Chris Gocong has come a long way since sacking quarterbacks at Cal Poly. Six years after being selected in the third round of the 2006 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles, Gocong is enjoying the best success hes had since being in the league.
And in Gocongs eyes, the reason for that success isnt very complicated.
In Cleveland, our defense doesnt change much week to week, I think we kind of perfect the things that we do, Gocong said while making an appearance Saturday at the grand opening of Dicks Sporting Goods in San Luis Obispo. Dick Jauron, I think hes creative and lets us kind of do our own thing. If we have a little bit of input saying this might work, hell totally take that into account. I think his ability to adapt the defense to guys abilities is the biggest thing for us.
Its a bit different than when he was in Philadelphia, or while he was in college at Cal Poly for that matter. With the Mustangs, he predicated his game on his pass rushing ability, becoming Cal Polys all-time sack leader with his total 42 sacks to go with his 212 total tackles.
And after being named the Buck Buchanan Award winner his senior season, Philadelphia made Gocong the 71st overall draft pick in the 2006 NFL Draft.
But after three seasons in the Eagles blitz heavy defense, Philadelphia shipped him to Cleveland with cornerback Sheldon Brown in April 2010.
Hes flourished since.Gocong had a career-best 75 tackles with two sacks in his first year in a Browns uniform, and last season he posted 70 tackles with a career-best 3.5 sacks.
I am having fun, you cant ask for more, Gocong said. The level of play, its very high, but at the same time you feel like youre still just playing a game. Im having a great time. Cleveland, were up-and-coming right now, I think were taking some really good steps for the future.
In taking those steps, Gocong hasnt forgot about his time at Cal Poly. His time playing football, and studying for his biomedical engineering degree, has prepared him well for the rigors of being an NFL athlete.
The biggest thing that really shaped my career is the level of dedication and work that we put in at Cal Poly, Gocong said. Being such a prestigious school and doing engineering, you really have to focus your time. I think its just that work ethic, whether it was in sports or in school being able to work through things and see it pay off.