Updated, 6:08 p.m. ET
The Jets’ wideout field is getting crowded these days, mostly by guys that not many have heard of just wanting to get a fair shot at making the roster.
Just the way Ben Obomanu likes it.
“That’s what every player wants, an opportunity to earn his keep,” Obomanu told me last week, “to have that open competition and have the ability to come in and make a play or two and not have a stigma placed on them before they even get started. I feel the same way.”
Obomanu has overcome that situation before. He was a seventh-round pick of the Seahawks in 2006 and gradually worked his way into decent playing time in 2010, when he caught 30 passes for 494 yards (16.5-yard average) and four touchdowns. The yards, average and TDs were all career highs.
“I think that season I finally got a chance to play,” he said. “For the longest time, I think, as a seventh-round pick, I kept getting overshadowed, overlooked. I think 2010 was my first real good chance of getting some starts and I actually did pretty well, made a lot of good plays, got a contract extension.
“I’m trying to get back to that point. I’m trying to get that opportunity again to show that what I did in 2010, when I was a legit starter, those same plays I made there, I’m still capable of now.”
He was a salary-cap casualty this three months ago and so started the searching process for a new team. Perhaps it didn’t hurt that one of Seattle’s front office members, John Idzik, is now the Jets’ GM, but as Obomanu put it, “There was a connection with John, but I had to come in and work out with a couple of other guys before I ended up being the guy they signed. I had to earn it.”
Even though Obomanu knows he’ll have to step up and earn a roster spot this summer, he won’t mind a bit of an inherited cheering section. When he came to the Jets, he wore uniform No. 9, but after a few days he swapped numbers with undrafted rookie Zach Rogers for No. 15.
Yes, Ben knows Tim Tebow wore 15 in green and white last year.
“In Seattle I was No. 87. I kind of wanted to do something different here. I was trying to figure out with family and friends what kind of number I wanted,” he said. “Tim’s a good guy. I understand that a number is a number. But it’d be neat, if I did come in and could keep 15, I’m pretty sure there’s some leftover 15 jerseys out there and I can have a little fan base from the start.”
From the sounds of things, D’Brickashaw Ferguson’s fifth annual Building Communities One Brick at a Time dinner gala and auction was a sturdy success.
“It was a great event and we raised a lot of money for our youth, aiding the Long Island area,” Brick told us. “We’re thankful for all the support.”
The gala, held June 4 at The Swan Club in Glenwood Landing, N.Y., honored Mark Sanchez, former N.J. Secretary of State the Rev. Regena Thomas, and Philip Castaldo, president of UFOLI, the United 7-Eleven Franchise Owners of Long Island and New York, which also performs great work in the community.
As Ferguson stated in a printed message to the dinner guests, the goal of the D’Brickashaw Ferguson Foundation is to be a strong support system to young people before and after they enter college.
“The Skills and Drills conference is a vehicle that helps foster growth by peer-to-peer mentorship, team-building exercises and the sharing of experiences by seasoned professionals,” Brick said. “Programs like these are needed in order to help encourage and inspire our youth. With your support we will be able to grow and change more lives. Thank you.”
No, thank you, Brick, for continuing to be a role model and mentor to young people as you work your good work off the field in with your good work as the Jets’ starting left tackle.
Tags: Ben Obomanu, D'Brickashaw Ferguson, John Idzik, Seattle Seahawks, Tim Tebow, Zach Rogers
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