Bigger and better, Saints defensive end Obum Gwacham ready for big changes after Hau’oli Kikaha injury _lowres

Advocate staff photo by SCOTT THRELKELD -- Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston (3) eludes New Orleans Saints defensive end Obum Gwacham (58), New Orleans Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan (94) and New Orleans Saints cornerback Damian Swann (27) as he scrambles during the fourth quarter Sunday, Sept. 20, 2015, at the Mercedes-Benze Superdome.

When the Saints claimed Obum Gwacham off of waivers to begin the season, all the raw sixth-round pick wanted was a chance to get on the active roster early.

Gwacham got that opportunity on Sunday.

Used as a pass rusher in New Orleans’ sub-packages — including a NASCAR package that featured Gwacham, Hau’oli Kikaha, Kasim Edebali and Cam Jordan as four speed rushers — the rookie defensive end from Oregon State got eight snaps on defense.

For Gwacham, being active was a reward for two hard weeks trying to prove he belonged in practice.

“I wanted to show the coaches that I was someone that could get after the quarterback,” Gwacham said. “Even during scout team, I tried to show quickness off the ball, and I tried to get to Brees as much as I could.”

Gwacham made an impact, recording one quarterback hurry and one quarterback hit, according to Pro Football Focus, to earn a 1.3 grade from the independent agency.

Now, he hopes he’s proven he can be an asset to the Saints’ defense.

“We made it our No. 1 mission to try to affect Jameis, and I felt like we did a pretty good job of that,” Gwacham said. “We got him moving his feet out of the pocket, he didn’t look like he was comfortable at all.”