“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.