EAST RUTHERFORD -- Giants defensive end Owa Odighizuwa knows the clock is ticking.Giants JPP: 'I'm not signing a one-year deal'
A third-round pick in the 2015 draft, Odighizuwa has yet to make an impact in his first two seasons. Although he's just 24, Odighizuwa knows that this offseason will be crucial in determining his future.
"It's real important for me," Odighizuwa told NJ Advance Media. "That's how I'm approaching it, that it's kind of do-or-die in terms of my preparation and getting ready. You have to exhaust all of your resources into training properly and getting ready for the year. Really pouring everything you have into preparation."
Described as an "absolute Greek God with the pads off" in his NFL.com draft scouting profile, the 6-foot-3, 270-pound Odighizuwa looks the part of a fearsome defensive end. But aside from a few flashes in the preseason, his physical attributes have not yet translated to the field.
"I would definitely say I haven't really played to the level that I wanted to play," Odighizuwa said. "But I think going into this year my goal is just to create opportunities wherever they may be and make the most of them."
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As was the case during his college career at UCLA, Odighizuwa has been set back by injuries. He was limited to four games during his rookie year and he dealt with knee and hamstring injuries this season.
Odighizuwa played in 14 games this season, but he ended the year on the sideline. He missed the Giants' 38-13 loss to the Packers in the Wild-Card round with a hamstring injury.
"Anytime you get nicked up and miss some games it's not fun," Odighizuwa said. "That was something that I had to work through late in the year. Fortunately, I participated in a good majority of the games. I didn't miss a whole lot of time, but even then, my goal was to play every single game. So, that didn't happen. So yeah, that was frustrating."
Even when healthy, Odighizuwa's playing time was limited. He played just 170 snaps this season, which ranked fourth among the Giants' defensive ends. He was jumped on the depth chart by undrafted free agent Romeo Okwara, who took over as the starter after Jason Pierre-Paul suffered a season-ending core injury in Week 13.
Despite the disappointing season individually, Odighizuwa enters the offseason on a positive note.
"It was a great experience with the guys," Odighizuwa said. "Just seeing where we came from as a team from my first year to this year was exciting. For me, individually as a player, I feel like I learned a lot just in my progression. Stuff that I'm going to take into my third year to help put me in a better spot to continue to keep improving."TALK IS CHEAP, E80: Giants' playoff dud, Eli's future and OBJ's antics
Subscribe to the podcast on iTunes, Google Play, Soundcloud or iHeartRadio.Dan Duggan may be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @DDuggan21. Find our Giants coverage on Facebook.
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