Bears give Amobi Okoye, Marion Barber Jr. fresh starts
BY MARK POTASH email@example.com July 31, 2011 12:04AM
Defensive tackle Amobi Okoye (top) didn’t live up to his potential with the Texans but could become a force under Rod Marinelli. | Bob Levey~Getty Images
Updated: November 5, 2011 5:19PM
BOURBONNAIS, Ill. — The Bears mined the waiver wire for depth on the defensive line Saturday by acquiring former Houston Texans defensive tackle Amobi Okoye, the 10th pick of the 2007 draft.
They also agreed to terms with running back Marion Barber Jr., who was cut by the Dallas Cowboys last week.
Okoye was a disappointment with the Texans after getting 5½ sacks as a 20-year-old rookie in 2007. He started 58 games, with 138 tackles, 11 sacks, two forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries.
But the 6-2, 315-pound native of Nigeria still is only 24 after four seasons in the NFL and might prosper under defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli.
Barber, 28, is coming off a disappointing season with the Cowboys. He had 113 carries for 374 yards and four touchdowns.
First-round pick Gabe Carimi played with the second unit at left tackle Saturday. Like all the newcomers, he’ll have a tougher chance to make an impact because of the lockout.
‘‘Obviously you’d want more time to be in there,’’ Carimi said. ‘‘But I believe in my abilities to pick up plays and be able to make a difference right away.’’
With recently signed linebacker Nick Roach unable to play until Thursday, rookie J.T. Thomas, the sixth-round pick from West Virginia, practiced with the first team.
Defensive tackle Anthony Adams broke up a defensive meeting Saturday with an impression of coach Lovie Smith:
‘‘I think they thought he was in [the room],’’ Adams said. ‘‘He comes in after everyone else, so I did an impersonation of him and everybody turned around.
‘‘First off, guys, we gotta beat Green Bay,’’ he said in his ‘‘Lovie’’ voice. ‘‘I started the meeting off like that and guys were turning around. Then the noticed it was me and started laughing.’’