Originally posted by nannite:
Okoye earned a trip to the olympics after only 3 years of training. He got accepted to a pre-law program at Oxford.
Lets assume that:
-he knows the difference between hard work and *really* hard work
-he is smart enough to fully comprehend that difference.
-when he says something, he puts more thought and brains into his statements than the average poster on this board.
He has to learn multiple techniques across the dline. He is probably starting off with the 3/4 technique and the 5 technique. Which requires a lot of mental training as well as physical training. The fact that he finds the mental aspect hard doesnt mean he is unprepared for full contact.
His statements can be interpreted a number of ways. Its pointless speculation to over analyze too much in the off season. Its even worse when people start cherry picking harbaughs statements and come up with wacky theories.
My guess is that his statement was meant to show that hes working his ass off. he probably assumed that his statements would be interpreted with his history in mind; that we would give him the benefit of the doubt because he has shown an ability to succeed despite tremendous odds before. But we didn't, we took the most simplistic interpretation of his statements.
Spot in IMHO. We are talking about a very cerebral person/player here. You don't become an Olympic medalist in anything unless you are an absolute perfectionist and are fully dedicated to your craft. This is a VERY young man who is putting off a supreme academic career. The only real question at this point isn't the experience as much as it is his dedication and long term commitment to the sport and 49ers. IF he is genuinely dedicated, this clean slate will learn the game at the pro level from the best coaches in the game. He won't be "unlearning" poor techniques he's picked up from past experience. Any developmental psychology professor will tell you it's much easier to take a clean slate and develop it properly vs. having to unlearn poor habits that have now become "instinct."
As a result, it's going to take him longer to learn everything
...like Alex learning a new offense every year. Can he really do it in one off season? Probably not...the odds are against him but at the same time, he's in a perfect position b/c we are a team who has the time and patience (and resources) to develop players properly (CK, Jenkins, Lockette, LMJ and now, Dial, Tank and Lattimore).
Another thing to consider is that we aren't talking about a QB position here either. We are talking about learning the 3-4 DE position in a pretty vanilla, straight-up 3-4. The biggest challenges will be knowing his own assignments (where to line up, rush, occupy two, seal the edge, read and react on run vs. passing plays, screens, reverses, drop back) and then technique (leverage, hand work, firing off the LOS vs. staying back, wrapping up, etc.).
Between Tomsula and J.Smith and with a clean slate, I think his biggest challenge is convincing Fangio (hard task) that there won't be THAT big of a drop off in production with him subbing in for Justin. Dial and Tank share this same challenge but both have injuries right now so Okoye will get all the snaps which will favor his development that much more. It will be fun to watch once the pads come on.
Commitment is the biggest question-mark though IMHO. If he is serious and wants to make a career of this, this coaching staff will give him every opportunity. Then his developmental progress will determine where he goes from there (make the 53 but not dress up, make the 46 and plays, practice squad, etc.).
[ Edited by NCommand on Jul 1, 2013 at 10:45 AM ]