Sleeping might be Ogden's favorite pastime. He's always yawning, rubbing his eyes, always looking like he just took a nap. And if he could somehow make Baltimore's weather resemble the warm, dry, year-round climate he grew accustomed to at UCLA, Ogden would be in ecstasy. In that ideal world, his wardrobe would consist exclusively of shorts, T-shirts and flip-flops.
"We'll get him straightened out with a few nice suits. We'll get him to comb his hair every day. We'll get him to spend some more of that money," said Ravens center Wally Williams, referring to Ogden's seven-year, $15.5 million contract, which included a $6.8 million signing bonus.
As he observes Ogden sitting at his locker horsing around with some fellow linemen, Williams addressed his teammate's elusive mean streak.
"You wouldn't think he's tough, because J.O. isn't what I would call physically intimidating. He's tall, but he's not what I would call a monster. Zeus [right tackle Orlando Brown, 6-7, 350 pounds] is a monster," Williams said.
"J.O. is just a real tall guy with an Afro who likes to smile all the time. But on that field, once he gets those long arms on you and throws you around a few times, you will be intimidated. His attitude changes when he gets between those white lines."
"He's not someone I would look forward to facing on Sunday. I don't think I've played against anyone as good as him," said Ravens right defensive end Michael McCrary, last year's AFC sack leader, who signed with the Ravens as a free agent and faces Ogden weekly in practice.
"He has all the physical tools, and he stays cool and collected out there. That's important for a tackle, because a guy can throw you off your game if he beats you with a great move. He doesn't let that happen."
Ogden realizes he is blessed with uncommon gifts. The long legs that anchor such a wide base, forcing defenders to go around him and, often, out of the play. The quick feet that negate the slickest finesse moves. The ability to change directions quickly enough to offset the most unpredictable pass rushers. The long arms that keep defenders at bay.
Ogden has known it since he became a starter as a first-year freshman at UCLA, where he took on USC pass-rushing sensation Willie McGinest, now a star with the New England Patriots.
"McGinest came into that game with his 15 sacks, and I just shut him down," Ogden said. "I didn't face any great athletes until I got to college. But I was already so big and coordinated, I just kind of engulfed everybody.
"I like to think that if I'm playing at my top level, they have to deal with me, not the other way around. And if I have a tough day, it means I'm not playing well."
Kirk Ferentz, Ravens offensive line coach, finds himself already taking Ogden for granted. Ogden consistently gets the highest grades among the team's linemen. Ferentz marvels at his studious approach to the game.
When Ogden joined the team as a rookie, the Ravens moved him inside to left guard. He needed about a week of training camp to get comfortable with the position, which requires fewer one-on-one battles as a pass protector and more physical run blocking against 300-pound tackles. He gave up only one sack and earned All-Rookie honors at a spot he had never played. The Ravens then made room for Ogden by trading left tackle Tony Jones to the Denver Broncos.
By Ferentz's count, Ogden needed about two preseason games to readjust to his old spot.
"I don't want to say it's effortless, but [Ogden] is so efficient. He grasps things so quickly in terms of schemes and making decisions from play to play," Ferentz said. "He's made the transition with very few mistakes. As a coach, you try to stay out of his way and not screw him up. He's never satisfied with himself. He's driven."
New York Jets player personnel director Scott Pioli has watched Ogden's development from two vantage points. Pioli worked with the Ravens last year. With the Jets, he has scouted Ogden extensively on videotape.
Not missing a beat
"When you move from guard to tackle, you're lined up against the opponent's best lineman or best pass rusher nine times out of 10," Pioli said. "You're operating on an island, in a lot of space, with no help. Jonathan hasn't missed a beat. With either move.
"Because he keeps such a wide base, it looks like you can run him over, but he absorbs power and doesn't give ground. For a guy his size and height, he has tremendous ability to bend his knees and create leverage. He has tremendous natural explosion for a guy so tall. With his physical skill, work ethic and intelligence, he is a potential NFL superstar."