Sport Panthers' Efe Obada in 'best situation,' ready for Year 2 in Carolina

17:10  16 may  2018
17:10  16 may  2018 Source:

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Latest News for Efe Obada , Bio, Stats, Injury Reports, Photos, Video Highlights, and Game Logs for Carolina Panthers Defensive End Efe Obada .

by Efe Obada . I was born in Nigeria, but I moved to However, I took the time out to learn the game and work on my weaknesses in order to give myself the best chance the following year . I found out I would be heading to North Carolina to play for the Panthers . My experience so far has been amazing.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — NFL rookie minicamps are a time for young players to stand out. Panthers defensive end Efe Obada did just that over the weekend.

Obada, heading into his second year with the team, had a leg up on other tryout players. He had the opportunity to show out in front of the coaches with whom he already has spent a year.

"I know the system better than the new guys coming in," Obada said upon the conclusion of the Panthers’ rookie camp. "I feel like I know the standard and requirements that they want and all I have to do is apply myself."

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a man wearing glasses and smiling at the camera: Efe Obada, Getty Images © Getty Images Efe Obada, Getty Images

Obada’s journey to the NFL is not conventional. He started playing American football with the London Warriors in 2014 as part of the British American Football Association National Leagues. On a recommendation from one of his BAFA National League coaches, the Cowboys signed him in 2015.

After bouncing around from Dallas, Kansas City and Atlanta, Obada found a home in Carolina as part of the NFL’s International Player Pathway program, which at the beginning of the 2017 season guaranteed each of the four NFC South teams an extra practice squad roster spot to sign a player from Europe.

Obada might have found himself in an ideal spot after signing in May 2017.

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"Honestly, this is the best situation I’ve ever been in,” Obada said. “Coming into the NFL I’ve had opportunities to learn under some great coaches and you’re just a product of your environment and the way that they coach, the system, the standard, it’s amazing."

It's a far cry from his NFL experiences prior to landing in Carolina. Being with three teams in the past, never for longer than a few months at a time, Obada was never able to translate his raw talent into real progress.

"On other teams I’ve been on, personally, it’s like, ‘What can you do for me now?’ And everybody is kind of focusing on the people they throw money at the players with the big names,” Obada said. “With this team and with these coaches, everybody is equal, so you don’t get lost in the system.

"Then the brotherhood of everybody lifting everybody up, the weakest chain is always strengthened here, and I like that."


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Efe Obada . No. 71 – Carolina Panthers . Position Early years . At the age of 10, Obada and his sister were trafficked from the Netherlands into England and left homeless as soon as they arrived in London.

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One factor that helped Obada's development was practicing with and learning from the likes of Julius Peppers and Charles Johnson for a year. Those two players have combined for 222 sacks in their careers; they rank first and second, respectively, on the Panthers’ all-time sacks list.

"It’s set the bar so high and it’s made me hungry,” Obada said. “At the same time, because I’m in the same room as them, next to them in the locker room it’s also showing me that that’s attainable and I just have to apply myself and learn from him.”

A minicamp with tryout players and rookies isn't necessarily the greatest level of competition, of course. What comes next — full OTAs, minicamp and training camp — will be the true test of how far Obada has come and how far he still has to go.

The ultimate goal — next up for Obada, at least — is to make the final 53-man roster in Year 2 with the Panthers.

"Right now, I’m going to be the best I can be, be myself," Obada said. "All I know is that whatever I do, I’m going to make sure I help this team win."

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