How good can Amobi Okoye be for the Bears?
BY SEAN JENSEN firstname.lastname@example.org August 15, 2011 11:48AM
A former first-round pick of the Texans, Amobi Okoye had both of the Bears' sacks against the Bills in Saturday's pre-season opener. | AP
Updated: August 15, 2011 1:42PM
Amobi Okoye looked like a top-10 player in the Bears’ first pre-season game on Saturday night.
The former Houston Texans first-round pick had both of the Bears sacks, and he also had several other pressures.
But remember this: Okoye was facing backups of the Buffalo Bills, a club that went 4-12 last season.
That’s not to dismiss his performance; Okoye should produce like that.
But he’s used to facing very good players, since he has 58 NFL starts under his belt.
How good can Okoye be?
It’s hard to say at this point, since he’s also stood out at Bears training camp. But, again, he’s generally not facing the starting offensive linemen.
But this is a start, and he’s fired up about being a Bear and working with defensive line coach/ defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli.
“I can’t wait until the regular season gets here,” he said. “Being a Bear felt good. Real good.”
Okoye talked about the “trial” of having the Texans tell him that they were shopping him before eventually releasing him altogether.
“It was a trial period for me, but that’s the thing about football,” he said. “Football is like no other sport. When you get knocked down, you have to get back up.
“That’s what you have to do, and that’s why I love the game.”
Okoye, 24, couldn’t be happier to work with Marinelli.
“Man, Rod is a great, great coach. There’s a lot of things I’ve already gathered from him, through the two weeks that I’ve been here,” he said. “I’m glad I have this opportunity.”
But the defense still doesn’t feel natural to him.
“I haven’t even got it down all the way. I was in a system for four years,” he said of the Texans. “I still have old habits with the old system. I would say I’m only probably halfway through, as far as the mentality you have to have to be in this system. I can’t wait until I get it all down.”