“It was eye-opening. It was like college, but it was different in that they will take time to correct you, they’re just not happy when they correct you.”
O’Brien played at center at the rookie minicamp. At Ball State he played mostly at guard. He started in 36 games in his four-year career as a Cardinal.
He joined the Gladiators about midway through their season. He said he quickly worked his way into a starting role and that he sometimes goes up against players with NFL experience.
“I came into a good situation in Cleveland,” he said. “I’ve progressively gotten better every week. I’ve corrected small mistakes every week, small technique things I’m learning here that will translate to the outdoors game. I’m putting good film together against good competition.”
The Gladiators are 4-13 but have won two of their last three. They conclude their season Saturday night at the Utah Blaze.
O’Brien thought he might get drafted in the sixth or seventh round last April.
“The day that Round 5 started, Philadelphia called my agent and said they were going to take me in the sixth round. They called back three picks before the pick and said I ended up losing out in the war room and they ended up taking another guard,” he said. “So I was disappointed not getting drafted. But there are disappointments in life and that made me work that much harder and be that much hungrier. I came to Cleveland with a chip on my shoulder. I’m going up against good competition. I want to prove that I’m that type of player. I love the game too much to not be out there.
“If I don’t get in a camp, my goal is to develop as a player in the winter and get with an NFL team for workouts at an OTA camp and try to make a team there.”
O’Brien was an all-state performer at Cass, where he helped lead the Kings to a Class 2A state runner-up finish in 2008.