clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Ask A Lion: Amani Oruwariye explains Detroit Lions’ intense film study habits

The Lions’ rookie corner answered all your questions and more.

Detroit Lions v Washington Redskins Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Detroit Lions fifth-round rookie Amani Oruwariye was the team’s most popular pick back in April. After fighting his way up the depth chart and battling through injuries, he has managed to climb into the starting lineup and has already notched his first career NFL interception.

Seeing as Oruwariye could play a huge part in this team’s future, we caught up with the former Nittany Lion and asked him some questions that you, the fans, provided. Here’s the interview:

We already know the answer from when we talked to Graham Glasgow, but I want to give you the chance to explain yourself: The Sandlot, Mighty Ducks or Space Jam?

“I’ll say Sandlot. Just because I’ve seen it so many times. It’s just a classic. Just so many different parts of the movie that you like as a child growing up. You can just watch it whenever.

Is there a character that you relate to the most?

“Smalls. I don’t know if I relate to him. I just like Smalls’ character.”

What was your Thanksgiving experience like?

“It was solid. It was good. There as a lot of good energy in there. Had the parade out there, so the town was up and going. The game was great. Getting to wear those grey unis was great. So it was a good experience. The fam came up, so it was good.

Is that a tradition you’re looking forward to being a part of every year?

“For sure. Any kind of tradition in Detroit is historic. Definitely, I look forward to experience that this year with this year under my belt. It should be fun.

Did you grow up watching the Thanksgiving game?

“Yeah, I used to watch the games at my Aunt’s house on Thanksgiving and stuff, but I never really put two-and-two together that it was a tradition, that it happened every year. So ain’t realize how long the tradition has been going on, but definitely something I used to do.

What’s the best play you’ve seen a teammate make in the NFL?

“Best play I’ve seen a teammate here make... Kenny (Golladay) has had some pretty crazy catches. I’ll probably say that throw that (Matthew) Stafford had against the Chiefs.

Oh that play between the four defender?

“Yeah, it was like—being a DB, I know how tough it is for tight throws, but I mean a throw like that is like... there’s nothing you can do... you just go back to the huddle and just figure out the next play. I think that’s one of the best plays.

Any nicknames?


Do people call you A.O. or anything like that?

“Nah, I don’t have any. Everyone just call me Amari.”

What’s the worst that someone has butchered your last name?

“Somebody said, ‘Oreo.’”


“But they had to be kidding. It was like one of those icebreakers at school. I was like, ‘Alright, just sound it out. It ain’t that bad.’”

That’s the thing with your last name. Just take your time with it, and it’s not that hard.

“Really, it’s not. If you phonetically spell it (out) too, it’s definitely really not that hard.”

What was it like going against Saquon Barkley in practice?

“Just the way he approaches the game, he’s the ultimate competitor. He must compete at everything on and off the field. Just little things, he loves competing. And he just works hard, pushes his teammates to go to that back-and-forth.

We used to always butt heads. Defense vs. him. And all those guys on offense and just go at it every play. That’s what made us so good, because we competed. So it was good, it was special.”

Was there anyone else in college where you were like, ‘That guy is going to be playing on Sundays?’

“There’s a lot of great players that came through the Big 10. I played when Ezekiel Elliott was there. Lot of guys at Ohio State. Michigan had a lot of guys. I could name so many.”

What was the most nerve-wracking part of the draft process? The Combine? Team interviews? Draft day?

“I wouldn’t say the interview, because that was one of my strong suits. Just knowing how to talk knowing how to speak, that’s how I was raised, and Penn State helped out with that, too.

Wouldn’t say the draft, because that’s out of your control, even though it is a little nerve-wracking.

I would probably just say leading up to the Combine. You work so hard. It’s just trusting your preparation, everything you did over those few months and stuff to just perform. And once I got going, I thought I performed pretty well.”

Was it strange training for drills at the Combine that weren’t necessarily football-related?

“Yeah, the thought of it was definitely strange at first, but then once I got into it... I’ve had teammates and close friends that went through it, so they gave me good advice and tips and everything like that. So once I got there, it was natural.”

Favorite movie?

“I would say Rush Hour 2. Just because Chris Tucker is hilarious. Jackie Chan... that’s just a funny movie. That’s one of my movies I can probably quote the whole movie.”

Aside from speed of the game, what’s the biggest difference between the NFL and college?

“Film study, for sure. I actually got a chance when I went back to Penn State to talk to some other corners in the room, and that’s what I was just reiterating to them. The detail in which these guys study film to is crazy.

We study film at Penn State for sure, and it prepared me to study film here, but not to the level that they do it here. It’s so intense. Just knowing your opponent, knowing what you’re going to go against. It’s players, not plays. That would definitely be the biggest thing.”

Do you think you’ve gotten to know your opponents more than you could have imagined before?

“Right, exactly. Just knowing how the offense uses them. The history behind the offense based on what coach it is and what coaching tree they come from. I don’t know what other NFL teams do that, but they definitely going into strong detail here. So you don’t leave any stone unturned.”

What is your favorite dip for chips?

“My own dip.”

Okay, let’s get into that. What kind of dip are you making?

“So its italian sausage. You get.... oh, I don’t know if I can give a recipe to y’all. It’s only three ingredients, but it’s outstanding.

Is it spicy, creamy?

“It’s not creamy. It’s just bomb. I make it every Super Bowl or National Championship or whatever I have. It’s good. But other than that, I would probably say buff(alo) chicken dip.”

Who has the best car in the locker room?

“I haven’t seen everybody’s car. Like I don’t know whose is whose, but we picked up food for the vets, so I got a chance to drive (Darius) Slay’s G-Wagon, so that was pretty cool, just being inside one of those. Everybody has got some pretty nice cars, though.”

What kind of tells are you looking for when you’re lined up against a receiver?

“Line of scrimmage work. How great he is with his hands. Is he a speed-release guy? Is he a give-you-a-lot-at-the-line guy? Is he fast, in general, game-speed wise? You’ll have a 40-time where some people don’t play that fast, (some) people play faster. How he uses his hands, just everything. Just all throughout the routes, how they run routes, how they fit into the offense. Could you finish at the end of the play with a contested catch. Everything like that, so just trying to find all the details you can.”

Any off-field hobbies?

“I like playing Xbox. Call of Duty, Madden, whatever it is, Fortnite, all that. I like to just hang with the boys, just kick it, hang out. Shop. Traveling. I like all of that.”

Are you playing Call of Duty with all your teammates?

“Oh yeah, I play with some of the guys in the locker room, yeah.”

Pride of Detroit Direct

Sign up now for a 7-day free trial of Pride of Detroit Direct, with exclusive updates from Jeremy Reisman on the ground at Allen Park, instant reactions after each game, and in-depth Lions analysis from film expert Jon Ledyard.