Posted: 4:55 a.m.
Antwan Odom spent his first off day as the NFL sack leader getting his arms around his first project in the Cincinnati community.
Odom met Tuesday with the administrators of the Avondale Boys and Girls Club to finalize the details of his meet and greet in two weeks that is going to kick off "Antwan's All-Stars," a program geared to helping children and young adults in Greater Cincinnati.
The week before his club-tying five sacks against the Packers on Sunday, Odom met with former line mate John Thornton to outline his ideas and Thornton had to laugh about one line in Tuesday's meeting.
"I think it was their basketball coach who told him, 'I didn't know who you were last week, but I do now,' '' Thornton said. "Antwan wants to get involved and he wants to see what fits, so we're going to try a variety of things. If a guy finds the right fit, he doesn't see it as something he has to do on his day off. He wants to do it."
Odom was sore and tired after becoming the first NFL player ever to log seven sacks in the first two games since sack stats began being kept in 1982. But he climbed in his truck Tuesday to meet Thornton at Paul Brown Stadium and follow him over to Avondale for the meeting.
Thornton, the recently retired Bengals defensive tackle, is helping some former teammates get involved in the community through his company JockBiz. The soft-spoken Odom has kept in touch and invited Thornton to a D-line cookout at his house just before training camp.
"Antwan doesn't say much. He doesn't like attention, but he's looking forward to getting to know the kids," Thornton said. "He just doesn't want to stick in his head and say hello."
How did the NFL sack leader spend his off day?
During a tour of the Avondale facility, Odom saw the study area that the kids use from 3-8 p.m. Those are prime hours designed to keep them off at the street at the most at-risk time, and he mentioned he'd like to give tickets and sponsor field trips for the best students. Another idea is for him to bring over a couple of teammates on an off day and hang out and play games.
"It's kind of funny how it worked out," Thornton said. "It all started before his big day. But it shows how it doesn't really change anything."