“Might Want To Go Ahead And Make That Move”

August 25th, 2011

Frank “Mount” Okam, who filled in for injured Gerald McCoy last year at under tackle, has a big fan in former Bucs defensive end Steve White (1996-2001), the definitive authority on all things Bucs D-line.

Last year, White was calling for Okam to play nose tackle, and now White’s fired up about the results of Okam at the nose against New England, so he said on 1010 AM Tuesday night with Derek “Old School” Fournier.

“This guy’s a gargantuan. Put him at the nose and they won’t be able to move him. And now because of injury they had to throw him in there, and that guy had a really good game. It was really hard for [New England] to move him. There were a couple of times when they tried to block him single with a guard and (laughs) it looked like literally an adult playing with a kid. Like ‘Get off me. Get off me so I can go make this tackle.’ It was kind of ridiculous as a matter of fact,” White said.

“So, you know, I understand why [the Bucs] really can’t, air quotes, play him at nose because there’s kind of a log jam now with guys who were draft picks, but I’m not so sure that he wouldn’t be the best option right now.”

White went on to say he likes Brian Price a lot and acknowledged Roy Miller’s knee injury but Mount Okam is probably top dog regardless.

“You got a healthy Frank Okam who’s really hard to move and has got quite a bit of wiggle for a man that size. You might want to go ahead and make that move right now [to start Okam] and be ahead of the game and get him acclimated to starting at nose tackle,” White said. “And go ahead and start the season with him. If [Price and Roy Miller] are good enough to overtake him after the season starts, then so be it. But right now, for my money, he’s the best nose we’ve got.”

Interestingly, at Raheem Morris’ Wednesday news conference, the head coach responded to a question about Brian Price’s ideal role and talked about the luxury of having Miller and Price at nose tackle, so Miller can play first and second downs and Price pass rush, and occasionally come in earlier in different packages.

There was no mention of Mount Okam.

Joe sincerely hopes the but-we-drafted-him politics aren’t in play for that nose tackle job, as White implied. “Best man up” should always prevail. Raheem himself has glowed about Mount Okam. Joe’s pulling for the man.

7 Responses to ““Might Want To Go Ahead And Make That Move””

  1. flmike Says:

    Okam is a beast, I love him at nose, but he is also a pretty good undertackle, for a man his size, and he is huge, he is quick as hell, he comes off the ball faster than the O-line can move to stop him. Hope he starts, and like Steve said, if Price or Miller proves they are better during the season, then let them start, but as of right now, he’s our best nose tackle. find me on twitter @marnold624

  2. Matt Says:

    This is a great problem to have. Ideally, we’d figure out a way to get all four guys playing regularly and staying fresh throughout the game. But remember, I’m not sure how good Okam or Price’s stamina is at this point, so they may end up being only 20-30 snaps/game guys.

  3. Architek Says:

    I hate that politics come into play but sometimes that’s the difference between the champions and the losers. I know teams like New Orleans, New England, and Green Bay or even Pittsburgh for that fact will play the better man over a draft pick. I remember the humility of the team two years ago and they committed to playing the better man. We will see…

  4. Pete Dutcher Says:

    Teams always use politics when it comes to draft picks over backups, even those teams Architek. That’s why, when injury gives a backup a shot, he runs with it. He has to play so well that benching him will become harder.

    And it is the same with those teams you mentioned. Why? Because backups do not usually get starting team reps, so coaches can look at players and say “Look at that guy, he’s doing good…but it’s not against 1st team players.”

    So when an injury occurs, that’s their chance. And its a good system. It makes a lot of guys play harder. Take Tom Brady for example…he was a backup who went in and ran with it.

    And if they get their chance, they really need to show they’re the better option.

    And example of someone failing is Chris Simms when he was here. He had his chance and never took the spot over.

  5. Dave Says:

    I agree about the “but-we-drafted-him politics”

    It seems they did this with a few guys so far. It is my only knock on the new regime, but it is hard to knock them that much for it because every single team does it and with millions on the line sometimes… it is hard to argue with giving “your guy” who was drafted high a shot.

    From my untrained eye it seems like Okam and McCoy are the best bets with price (when fully healthy) coming in for Okam on passing downs.

    Unless there is something we are not seeing, because if politics came into play full, you’d think Bowers would play over Bennett and that does not seem to be the case heading into the season.

    Of course, Price was the most disruptive, dominate guy at DT in last years training camp, so maybe when he is fully ready to go he is the best option.

    As for Miller… good guy to have in the rotation, but at this point he should be 4th.

  6. TrueBlue Says:

    Anybody know if Price’s injuries have long term implications, or can he expect to regain full health? If this is going to be a career problem with him, Okam may be his replacement. That reattach hamstrings to the bone doesn’t sound like something that would ever be completely right but I don’t even play a doctor on TV.

  7. FLBoyInDallas Says:

    They give the draft picks the benefit of the doubt and every chance to win the spot, yes, but in the end if they aren’t equal to or better than the backup the Bucs will play the best man. It may take a little time but the best player does win out in the end here, thankfully.

    Bennett over Bowers is a great example of a waiver wire pickup starting over a high draft pick.