Bears News: Ogbongbemiga on playing with Keenan Allen and Gerald Everett

Bears News: Ogbongbemiga on playing with Keenan Allen and Gerald Everett

by - Correspondent -

CHICAGO — To build depth at linebacker, Chicago signed linebacker Amen Ogbongbemiga to a one-year, $2.1 million contract. During his three years with the Los Angeles Chargers, he recorded 21 solo tackles, including two tackles for loss.

He also had the opportunity to play with new Bears players receiver Keenan Allen and tight end Gerald Everett.

“They may look at his age and question him. He’s got the juice, and (he’s) going to bring some special moments to the city of Chicago, and they’re going to love him,” Ogbongbemiga said. “I’m excited. I couldn’t hold my smile in when I saw the news. I couldn’t believe it. I couldn’t believe I’d be joining up with him again. This is one of those dudes you play with and (you’re) excited you play with, and you want to be glad, and you want to say that I play with Keenan Allen. He’s that type of player, and I can’t wait to get another opportunity with him.”

During his three-year tenure with the Chargers, Ogbongbemiga got to witness some of the best years of Allen’s career, as he had two Pro Bowl appearances and over 1,000 receiving yards in each of those seasons. He also got to witness how Allen worked with quarterback Justin Herbert, who was still developing during that time.

Thus, Ogbongbemiga knows how quarterback-friendly Allen is as a player.

“He’s always open. It (doesn’t) matter who’s throwing him the ball. He’s going to be open. So, as long as the guy can get the ball to him, it doesn’t matter who it is,” Ogbongbemiga said. “(He’s) going to find the void in the defense whether you’re playing zone (or in) man coverage, (he’s) going to beat you in man. I think he’s the most quarterback-friendly guy, which says a lot about him.”

Ogbongbemiga was also around for Everett’s two years with the Chargers. Everett has been one of the best yards-after-catch (YAC) tight ends in the league, with 601 YAC in the last two years.

Drops were a problem for him in 2022, although he fixed that problem in 2023 with a 2.9 percent drop rate.

“He’s going to get you some YAC. Gerald is one of a kind in his approach,” Ogbongbemiga said. “But on game day, man, you love playing with Gerald because even when (you’re) down, even when things (aren’t) going your way, you just get him the ball, and Gerald’s going to get you some plays, get everybody fired up.”

There has been a long-developing movement in the league to spread the NFL's impact globally with outreach programs such as NFL Africa and NFL Canada. Ogbongbemiga represents part of the benefits of these programs, bringing talented players from across the world into the league, as he was born in Nigeria and went to high school in Canada.

“With NFL Africa growing and NFL Canada growing, there’s talent everywhere. You just have to go out and find it, and it takes the right people to identify that talent, and it takes the players to get the most out of what they have for these organizations,” Ogbongbemiga said. “But, I’m glad that the game is expanding globally, and we’re getting more traction. But it’s an exciting time in the sport of football. It continues growing, and I can’t wait to see where it goes.”

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