ORCHARD PARK, N.Y. (WROC) — Efe Obada called meeting the Bills media on Monday ‘intimidating’. A reporter mentioned that usually it’s Obaba, at 6-6 and 265 pounds, that does the intimidating.
“Who said that? Name names,” Obada retorted just before breaking into a big laugh.
That intimidation thing quickly felt like a hustle
“I wanted to do UFC,” Obada said later in full Cheshire cat mode, “But I’m too pretty.”
You’d never know this was a guy that grew up in foster homes. He was even homeless for a couple nights. He and his sister were sent from their home in Nigeria to England. Their parents were hoping a stranger would help them find a better life. The stranger quickly abandoned them and trigger the litany of foster care for them.
Obada never played football until his early 20s. His first team was the London Warriors. He was quickly discovered by the Cowboys. He had a few shots in the NFL before becoming one of the league’s first International Pathway Program players.
He thinks about his unbelievable journey from England to the NFL “every day.”
Obada became the first man to make a 53-man roster from the international pathway program in 2018. He broke out with five and half sacks last year and says it was just about getting reps.
“Just being able to think less,” Obada said. “When you’re learning you think so much. You don’t want to make mistakes. That anxiety and that fear, that learning curve slows you down.”
Former Panthers teammate Mario Addison quickly discovered how Obada overcame that anxiety and began to find NFL success.
“He’s very coachable and he wanted to learn,” Addison recalled. “I taught him this one move and he perfected it. He almost do it better than me.”
“You can’t fake this,” Obada said. “You have to work, put in the time. You have to make the sacrifices because when you’re competing with so many guys (who have played football since they were young), you’ll get exposed.”
This offseason, Obada had finally earned the opportunity to choose his own team following three ‘accrued’ NFL season. However, his wife did most of the research on fit, schemes and depth charts. She’s the one he leans on while he tries to build a career in the most competitive league in the most competitive country.
Obada says, with a laugh, that she’s the brains and he’s the brawn of the family. He thinks Americans would call her the ‘nerd’ and him the ‘jock’.
He was asked if she gets a cut of the contract.
“She gets everything,” before bursting into the biggest belly laugh of his meeting with reporters. “As long as I have a hot meal and a warm bed, I’m good.”
Maybe there is one thing that intimidates Efe Obada, even if it wasn’t the reporters he claimed to fear on a blistering Monday afternoon in Orchard Park.