Okoye to dramatically improve in 2009?

Discussion in 'Texans Talk' started by dalemurphy, Feb 17, 2009.

  1. dalemurphy

    dalemurphy Hall of Fame

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    This article from houstontexans.com suggests that Okoye did little off-season strength and conditioning work and that he has made a committment to improve that. Also, it talks about the high ankle sprain hampering him much of the season. It's encouraging to think that he will enter '09 stronger, healthier, and in better condition. Meanwhile, the defense will allow him to use his quickness to make more plays. I'm very encouraged by what could be a group of DTs that make a lot of plays next year. Here's the article:

    Last year did not go according to plan for Amobi Okoye. After recording 32 tackles and 5.5 sacks in his rookie season, the defensive tackle suffered a high ankle sprain and finished with just 24 tackles and one sack in 2008.

    “I started out the season just OK, but as soon things stared getting right for me was when the injury occurred,” Okoye said. “I came back earlier than most expected because the team needed me to come back and I toughed it out for the season. Toward the end of the season, I was happier with my play. Overall, I think the 2008 season wasn’t the season I wanted statistically, but play-wise, I think I took a step forward.”


    "I’m taking a different approach this year. Like I said, I went to the Pro Bowl and it motivated me seeing the guys there knowing that I could be there also." - Amobi OkoyeOkoye, the Texans’ 10th overall draft pick in 2007, would like to make a giant leap forward next season. A month off has allowed his ankle to heal, and since he returned from the Pro Bowl, he has been hitting the gym with newfound motivation.

    “I took January all the way until the Pro Bowl off,” Okoye said. “I went to the Pro Bowl with Mario (Williams), and obviously with that, there is a lot of motivation to go on your own.

    “Last year, coming off my rookie year, I didn’t want to do something unless I was forced to do it. So last year, I didn’t do anything until April. I’m taking a different approach this year. Like I said, I went to the Pro Bowl and it motivated me seeing the guys there knowing that I could be there also. So after the Pro Bowl was over, I came back and started working out.”

    Okoye has been focusing on improving his conditioning and increasing his core strength and is working his way toward heavy press lifting sessions. On Tuesday, he met with new defensive line coach Bill Kollar to review his offseason program.

    Kollar is regarded by many in the league as a hard-nosed coach who gets the most out of his players, and Okoye thinks Kollar can help get him to the next level, especially when it comes to technique.

    “I watched the work he (Kollar) did with the D-line in Buffalo,” Okoye said. “I like the way they came off the ball. I liked the way they got after it. I am looking forward to working with him. I think he’ll be a great addition to the team.”

    Okoye plans to ramp up his workouts until mid-March, when he leaves for a community-building trip in is native Nigeria. The Amobi Okoye Foundation is sponsoring its second mission to the country entitled, "Athletes in the Diaspora:Community Interventions (ADCI)."

    “This program is dear to my heart,” Okoye said. “We have five parts of this program, which include scholarship programs and health care programs. We are starting in Nigeria, but we are planning to expand to different countries.”

    This year, Okoye will be joined by his teammate linebacker Xavier Adibi, as well as Chicago’s Tommie Harris, Israel Idonije and Adewale Ogunleye, the New York Giants' Osi Umenyiora and Oakland’s Nnamdi Asomugha.

    “The program is getting bigger and bigger,” Okoyw said. “When I meet athletes, a lot them say that they want to go back to Africa, and our program is one way they can do that and give back.”
     
  2. b0ng

    b0ng Ooops

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    He better improve next season.
     
  3. DiehardChris

    DiehardChris You betcha!

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    I think he'll rebound, and I think he'll be the biggest beneficiary of ditching the read & react.
     
  4. nunusguy

    nunusguy Hall of Fame

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    Sorry for not sharing all of the optimism, but so far Okoye is just "TJ junior" to me.
     
  5. superdave532

    superdave532 Rookie

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    "Last year, coming off my rookie year, I didn’t want to do something unless I was forced to do it. So last year, I didn’t do anything until April. I’m taking a different approach this year. Like I said, I went to the Pro Bowl and it motivated me seeing the guys there knowing that I could be there also. So after the Pro Bowl was over, I came back and started working out.”

    You have got to be kidding me. No pun intended but what a rookie mistake that was, how does any professional athlete think that they can get by with that sort of work ethic? You can not take that much time off and expect to be ready to go in the NFL. There's no way he trained like this at Louisville and got away with it.

    /Rant

    Anyway, I'm a big fan of Amobi's and I really think he's going to develop into a great DT for us, this was just shocking for me to read. With a serious offseason of working out/conditioning, I think it's going to be much more reasonable to expect a big jump in his production next year.
     
  6. gary

    gary Hall of Fame

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    Give him time he has only been in the league for two seasons and was hurt last season.
     
  7. Old School

    Old School Site Contributor

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    I'm not ready to pass judgement on him yet but right now he isn't looking like a #10 overall.
     
  8. 4Texans

    4Texans Hall of Fame

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    I hope he comes back full force. He's barely old enough to buy a beer now, so he's very young and still got some learning to do.
     


  9. Hervoyel

    Hervoyel The Right Track

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    It's called growing up and it looks like Amobi is doing some of it this year.
     
  10. DiehardChris

    DiehardChris You betcha!

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    This was part of the deal when we drafted him - he's young and immature. Like a lot of us at that age, he's hard-headed and he's going to learn the hard way.
     
  11. Wolf6151

    Wolf6151 Hall of Fame

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    "Last year, coming off my rookie year, I didn’t want to do something unless I was forced to do it. So last year, I didn’t do anything until April. I’m taking a different approach this year. Like I said, I went to the Pro Bowl and it motivated me seeing the guys there knowing that I could be there also. So after the Pro Bowl was over, I came back and started working out.”


    I've got to agree with Superdave, when I read this it says to me that he was basically lazy and didn't want to workout. What's this say about his work ethic or committment to the team for the money he's getting paid. What guarantee is there that this won't happen again this year or next. Very disappointing. I think that if Amobi can find the motivation then he could be great, but this just reminds me of Anthony Weaver, veteran player hanging on and collecting a pay check and setting a bad example for the rookies.
     
  12. DiehardChris

    DiehardChris You betcha!

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    I don't think this is a big deal. I'm glad he's being honest. Mario Williams basically admitted that he was more concerned with buying and playing with his cars than studying his playbook when he was a rookie, and look at him now.

    I'm not condoning the behavior, but unfortunately not everyone has DeMeco Ryans' work ethic.
     
  13. rarazz00

    rarazz00 VOLUME 10

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    He did play play hurt for the 08 campaigne. Remember Mario played w/ a bad foot for most of the season in 06...I think Amobi will be inspired form the Pro-bowl (like he said) and have a great 09 season. Besides Coach Kollar will put his hoof in his arse....and TJ. TOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!:brando:
     
  14. TheRealJoker

    TheRealJoker Hall of Fame

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    Immaturity is the only logical explanation for not working out until April last season. I hoped that Mario would rub off on Amobi but apparently that wasn't the case. Hopefully coach Kollar and the new S&C coach stay on his tail throughout the offseason and make sure he adds the strength necessary to look the part of a top 10 pick this season.
     
  15. Silver Oak

    Silver Oak Hall of Fame

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    I would have rather had him say..."I didn't play to my expectations last season so I'm hitting the gym hard this offseason", versus seeing the guys at the Pro Bowl and thinking you can hang with them.

    meh...either way I'm just glad he's motivated as I wanted big things from him when he was drafted.
     
  16. ArlingtonTexan

    ArlingtonTexan Moderator Staff Member

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    Honestly, this one drawback to drafting a younger player. Trust me, as someone who is around 18-21 year olds for a living, he is not unusual in that regard. A lot of the posters responding are looking at the world through more mature eyes and forget how much they had to be forced (directly or indirectly) when they were college aged (whether in school or not). The hope is that he is not just speaking words, but follows through with the consistent off-season action to make the improvement needed to go beyond just flashing potential.
     
  17. Dapper

    Dapper Veteran

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    Well, he and his teamates had better get in shape. I have a feeling Coach Kollar will get all of their attention and in short order have them flying around full speed 24-7 They darn well better come to camp in shape....... or they better have ear plugs!
    I have 4 sons of my own and they are all different. You can't push the same button on any of them. Okoye is probably a "show me" kind of kid and i'm glad Mario took him to the pro bowl. Believe it or not, sometimes that's all they need. i look for him, and dare i say, t.j. to turn it up a notch. We need that "house of pain" mentality again. I want to be proud of our defense like the Ravens are.
     
    mussop likes this.
  18. BSofA04

    BSofA04 Hall of Fame

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    I willing to give Okoye a pass for taking some time off last season. You have to believe that between his senior season, combine and rookie season, he didn't have all that much time to relax. Combine that with the fact that the guy is 21, I don't blame him for taking a long break last season. Call it your typical sophmore jynx. The good thing is that he has matured and realized that to be a great player he has to put in that extra effort in the offseason. I expect to see the real Amobi Okoye in 2009.
     
  19. Htownsportsfan

    Htownsportsfan All Pro

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    I agree I am F-in speechless!
     
  20. Wolf6151

    Wolf6151 Hall of Fame

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    "Okoye has been focusing on improving his conditioning and increasing his core strength and is working his way toward heavy press lifting sessions."

    I'm not quite sure what heavy press lifting sessions are but it sounds like Amobi is trying to improve his strength and overall conditioning. Although I'm still quite disappointed in him for last years off season, I'm impressed with his new found committment to the team as long as it lasts. If he can stay motivated then I'd look for big things from him next year. Let's also hope that Kollar will have an effect of Travis Johnson as well cause that guy needs some motivation as well. To bad but I don't think Kollar will have much effect of Weaver and he costs too much to cut him.
     

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