Larry Ogunjobi Steamrolls Tampa Bay Line in Steelers Win
PITTSBURGH — The Steelers’ defensive line had hurt badly without T.J. Watt. A lack of pressure and run defense contributed to what was supposed to be a strength becoming a nuisance. However, Larry Ogunjobi refused to let that narrative continue against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Ogunjob’s best game in a Steelers uniform was on Sunday.
He registered six pressures, two quarterback hits, and a tackle for loss that halted the Buccaneers’ drive near the goal line. Coming off a back injury and dealing with a right leg injury during the game, Ogunjobi still came up big time and time again. For the NFL veteran, however, it was just another day at the office.
“On that play (his tackle for loss), the guard tried to pull, I saw, wanted to get upfield, and make a play,” Ogunjobi said. “But in order to win, you have to make plays on those big weighty downs. The guys play for each other.”
Ogunjobi stressed that this week they wanted to make Tom Brady feel uncomfortable. it would not be easy given the fact that Brady gets the ball out quick and the Buccaneers’ solid offensive line. Yet, Pittsburgh was able to do that and more. Brady even noted that ‘everything was hard’ for them all day.
“We were trying to make plays upfield and make it uncomfortable for 12 (Tom Brady) to stay in the pocket,” Ogunjobi said. “If you can make him move around. we thought we had a chance.”
Mike Tomlin was particularly impressed with Ogunjobi’s disruptiveness in the backfield. If there could be a game ball to give out, Ogunjobi would earn at least one of those game balls. He took the pressure off Cam Heyward on the game and allowed opportunities to open up for players like Malik Reed throughout the game. That became a key factor in the Steelers’ gameplan from the jump.
“But just individual effort. How many times did you see Larry Ogunjobi in the back field in those moments (short yardage),” Tomlin asked. “So, I’m just appreciative of the strain and the effort of the men.”
As the Steelers move forward, with or without Watt, Ogunjobi will continue to be a stalwart for them up front if they are going to win critical games.