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Old 09-27-2007   #1
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Default Article on Okoye

Draft snub by Petrino teaches Okoye about business of NFL
By KRISTIE RIEKEN AP Sports Writer


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HOUSTON — The Atlanta Falcons told Amobi Okoye they'd draft him.

Most of the other teams with top 10 picks did, too. But Okoye believed the Falcons since his college coach, Bobby Petrino, had just taken over in Atlanta.

Then the Falcons passed on the defensive tackle at No. 8, and the Texans got him with the 10th pick in a move that taught Okoye an important lesson about the NFL.

"It sunk in that day that this is the NFL and it is a business," he said. "Their heart's not really involved in it. Everybody's got to do what they've got to do, and it wasn't any hard feelings or anything like that."

Okoye will get to play in front of his former coach Sunday when the Falcons host the Texans.

Listening to Petrino, who coached Okoye for four years at Louisville, it's clear his feelings toward Okoye had nothing to do with the decision.

"I loved Amobi," Petrino said. "He was a fun guy to coach. He always came to work with a big smile on his face and a great attitude. We watched him grow up. We brought him in at 15 years old and watched him grow up and mature. He's not only a great football player, but he's a great person."

Petrino said it was difficult not to draft Okoye, but the team needed a defensive end, not a tackle. The Falcons chose Arkansas end Jamaal Anderson.

Okoye said he learned a lot from Petrino and knows the coach will be successful in the NFL, despite Atlanta's 0-3 start.

"He's a heck of a coach, man," Okoye said. "I know what he emphasizes, what he likes to get done. In college, he carried the team just like a professional team, wanted us to handle ourselves like we were in the pros. I know everything he's capable of."

Since Petrino brought many of his assistants with him to the Falcons, Okoye said it will be nice to see all those familiar faces Sunday. It's that thought that excites him about the game, not any lingering anger over the draft-day snub.

"I wouldn't say it's extra motivation," Okoye said. "Even without them telling me they were going to draft me and then didn't draft me, I'd still be extra motivated to go play them because I know a lot of people over there and I'm going against like my old family."

So far, Okoye hasn't needed any extra motivation after getting three sacks in his first two games, including two key takedowns in Houston's come-from-behind win over Carolina two weeks ago. Houston drafted him to improve its pass rush and so far he's been just what the Texans expected.

He joined a line that includes last year's top overall pick in Mario Williams and 2005 first-round selection Travis Johnson.

Petrino wasn't able to keep up with Okoye's progress through the first three games, but got reacquainted with his work Tuesday.

"I didn't sleep well last night because I've been watching video of him all day yesterday," Petrino said. "He's certainly playing well. He's been very active and has done a nice job rushing the quarterback."

He isn't surprised by Okoye's early success after witnessing his smooth transition to college football as a 16-year-old. At 20, Okoye is the youngest man to play in the NFL in 40 years.

"We did bring him in and we felt like he was so young we needed to redshirt him," Petrino said. "After the first 10 days of practice, he was our third-best defensive tackle. So we felt like it was time to play him."

Okoye, who said he hasn't spoken to Petrino since the draft, isn't sure how he'll feel seeing him again, but doesn't want to "predetermine the feeling." Regardless of how he wanted things to go on draft day, he now believes it worked out for the best.

"I'm happy where I am," he said. "I love the situation I was put in and we've got a really good thing going on here."
Many Falcons fans are upset that Okoye wasn't plucked off the board with the #8 pick.

Here is what one guy offered up on the Roost Forum:

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Posted by BarryJ

..."I love the situation I was put in and we've got a really good thing going on here."...


Contrast that with the dark cloud hovering over Falconsland...The Texans are a young team coming together and starting to believe in one another. It shows.

The Falcons? We (or, more accurately, the sheep) lap up the tired old rah-rah tripe spewed forth from such "leaders" as Brooking, Dunn, Horn, Milloy, and Gandy.

(Don't EVER wonder why we suck...)
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Old 09-27-2007   #2
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Default Re: Article on Okoye

Petrino couldn't have predicted that their starting DT would have been injured in a freak accident the day of the draft, though. They must have done something to anger the football gods. Or dogs.
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Old 09-27-2007   #3
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Default Re: Article on Okoye

This game is more than just a Schaub homecoming now.
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Old 09-28-2007   #4
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Default Re: Article on Okoye

That would be great if Amobi and Schaub fire up their respective defense and offense up!
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Old 09-28-2007   #5
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Default Re: Article on Okoye

Well, they're in the MCFaddin sweeps for sure . It was nice for someone else to make a mistake for a change. Thought Smith and Kubiak did a great job with the draft. Musta been some pressure not to take the move down deal.
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Old 09-28-2007   #6
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Default Re: Article on Okoye

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This game is more than just a Schaub homecoming now.
No what it is is a trap game. There is nothing more dangerous than a wounded football team. Someone smarter than me has already posted it, it's a trap game.
They gotta go on the road, where you don't get the calls and you don't get the home cooking and after a dissapointing game preform. They gotta shut down another great tight end, and corral 3 WCO wide outs. The QB gets hot , we turn the ball over and don't pick up the FF's, we're in trouble. The Falcons lose this one they are all playing for next year. Win it and they get to play spoilers. Gotta take care of bussiness. And the first order is do not underestimate this football team. They gotta earn that third one.
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Old 09-28-2007   #7
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Default Re: Article on Okoye

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No what it is is a trap game. There is nothing more dangerous than a wounded football team. Someone smarter than me has already posted it, it's a trap game.
They gotta go on the road, where you don't get the calls and you don't get the home cooking and after a dissapointing game preform. They gotta shut down another great tight end, and corral 3 WCO wide outs. The QB gets hot , we turn the ball over and don't pick up the FF's, we're in trouble. They lose this one they are all playing for next year. Win it and they get ot play spoilers. Gotta take care of bussiness. And the first order is do not underestimate this team. They gotta earn that third one.
No, it is not a trap game.
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Old 09-28-2007   #8
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Default Re: Article on Okoye

Wow. Talk about perspective.

Now ATL is so dangerous because they've been sucking ?

How many of you thought we were a dangerous team when we sucked ?


I wouldn't say this is a trap game because the Texans haven't proven to be an upper echelon team yet. BUT we are the better team. A trap game would be Indianapolis losing to us last Christmas.

Trap games are games that you go into thinking your opponent has no chance. We are the better team, but I don't think anyone is thinking ATL is gonna just roll over or that Houston will simply dominate.
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Old 09-28-2007   #9
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Default Re: Article on Okoye

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Wow. Talk about perspective.

Now ATL is so dangerous because they've been sucking ?

How many of you thought we were a dangerous team when we sucked ?


I wouldn't say this is a trap game because the Texans haven't proven to be an upper echelon team yet. BUT we are the better team. A trap game would be Indianapolis losing to us last Christmas.

Trap games are games that you go into thinking your opponent has no chance. We are the better team, but I don't think anyone is thinking ATL is gonna just roll over or that Houston will simply dominate.
Well you boys just go ahead and visit the ditech guys, get that second mortage, and bet the fram on it then. Indy last year was not a trap game. They had the play offs locked and three DTs and Bob Sanders out. Atlanta has just enough tallent left standing that we go down hill with the turnovers and calls, anything is possible. They walk in there believing the hype they're going to get beat. They don't put the news paper clipings in the "W" column.
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Old 09-28-2007   #10
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Indy last year was not a trap game. They had the play offs locked and three DTs and Bob Sanders out.
If last year's game wasn't a trap game for Indy becasue of those injuries, how can this game be a trap game for us with all of our injuries ?

Think about what you're saying.
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Old 09-28-2007   #11
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Well you boys just go ahead and visit the ditech guys, get that second mortage, and bet the fram on it then. Indy last year was not a trap game. They had the play offs locked and three DTs and Bob Sanders out. Atlanta has just enough tallent left standing that we go down hill with the turnovers and calls, anything is possible. They walk in there believing the hype they're going to get beat. They don't put the news paper clipings in the "W" column.
Yes, but IIRC they were playing that game for a first round bye and home field throughout.

My decoder could translate the remainder of what you're trying to say. Sorry.
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Old 09-28-2007   #12
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If last year's game wasn't a trap game for Indy becasue of those injuries, how can this game be a trap game for us with all of our injuries ?

Think about what you're saying.
becaue Einstien, we are favored and they are precieved as having no chance at competing with us. And that kind of a thought process, especailly on the road, will get your but beat.
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Old 09-28-2007   #13
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becaue Einstien, we are favored and they are precieved as having no chance at competing with us. And that kind of a thought process, especailly on the road, will get your but beat.

But a lot of people thought that we were capable of beating the Colts last year ?

I don't understand how a team still struggling to prove to everyone that they are good can have a trap game..

But a team that has proven to be dominant going up against a poor team isn't a trap game...

I think you have it backwards...JMO...
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Old 09-28-2007   #14
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becaue Einstien, we are favored and they are precieved as having no chance at competing with us. And that kind of a thought process, especailly on the road, will get your but beat.
Are you drunk?

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Old 09-28-2007   #15
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Default Re: Article on Okoye

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becaue Einstien, we are favored and they are precieved as having no chance at competing with us. And that kind of a thought process, especailly on the road, will get your but beat.
Like Indy wasn't favored by a heck of a lot more than 3 on the road against us last year even with their injuries. Guaranteed more people are giving the Falcons a chance against us than were giving us a chance against the Colts last season. We were 0-9 against them going into that game.
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Old 09-28-2007   #16
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But a lot of people thought that we were capable of beating the Colts last year ?

I don't understand how a team still struggling to prove to everyone that they are good can have a trap game..

But a team that has proven to be dominant going up against a poor team isn't a trap game...

I think you have it backwards...JMO...
lol who's dominated who this season ? That is the reason it is a trap game. The Falcons out of your own mouth, "a poor team" has no chance.....think about it some more. We're coming off an emotional loss. They have nothing to lose.
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Old 09-28-2007   #17
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Default Re: Article on Okoye

Can we agree that if we keep our heads focused on the game plan and not incur serious injuries, we should win?
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Old 09-28-2007   #18
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Like Indy wasn't favored by a heck of a lot more than 3 on the road against us last year even with their injuries. Guaranteed more people are giving the Falcons a chance against us than were giving us a chance against the Colts last season. We were 0-9 against them going into that game.
Well cak, when I saw Sanders wan't playing and they had three DTs down, and we're at home....I was prety sure we had a chance.

They match up very well against us. They have big WCO WRs. They have a great TE. They have an elite scat back. All of those thingys are trouble. And I can see that they are a couple of bobbled balls, a couple of turn overs to evening the game out. What these guys are saying is that since we've got more wins than them, they are going to lay down to us. Gonna find out a whole lot about this team come sunday that's for sure. We're on the road. We've just come off an emotional loss. They have nothing to lose. Trap game.
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Old 09-28-2007   #19
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Can we agree that if we keep our heads focused on the game plan and not incur serious injuries, we should win?
I'll buy that one. I'm not foolish enough to dismiss the Falcons out of hand though.
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Old 09-28-2007   #20
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Well cak, when I saw Sanders wan't playing and they had three DTs down, and we're at home....I was prety sure we had a chance.

They match up very well against us. They have big WCO WRs. They have a great TE. They have an elite scat back. All of those thingys are trouble. And I can see that they are a couple of bobbled balls, a couple of turn overs to evening the game out. What these guys are saying is that since we've got more wins than them, they are going to lay down to us. Gonna find out a whole lot about this team come sunday that's for sure. We're on the road. We've just come off an emotional loss. They have nothing to lose. Trap game.
Sorry, but you are just bass ackwards on this one. Exactly what you are saying about the threat they pose on the field is obvious to just about everyone and is why this is not a trap game, i.e. one which a team should be thinking is an easy win. Maybe a few fans are thinking that way, but I think there is zero% chance the Texans are thinking that way. Coming off a loss reinforces the idea that the Texans will take this game seriously rather than lightly. If they had beat the Colts I could see them being overconfident and dismissive of the Falcons--that would be a trap game.
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