Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

DE Charles Omenihu praises 49ers organization after trade from Texans: ‘It’s not a circus show here’

Jan 19, 2022 at 5:25 PM--

It seems as if defensive end Charles Omenihu couldn't be happier about his change of scenery from the Houston Texans to the San Francisco 49ers.

The 49ers acquired the 24-year-old Omenihu from the Texans in exchange for a sixth-round pick in the 2023 NFL Draft just before the league's trade deadline on November 2. Omenihu played two-and-a-half seasons for the Texans after being selected in Round 5 of the 2019 NFL Draft out of the University of Texas, totaling seven sacks and 24 quarterback hits in 35 games (seven starts). He's been playing in mostly a rotational role since joining the 49ers but had his most impactful game since the trade in last Sunday's Wild Card win over the Dallas Cowboys, posting 1.5 sacks, three quarterback hits and a forced fumble.

Omenihu spoke with reporters Wednesday for the first time since the trade and made it clear he was happy to be with the 49ers, while not holding much back when discussing why he feels that way.

"Definitely a breath of fresh air for sure," Omenihu said. "This year has been a long year for me personally in my third year. My third year didn't go, as far as early on, how I thought it would be coming off of my second year—just a combination of what I was going through over there. Coming here was definitely a breath of fresh air. I love it. The organization has a lot of structure. This is not an ego-driven kind of organization. It's not a power struggle either. So it's definitely good to experience that."

What makes the 49ers a more structured organization than what Omenihu previously experienced? It comes down to communication and a clear picture of what is expected of everyone up and down the ladder.

"The leadership between the coach (Kyle Shanahan) and the GM (John Lynch), it doesn't seem like it's a power struggle," Omenihu said. "They're on the same page. They have an understanding what they want. They make it very clear of what they want, from GM to head coach, from head coach to the position coaches. It's not a circus show here. You guys definitely have things down pat and you know what you want of the players. The coaches know the expectations, and it's sought out and said. And there's not a lot of switching around, switching guys from being a starter to not being a starter. You understand what you're doing here and you just get it done."

Omenihu has been pleased with how things have been going for him on the field as well, even though he hasn't been getting quite as many snaps on defense as he was given in Houston. He's needed some time to adjust to defensive line coach Kris Kocurek's wide-nine approach, but over time Omenihu has found it to be to his liking.

"I remember when I first got here and Kris was telling me that this system would allow me to use my explosion, my length and my power me because you get a buildup to the tackles," Omenihu said. "Using my arm length, power and strength that I have, it's allowed me to be able to move guys easier, allowed for my power to show more, so any time I do use an outside rush it's more effective. So it's been good. I definitely like it."

The 49ers have Omenihu under contract for one more season and will undoubtedly be hoping that what he showed against the Cowboys is a sign of things to come. Omenihu certainly seems satisfied with where he is at the moment, now that he's gotten used to his new system and is in a place where he knows what to expect.

"It's been nothing but good, man," Omenihu said. "The guys on the D-Line accepted immediately as I got in. It was just learning the system. Learning the system didn't take me long; it was mostly learning the techniques of the system—my first time being in a wide-nine attack kind of scheme, so it was a little bit different and (needing to) get certain kinds of habits out of the way and learning how to rush and play in this system, being on the outside. Learning the scheme wasn't hard, but adjusting to how to play in the scheme was a little bit of a challenge."

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