49ers Edge Defender Describes The ‘Circus Show’ he Left Behind

49ers rush

Getty The 49ers bring a heavy rush on Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott during their Sunday, January 16 road win.

For the first six games of the 2021 season, Charles Omenihu was collecting 11 tackles, eight solo stops and delivered one tackle for a loss — but was disgruntled in Houston.

The 6-foot-5, 280-pounder played on a Houston Texans team that was 1-5 with him in the lineup. Then, the Houston native received this surprise on the NFL’s trade deadline on November 2: He was heading to the San Francisco 49ers.

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But now, after attacking Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys with six quarterback pressures, a team-tying three quarterback hits and became one of six 49ers defenders credited for getting a sack in the 49ers’ 23-17 road playoff win, Omenihu relentlessly attacked the other Lonestar State team on Wednesday, January 19.

Omenihu Compares S.F. to Houston

Speaking to reporters via Zoom, Omenihu was asked to describe the difference between playing for the Texans and suiting up for the ‘Niners.

Omenihu would then verbally stitch up a clown suit for the team, or circus, that he left behind.

“It’s not a circus show here,” Omenihu said. “You guys definitely have things down pat and you know what you want of the players and the coaches know the expectations. It’s very thought out and said. It’s been nothing but good.”

Omenihu described the 49ers as a more organized franchise from the front office to the head coach.

“A lot more structure,” Omenihu said. “The leadership between the coach and the GM (general manager), it doesn’t seem like it’s a power struggle. It’s very like they are on the same page. They have an understanding what they want. They make it very clear what they want from GM to head coach and head coach to the position coaches.”

How the 49ers Have Used Omenihu

When the 49ers acquired Omenihu via trade, the plan was to get him to fit in through their “wide-9” scheme along the trenches.

Omenihu had a relatively slow start with the ‘Niners — not recording any stats in his first two games of action against the Los Angeles Rams (November 15) and the Jacksonville Jaguars (November 21). He also went from totaling 219 snaps with the Texans to being limited to 171 with the 49ers per Pro Football Focus. And only twice did Omenihu earn 20 defensive plays; against the Seattle Seahawks in Week 13 and his former employer in Week 17.

But his usage went up in his return to his home state in the first round of the playoffs: 35 plays total in becoming one of five defensive ends who were utilized against Dallas.

And Omenihu came after Dak Prescott like an uncaged lion. He even got the better end of Cowboys All-Pro left tackle Tyron Smith on the sack and fumble of the Dallas QB — the same Smith who surrendered just one sack during the regular season and is among the best at protecting the passer.

The takedown of Prescott happened to be Omenihu’s first sack as a 49er and his first sack since January 3, 2021.

Per David Lombardi of The Athletic, Omenihu was the closest in pursuit of Prescott during the six-point win:

Omenihu is thriving in a trench unit that features two 49ers who have posted career numbers: Nick Bosa and Arden Key.

By Omenihu’s words, he’s gone from a “circus show” to playing for a team pursuing a Super Bowl run.

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