 choose within the draft — the one they acquired from Kansas Metropolis within the Orlando Brown Jr. commerce — and later that night time, Oweh introduced his identify change. He had passed by Jayson for almost a decade as a result of folks at all times mispronounced his identify. No extra, he stated.

“I’ve an excellent quantity of Nigerian following so lots of people have been more than happy I made that swap, and I used to be actually attempting to embrace my Nigerian tradition, simply convey gentle to the expertise that the nation has,” says Oweh, who was born and raised in New Jersey however whose dad and mom are native Nigerians. “I acquired lots of people hitting me up about that. I’ve a whole lot of mates who know me simply as Odafe and mates who know me simply as Jayson. Everybody was simply proud that I made that transfer, that I attempted to embrace myself and be myself.”

Oweh stated this week has been “the craziest week of my life” with all the eye. He is grateful but humble, realizing he must go show it once more this week in opposition to the Lions.

And I sense a chip nonetheless on Oweh’s shoulder, as if he filed away all that was stated after the draft concerning the Ravens utilizing their first-round choose on a exercise warrior who could not get a sack. He isn’t completed.

“Simply show my value,” he says when requested what his objectives for this season are. “Show that the choose that the Ravens acquired for me was value it. And simply to indicate I am not a undertaking. I could make an impression straight away. I’ll proceed to get higher yearly and I am simply getting higher each single time I play the sport.”

Montana on Brady

Tom Brady thinks the league’s gone gentle and it is exhausting for me to argue with him. Our Bryan DeArdo had a good writeup on Brady’s full comments, so I am going to pluck one of many quotes that stood out to me.

“…There’s a whole lot of performs and hits taking place on quarterbacks now which can be flags for defensive gamers that in all probability weren’t that method 10 or 15 years in the past,” Brady stated. “I would say the sport is slightly softer than it was once. I feel defensive gamers are extra on the defensive once they go in to deal with. I feel that is in all probability including to this ingredient of quarterbacks outdoors the pocket taking extra possibilities than they did up to now.”

I can not discover any lie in what Brady stated, but it surely’s those self same rule adjustments he is lamenting which have gone a protracted strategy to serving to him play at age 44. On Thursday I spoke with Joe Montana for a CBS Sports HQ interview that he did on behalf of Guinness. Among the many matters we mentioned have been if he performed underneath the foundations at this time and had the weight-reduction plan and vitamin data of 2021, may his profession have gone past retirement at age 38?

“I nonetheless assume after I retired I might have performed a pair extra years, even with the bodily a part of the sport being the best way it was. After I retired I kicked myself,” Montana informed me. “It grew to become extra the bodily half for me. I checked out myself and had one other concussion and a pair different accidents. I checked out my household and I simply needed to be wholesome after I acquired out of there.

“The principles have modified so if it was like that again then possibly it will have been totally different for my determination. At that cut-off date, I used to be nonetheless taking part in at a excessive degree and had an excellent crew I used to be taking part in with. I look again and say, ‘Why’d I do this?’ After which my spouse jogs my memory of the concussions. I’ve had 27 surgical procedures.

“I feel I made a good selection for me however yeah, these guys are going to play a very long time.”

Foles commerce on the horizon?

From a soccer standpoint, a Nick Foles-Frank Reich reunion makes an excessive amount of sense. If it winds up taking place, it in all probability will not be subsequent week, however I feel it ought to.

The Colts have a playoff-contending crew that may’t contend for the playoffs with Jacob Eason and/or Brett Hundley at beginning quarterback. Carson Wentz hasn’t been one hundred pc for the reason that first week of August, and the Colts should hedge in opposition to a reaggravation sooner or later.

Sam Ehlinger, the popular No. 2 quarterback, suffered a sprained knee within the preseason finale and nonetheless has a few weeks left in his rehab. Plus, he is nonetheless only a rookie.

The Bears would not half with Foles, who might be QB2 on Sunday, till Andy Dalton returns to well being. However as soon as Dalton is again, Foles turns into tradeable. An affordable deal could be a late-round choose from Indy to Chicago for Foles, who’d in all probability have to transform his deal in a roundabout way for the Colts to take him on.

Wentz’s psyche must be thought-about and bringing Foles in might impression that. However Reich must be extra involved with getting again to the playoffs than harm emotions. The NFL commerce deadline is not till Nov. 2, so there’s nonetheless time, however the Colts ought to look to fortify the QB place with somebody who is aware of the playbook by way of and thru.

In talking with Falcons QB Matt Ryan earlier this week, I got here away from the dialog realizing Ryan is underneath no illusions about this iteration of the Atlanta Falcons.

Whether or not you need to name it a rebuild or a crew in transition, the Falcons are a younger crew with a first-year head coach and first-year GM that sit at 0-2 in a gotta-have-it recreation this week in opposition to the Giants. Ryan’s job is to encourage the complete crew, and he allowed that he needed to alter his management type this season with such a younger crew round him.

However Ryan and the Falcons cannot wait for much longer to show this ship round.

“The one factor that I’ve realized taking part in a very long time is that it is nearly getting sizzling on the proper time. It is not probably the most gifted groups I have been part of that at all times ended up within the playoffs or making a push to the Super Bowl. It is about timing,” Ryan informed me. “I feel you have to progressively enhance because the yr goes on after which get sizzling on the proper time, and I feel we have got sufficient items to do this. However we definitely should get that momentum going proper now. Clearly dropping the primary two video games is hard and we need to chip our method again into it, however I feel we have got sufficient items to be a extremely related crew late within the yr.”

The Falcons have the Giants, Soccer Crew and Jets the subsequent three weeks earlier than a Week 6 bye. By my depend, they’ve eight playoff contenders within the following 9 weeks. For my part, Atlanta will not have an opportunity of contending this season if it is not 3-2 going into the bye. So now’s the time for the Falcons to get sizzling to allow them to be related come December.

Week 3 picks

After an 11-5 week I used to be feeling fairly good and thought I would do even higher. However just a few video games tripped me up final week to go 10-6. (I left off the Saints-Panthers recreation on these picks final week, however in fact I picked the Saints to win that one so it is 10-6.) That makes me 21-11 on the younger season. I took Carolina on Thursday night in opposition to the Davis Mills-led Texans.

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
TV: CBS | Stream: Paramount+ (click here)

Ever since I noticed the Chargers final month at camp I knew this may be a crew to compete with the Chiefs. Sadly for L.A., its going through a Chiefs crew coming off its first September loss within the Mahomes Period that was simply avoidable. Kansas Metropolis will search to scrub up its play and make an announcement on this recreation.

The choose:

Sunday, 1 p.m. ET
TV: Fox | Stream: fuboTV (click here)

It has been 376 days for the reason that Jaguars final gained a recreation.

The choose:

Sunday, 4:25 p.m. ET
TV: Fox | Stream: fuboTV (click here)

I… I do not know when the Bucs are going to lose. I am positive they will have a nasty week to have a nasty week sooner or later. However you merely can not run on this Bucs protection. Their move protection numbers look dangerous, they usually’ll look worse after the Rams throw it 80% of the time on them Sunday. However that is as a result of no crew can successfully run in opposition to them. If Todd Bowles is not some crew’s head coach for the 2022 season, we riot.

The choose: Buccaneers

Monday, 8:15 p.m. ET
TV: ESPN | Stream: fuboTV (click here)

Talking of protection, I feel Philly has the very best protection that nobody nationally is discussing. Opponents have simply 2.57 seconds from snap to throw, a lot sooner than the league common of two.73 seconds and tied for sixth-fastest within the NFL. They usually’re doing it with out blitzing a lot. Philly sends a blitz 13.2% of the time, the fourth-lowest price within the league. I feel Philly’s D provides Dak Prescott and the Cowboys suits Monday night time in a shock win.

The choose:

Different video games

Bills over Soccer Crew
Browns over Bears
Ravens over Lions
Patriots over Saints
Falcons over Giants
Steelers over Bengals
Titans over Colts
Broncos over Jets
Raiders over Dolphins
Seahawks over Vikings
Packers over 49ers | NFL insider pocket book: Ravens rookie Odafe Oweh making a reputation for himself, plus Week 3 picks


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