Patrick Onwuasor Arrived
It was late July of 2016. Another hot, muggy day on the fields at One Winning Drive. The kind of day that would make players testy. The kind of day that could trigger tempers. Welcome to Ravens Training Camp.
The linebackers and running backs gathered together for a drill. There was a blocking dummy set up. It represented the quarterback. The linebackers were told to go and get the quarterback. The running backs were to prevent that from happening.
An undrafted free agent linebacker, number 48 stepped up to take his turn. Across his back was a name that I hadn’t yet learned to pronounce. Onwuasor. The player who stood in his way was second-year tailback Buck Allen.
Now during most of these head-to-head matchups, the linebackers typically used speed or some kind of power-rip move to get past the running back. Not Patrick Onwuasor. He leaned on geometry, and remembered that the quickest between two points was a straight line. His plan was to go right through Allen to get the quarterback.
The ball was snapped. Onwuasor exploded. He ran with purpose and straight towards Buck. Once engaged, Peanut had all the leverage. Not only did he run through Allen and to the quarterback, he lifted the running back off the ground sending him in the air towards the blocking dummy.
After a flurry that lasted just a few seconds, the quarterback was down.
And so was Allen.
When Buck got up off the ground he went after Peanut, wanting to fight – more than likely emotion born out of pure embarrassment.
We’ve seen some of Onwuasor’s explosiveness on the field since his rookie season. In 2019 we all hope that he can be a consistent contributor so that the Ravens aren’t left with missing the $85M man who escaped to Gang Green.
The opportunity is there.