The more attention that NFL rookies get, the higher the expectation will be that they immediately contribute. Those who were looking for instant gratification when the Dolphins selected Jared Odrick in 2010 were forced to wait.
Unfortunately, his rookie season ended almost before it could get started, suffering a season-ending leg injury against Buffalo in the 2010 season opener.
Even though he missed practically entire season–one that is typically key to adjusting to the speed of the professional game–Odrick became one of the front seven’s most consistent producers last year. As he prepares to enter his third year, Odrick spoke to John Congemi and said he’s already is starting to feel like a seasoned veteran.
“You’re a whole lot more comfortable,” Odrick said. “The comfortability sets in in terms of your surroundings, but definitely not getting comfortable where I’m at in terms of football. We’re out here to work, and that’s what I’m doing.”
If he had any fear of complacency because of his relative experience, it surely has disappeared early this offseason. The new coaching staff has kept things fresh, including for Odrick and the defense, the insertion of a different defensive scheme. Kevin Coyle’s scheme should allow Odrick shift around along the base four-man fronts–at Penn State, he played defensive tackle in the Nittany Lions’ 4-3 scheme. Once you take it all to the field, Odrick said the differences are negligible
“Football is football, in that whether it’s a different word for the same thing, eventually it’s football all over again,” Odrick said. “You’ve just got to get used to the new terms.”
Much of the attention on Philbin’s fast-paced practices has been centered on how it affects the offense, which makes sense. After all, it will be the offense that will attempt to use an increased tempo to wear down its opponents. Odrick said that it’s had a noticeable effect on the defense, too, causing his teammates to try to adjust on the fly.
“Not even a question. Come on now, you’re out here watching us run around,” Odrick joked. “Both the offensive line and defensive line, we don’t get any subs out there. It’s tough sledding, but it’s all in great preparation for what’s to come.”
Because of his foot injury, Odrick’s second year essentially doubled as his rookie year, and he made plenty of noise on the field, recording six sacks. Odrick, though, is probably most known for what has become his signature move. Last season, after a sack, he would break into a full-scale rendition of Pee-wee Herman’s ‘Tequila’ dance. The only thing missing was a big, red bow-tie. It’s become such a sensation that it’s sure to spawn some copycats.
“I actually had one of the rookies today say, ‘Hey, can you teach me that Pee-wee Herman dance?'” Odrick said. “I said, ‘There’s no way in hell. That’s mine.’ You try to pull the fun out the game, and that’s something that I enjoy.”
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