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Lawrence Okoye Thread of Epic Awesomeness

Holy toledo! Did anyone happen to catch the drills of Okoye, (former rugby player, then discus thrower) when working on the DL (or OL) drills of the 3 tire drill? That is where there are 3 tires,( like 3 players), and the coach moves the football from one slot to the next, and then next and then back again...with Okoye moving virtually as fast as the coach could move the ball. My gosh, the guy looks like a huge cat. He moves like a really quick RB, back and forth, back and forth, following the ball with jumps to the slot the line coach points to. If I didn't know he was 303, I would have guessed he was 210-215. Jeez is that guy quick. I will just say this. It is not a NFL game, but Okoye is without a doubt the quickest, most nimble huge man I have ever seen. I know he doesn't know football, but hey, rugby isn't that different...minus the scrums. And the quickness. NFL is light yrs faster than rugby. No slight intended on rugby guys because they have beaten the tar out of me. But watching Okoye literally bounce back and forth between tires, was absolutely incredible. I not only think he makes the team, I believe he plays...either DL or possibly OL, but watching how fast the guy can move, and for how long, I believe he moves up to a credible relief man for justin or aldon...if we were to play Aldon, justin , big mac, and okoye, it would be a nightmare DL for opponents. Watch the replay on local web channel of 9ers. You will not believe your eyes. Incredible moves for a 300 pounder. INCREDIBLE!

And that was just his legs. We all know how strong his upper body is...and LONG ARMS. Good grief, it may just have been one day, and one drill, but no question there is no big man faster than OKOYE that I have seen in NFL. It would be interesting to see how fast Aldon is on that drill, but I bet okoye would be faster. Wholly Cow! You gotta see this local channel 9ers TC footage...sorry, OTA .
[ Edited by pasodoc9er on May 14, 2013 at 2:34 PM ]
Originally posted by 5280High:
The real question is how will he hold up to the mental aspect of trench warfare? Chop blocks, tackle traps, and crack backs aren't all that fun if you dont have that nasty all out mentality. D-line is mostly about muscle memory and leverage at its core, doesnt take a genius to read run or pass... but it does take a little bit of crazy to play in the trenches.

This is the big point for me, you either enjoy all hell breaking loose or not.
  • AmpLee
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Originally posted by 5280High:
The real question is how will he hold up to the mental aspect of trench warfare? Chop blocks, tackle traps, and crack backs aren't all that fun if you dont have that nasty all out mentality. D-line is mostly about muscle memory and leverage at its core, doesnt take a genius to read run or pass... but it does take a little bit of crazy to play in the trenches.

This is exactly it. If he has that nasty demeanor, he will succeed. It's as simple as that. That being said, tons of big dudes are softies in the nasty department so it's not a given.
  • Ether
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Originally posted by pasodoc9er:
Holy toledo! Did anyone happen to catch the drills of Okoye, (former rugby player, then discus thrower) when working on the DL (or OL) drills of the 3 tire drill? That is where there are 3 tires,( like 3 players), and the coach moves the football from one slot to the next, and then next and then back again...with Okoye moving virtually as fast as the coach could move the ball. My gosh, the guy looks like a huge cat. He moves like a really quick RB, back and forth, back and forth, following the ball with jumps to the slot the line coach points to. If I didn't know he was 303, I would have guessed he was 210-215. Jeez is that guy quick. I will just say this. It is not a NFL game, but Okoye is without a doubt the quickest, most nimble huge man I have ever seen. I know he doesn't know football, but hey, rugby isn't that different...minus the scrums. And the quickness. NFL is light yrs faster than rugby. No slight intended on rugby guys because they have beaten the tar out of me. But watching Okoye literally bounce back and forth between tires, was absolutely incredible. I not only think he makes the team, I believe he plays...either DL or possibly OL, but watching how fast the guy can move, and for how long, I believe he moves up to a credible relief man for justin or aldon...if we were to play Aldon, justin , big mac, and okoye, it would be a nightmare DL for opponents. Watch the replay on local web channel of 9ers. You will not believe your eyes. Incredible moves for a 300 pounder. INCREDIBLE!

And that was just his legs. We all know how strong his upper body is...and LONG ARMS. Good grief, it may just have been one day, and one drill, but no question there is no big man faster than OKOYE that I have seen in NFL. It would be interesting to see how fast Aldon is on that drill, but I bet okoye would be faster. Wholly Cow! You gotta see this local channel 9ers TC footage...sorry, OTA .

The weird thing is, I've been thinking... Why isn't he lining up at RB, at least for limited situations? Put him in when it's 3rd and 2 and I question if even Patrick Willis can tackle a 6'6 300 lb monster who runs a 4.7 in a 1v1 situation. Put him in purely for short running plays, because blocking schemes is where it gets complicated for someone who's never played football before (it's complicated for anyone who HAS played football before).
Originally posted by kunged:
Haha, looks like (if he ever makes it) he will have a signature move already!

I've only thrown discuss a few times (when I was much younger), but from what I remember and maybe you can clarify, it can be a real help for his footwork.

Footwork is extremely important in discus, but I see his disk work helping him generally with balance and agility more than a specific commonality with any football movements. The spin move wouldn't even transfer over directly, as the mechanics are completely different, but he should have exceptional rotational balance (if he ends up being a guy who uses spin moves frequently)

Originally posted by jreff22:
If you did (is that the right word?) discus I will take your stance that getting it down is hard. But I ask, once you have the motion down is there really that much more to it? I would assume it would fall back to muscle memory after a while. With the complexity of an offensive system coupled with numerous blocking assignments and specific defensive assignments and adjustments...this is never really muscle memory. I would say the technique will become second nature after awhile (what should be easy for him) but the chess game is never static.

I don't think he cant succeed, I just think the transition period for him to "get it" (upstairs) at game speed, will take time. Yes, Tomsula is a great coach but I can point to Balmer and say he cant make gold out of everything.

I think every sport is much more complicated than it looks. You need to constantly tweak technique as a thrower, based on internal (muscle tightness, fatigue, weight gain/loss, new/old shoes, sickness: it affects balance) and external (weather, surface inconsistencies, surface friction, wind, competition). Some meets the weather is garbage and the competition is weak, so you keep everything tight, throw safe, and win. Other days the weather is perfect, the surface is good, and you are throwing against a beast. You increase force and rotational speed, which increases likelihood of a fault or a disadvantageous angle of release, but opens the possibility of a huge throw. Sometime you get in 2 good safe throws and let 'er rip the rest of the way. These are a few of the factors I can think of that keep discus dynamic, and I guarantee that I never received nor gave the type of detailed coaching that Okoye received.

Like I said, I thought football was easier to get down, but I also liked it a LOT more.
  • buck
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Originally posted by jreff22:
Originally posted by WRATHman44:
I've thrown discus and I played football up through college, and I've also coached both. I can tell you that discus was MUCH more difficult to learn. There are SO MANY technical aspects that must be in sync at all times to prevent an awful attempt. You can't even start throwing hard for weeks, because everything your body WANTS to do is wrong. Once you start throwing hard, it can take a LONG time before you develop the balance, agility, footwork, and spatial awareness to start spinning. You can't compensate for technical deficiencies with raw athleticism if the disc is flying into the crowd end over end (the reaction is pretty hilarious, though, as long as no one gets hit)
If you did (is that the right word?) discus I will take your stance that getting it down is hard. But I ask, once you have the motion down is there really that much more to it? I would assume it would fall back to muscle memory after a while. With the complexity of an offensive system coupled with numerous blocking assignments and specific defensive assignments and adjustments...this is never really muscle memory. I would say the technique will become second nature after awhile (what should be easy for him) but the chess game is never static.
The man did the discuss, and he played football. According to him, and he has experience doing both and coaching both, the discuss was "MUCH more difficult to learn." Having never done this discuss and having played less football, I will accept his evaluation.
Originally posted by jreff22:

I don't think he cant succeed, I just think the transition period for him to "get it" (upstairs) at game speed, will take time. Yes, Tomsula is a great coach but I can point to Balmer and say he cant make gold out of everything.

I think that most people understand that it will take Okoye time to learn to play football.

Nobody said, as far as I know, that Tomsula can make gold out of everything. Tomsula is not an alchemist.
He is a football coach.

One of the challenges he faces as a football coach is to teach Okoye how to play football well enough to play in the NFL.
I am going to guess that he has at least one year to do that.
[ Edited by buck on May 14, 2013 at 3:05 PM ]
Ether , that's a good point, but I guess the answer is this guy is so athletic he probably could play anywhere. CB would be interesting, but way too much technique learned over yrs for that. I thot , oh boy, another Bill Walsh olympic sprinter WR project. Not so. Okoye can and I bet will start somewhere on the lines, DL, maybe OL, and he would be hell on wheels with football in his hands....say from the five yd line? I cannot believe an athlete can be so nimble, quick, fast strong, smart....as Okoye, and not become a starter somewhere on this team. After Coach Walsh's fiasco, i never thot it was worth the effort. Okoye changed my mind on that. The guy is a natural, and probably could play TE, LB, OL, DE...and carry the ball a few times in close. I am not exaggerating. Watch this guy. Amazing, just amazing.
Originally posted by pasodoc9er:
Ether , that's a good point, but I guess the answer is this guy is so athletic he probably could play anywhere. CB would be interesting, but way too much technique learned over yrs for that. I thot , oh boy, another Bill Walsh olympic sprinter WR project. Not so. Okoye can and I bet will start somewhere on the lines, DL, maybe OL, and he would be hell on wheels with football in his hands....say from the five yd line? I cannot believe an athlete can be so nimble, quick, fast strong, smart....as Okoye, and not become a starter somewhere on this team. After Coach Walsh's fiasco, i never thot it was worth the effort. Okoye changed my mind on that. The guy is a natural, and probably could play TE, LB, OL, DE...and carry the ball a few times in close. I am not exaggerating. Watch this guy. Amazing, just amazing.

We know he's an athletic freak. We don't know though how he will be as a football player once all the pads go on and you have to start hitting people Who knows if he's ready for the physicality of the sport. He is huge and incredibly strong, but that doesn't mean that he's physical. Will his strength go to waste because of terrible technique and terrible leverage? These are the things that Tomsula has to coach him up on and I hope that he gets. If he can play physical and knows how to use his strength and learns the appropriate leverage and technique then there is no reason he can't succeed. However, there is a chance the guy just doesn't have what it takes to be a football player.

A similar situation can be seen with Brock Lesnar. He is another athletic freak who has excelled in nearly everything he's done (WWE and UFC). He was another guy who was nearly 300 pounds, ran a 4.7, and was incredibly strong. He never really panned out in the NFL for one reason or another, whether it was lack of experience or he just simply wasn't a football player.

Now I'm hoping Tomsula can channel all of these freak attributes that Okoye possess into something special, but it's probably best we don't get our hopes up!
Once the vets come in, my guess is Okoye's focus turns to special teams. It's unrealistic to think he can earn any type of playing or meaningful practice reps at D-line or any other position in year 1, since there are limited reps to go around. But on special teams he can come in and contribute from Day 1 as a wedge buster or punt protector.
Actually, 5280, if i were returning a KO, and saw this man coming at me, I would reach for the rosary, bend over and kiss my azz good bye. Granted, the most likely spot they can put him is STs and do so quickly. I just can't imagine this huge man on STs. He is fearsome. True, he never has had NFL pads on and been on the field. But after our BW sprinter(forgot his name), i was turned off by other sport "projects". i've seen a lot of football since the late 50s, and played only intramurals after hi school. Still i have seen that drill hundreds of times, done it more times than that, but NEVER have i seen a huge man as agile as OKOYE. Man i hope he makes the team and then after a yr or so, they figure out where he would fit best. Right now, I would guess DL, probably DE, because he is so quick.

p52 beasty, as to the question does he like contact, rugby is not for sissies with no pads and big bruisers...who do just that...bruise you. Okoye has been exposed to that with rugby, so he already knows he likes to hit. If he had been a high hurdler, maybe I would worry. But besides the discus, the guy played rugby? Sounds like a match to me....but i agree, some poor suckers are going to have to return kickoffs against this guy while he plays special teams. Good luck. I know he had a good 40 time, but i cannot think of what he would look like with a 40 yd head of steam going after a kick returner.
[ Edited by pasodoc9er on May 14, 2013 at 4:48 PM ]
My prediction...

2 Years practice squad
2 years back up
1 year situation playing time
Next year full time starter

Much later....

Voted into the HOF

Not just the 49ers, but the NFL retires his number like the NHL did Gretzky.

OK, maybe I got carried away, but I bet you at a minimum he sees playing time at some point.
  • LVJay
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Originally posted by brodiebluebanaszak:
Originally posted by buck:
You want to lock a thread about a member of the team, because you do not think he will last long on the team.

That is bloody wanking preposterous.

By the way, Renaldo Nehemiah played three years for the 49ers.
He played in 40 games had 43 receptions for 754 yards and 4 touchdowns.

Compare him to Kyle Williams.

Williams has played three years for the 49ers.
He has played in 29 games has 35 receptions for 461 yards and 4 scores.


Stop raging dude.

I am facetious about locking the thread.

But it's not a bad idea to prevent a lot of aimless speculation about a guy who just may simply decide he doesn't want to get beat up for a living.

Thanks for showing me up on the Nehemiah thing too. What's the point of comparing Nehemiah, an expensive bust, with Kyle Williams whose most recent season was cut short with a knee injury? I don't get it. All I'm saying is that the worlds best 440 hurdler came into camp with combine numbers to die for and eventually decided he really wasn't into getting smacked in the face.

It's a "risk" for those who come into football late. ALthough, really, it's common sense for most people with other wage earning options.
(IF) he gets a chance and excells, he could be the one doing the "smacking" to opposing teams' players -- that would be nice...
  • LVJay
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Originally posted by BrianGO:
Originally posted by mug0mug:
If they're children then he's a child. Look what he looked like as a child. He was 17 or 18 in that pic, same as the others.

He's physically freakish and worth spending nothing more than some time and effort on.


He's a mutant. I don't care if he was 3 years old in that pick. With his grotesque physical advantage, he should have dominated. If he can't utterly dominate against teenagers, what the heck is he going to do against Mike Iupati?

That's great... I like mutants, especially X-Men. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles are alright, too. From my observations, "mutants" develop faster than humans/normal humans.

I kinda thought he was a mutant, as well, but I didn't really want to say anything just yet. I'm glad you mentioned it, however. That's awesome, I'm not alone... still, is it just a notion or is it factual/is he indeed a "mutant" ??

I believe it to be true, but I don't think anyone will believe it and go public with it. I think the coaches will keep this under the cuff (TOP SECRET). Now, if that's the case, it's no wonder they snagged him... the FO must have been tipped off (after the draft) and knew they were getting over on the rest of the league. It's no wonder Tomsula is giving him all the attention, knowing that mutants develop faster than humans.

I wonder if he has any supernatural traits/gifts/powers... I wonder what his mutant age is, 3 yrs old, 10 or 15 yrs old

What will become of this Man-Child "Mutant" ????????
Originally posted by pwillis52beasty:
Originally posted by pasodoc9er:
Ether , that's a good point, but I guess the answer is this guy is so athletic he probably could play anywhere. CB would be interesting, but way too much technique learned over yrs for that. I thot , oh boy, another Bill Walsh olympic sprinter WR project. Not so. Okoye can and I bet will start somewhere on the lines, DL, maybe OL, and he would be hell on wheels with football in his hands....say from the five yd line? I cannot believe an athlete can be so nimble, quick, fast strong, smart....as Okoye, and not become a starter somewhere on this team. After Coach Walsh's fiasco, i never thot it was worth the effort. Okoye changed my mind on that. The guy is a natural, and probably could play TE, LB, OL, DE...and carry the ball a few times in close. I am not exaggerating. Watch this guy. Amazing, just amazing.

We know he's an athletic freak. We don't know though how he will be as a football player once all the pads go on and you have to start hitting people Who knows if he's ready for the physicality of the sport. He is huge and incredibly strong, but that doesn't mean that he's physical. Will his strength go to waste because of terrible technique and terrible leverage? These are the things that Tomsula has to coach him up on and I hope that he gets. If he can play physical and knows how to use his strength and learns the appropriate leverage and technique then there is no reason he can't succeed. However, there is a chance the guy just doesn't have what it takes to be a football player.

A similar situation can be seen with Brock Lesnar. He is another athletic freak who has excelled in nearly everything he's done (WWE and UFC). He was another guy who was nearly 300 pounds, ran a 4.7, and was incredibly strong. He never really panned out in the NFL for one reason or another, whether it was lack of experience or he just simply wasn't a football player.

Now I'm hoping Tomsula can channel all of these freak attributes that Okoye possess into something special, but it's probably best we don't get our hopes up!

For the realists in here, we care much less about his freakish physical ability than we do about some other very important things. The things that truly excite many of us are his drive, determination, and intellectual superiority compared to the vast majority of the NFL. This guy has an Oxford scholarship in his name and was an incredibly successful Olympian despite having far less time to train than the other athletes. If his smarts and insatiable fervor to be great can catapult Okoye into where his ceiling currently sits (which is massive), there's GREAT reason to be ECSTATIC.

Now, this remains to be seen, but when you look at this guy's track record, he's given us nothing but reason to believe he CAN do it. His past provides the evidence that would make you believe he can develop the knowledge, skills, and abilities to use his superior God-given physical nature to be a successful NFL pro.

Now do we have a crystal ball and know for sure? No way. Heck no. But we can make an educated hypothesis, and based on solid logical reasoning, we can hope for the best.
[ Edited by OnTheClock on May 14, 2013 at 6:18 PM ]
Originally posted by pasodoc9er:
Actually, 5280, if i were returning a KO, and saw this man coming at me, I would reach for the rosary, bend over and kiss my azz good bye. Granted, the most likely spot they can put him is STs and do so quickly. I just can't imagine this huge man on STs. He is fearsome. True, he never has had NFL pads on and been on the field. But after our BW sprinter(forgot his name), i was turned off by other sport "projects". i've seen a lot of football since the late 50s, and played only intramurals after hi school. Still i have seen that drill hundreds of times, done it more times than that, but NEVER have i seen a huge man as agile as OKOYE. Man i hope he makes the team and then after a yr or so, they figure out where he would fit best. Right now, I would guess DL, probably DE, because he is so quick.

p52 beasty, as to the question does he like contact, rugby is not for sissies with no pads and big bruisers...who do just that...bruise you. Okoye has been exposed to that with rugby, so he already knows he likes to hit. If he had been a high hurdler, maybe I would worry. But besides the discus, the guy played rugby? Sounds like a match to me....but i agree, some poor suckers are going to have to return kickoffs against this guy while he plays special teams. Good luck. I know he had a good 40 time, but i cannot think of what he would look like with a 40 yd head of steam going after a kick returner.

Yeah he played rugby, which means he has experience in a physical sport. But playing rugby against 16 year olds half your size is a whole lot different than the NFL where you're going against full grown men trying to take your head off.