Ifeadi Odenigbo is ready to do his part on the Minnesota Vikings defense
As the Minnesota Vikings continue their offseason planning, one thing is for sure when it comes to defensive end Ifeadi Odenigbo. Not only has he been a pleasant surprise on the Vikings’ defense but he’s currently working hard in preparation for a potentially increased role this upcoming season.
Odenigbo is coming off a very productive season with the Vikings in mostly a backup rotational role. In 2019, he totaled seven sacks, 24 tackles, and one forced fumble. Due to the ongoing contract negotiations between the Vikings and defensive end Everson Griffen, Odenigbo is wisely preparing for a scenario where he’ll be able to thrive in a starting role if he earns it in training camp.
It won’t be easy but there is always that chance that Griffen finds a new home this offseason and then this spot is completely up for grabs. Odenigbo showed some glimpses of brilliance last season as it will be interesting to see how he handles a full-time role on the Vikings’ defense.
Ifeadi Odenigbo is not resting on his laurels with the Minnesota Vikings
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Considering all that he did in a rotational role that saw him only play a little over 34 percent of the team’s defensive snaps, it’s a good sign that if he can increase his efficiency on the gridiron, he could succeed in an increased role.
In an article written by Jace Frederick of Pioneer Press, here’s what Odenigbo said about resting on his laurels:
"“Because what happens in this league, you start reminiscing about ‘Oh, I did pretty good,’ and then you get slapped in the face the next year,” he said. “No one cares if you got seven sacks last year. What do you do now? That puts more pressure on myself, but I like that. I like the fact that I got seven sacks, I know what it takes to get to the quarterback. I’m ready to let everybody know that this is not a fluke, and I’m here all day, every day.”"
In the grand scheme of things, Odenigbo has a good head on his shoulders as this is the kind of mentality to have when playing at the pro level. It’s all about progressing naturally and understanding that nothing is ever guaranteed in the NFL. All you can do is prepare, execute, and hope you don’t get injured in the process so you can enjoy a long, successful, and healthy career.
Overall, Odenigbo is handling the offseason well and ready to prove to any naysayers that he’s serious about continuing his momentum of 2019. Who knows what will ultimately transpire between the Vikings and Griffen but at the end of the day, Odenigbo is ready to do his part either off the bench or in a new starting role on defense if the opportunity arises.