Frank Okam Talks To Joe

December 27th, 2010

Big Frank Okam had a strong game at defensive tackle Sunday against Seattle when the Bucs hammered the Seahawks 38-15. Listed at 6-5, 350 pounds, Okam had six tackles including two behind the line of scrimmage. He was a rookie on Houston in 2008, and the Bucs picked him up last month and put him on the practice squad. Joe caught up with Okam after the game. Joe can attest that Okam is quite articulate and looks surprisingly fit for carrying all that weight. What was different for you today, personally? This was your second start and it was a rough week for the defense against the Lions last week.

Frank Okam: I think that was the main difference —  the second time being out there. Last week was the first time I’ve had a consistent amount of playing time since my rookie year. So it was just more of getting back in the groove of the game and getting confident. After the first week of tape and really seeing what they wanted me to do and their expectations out of the 3-technique, I tried to go out and do it.

Joe: What was the difference in the run defense as a whole today?

Okam: More focus. We were pretty embarrassed about what we put on tape the last couple of weeks, so it was important for us to go out there and stop the run so we could do some things and get them in one dimension. And go out there and blitz them.

Joe: How about all these young players stepping up?

Okam: Basically, I was always told that after your sixth game in the NFL you’re not a rookie anymore. So you can’t use that young rookie status [as an excuse]. At the end of the day you have to beat the guy in front of you. That’s what it’s pretty much all about. …The whole team holds you accountable for what you put on tape, and you don’t want anything bad out there and let anyone down.

Joe: How much more do you think you can accomplish in your next start? After getting another pile of reps in practice this week?

Okam: That’s the most important thing for me: practice and taking one practice at a time. I haven’t played 3-technique since back in college. And just getting back in the groove at that and becoming a guy who can penetrate and be disruptive at that position is key for me. So practice is very important. Understanding game plans and where they want you to fit is very important. I’m just trying to make sure I’m progressing every day. Because if you’re not, they’ll find someone to replace you.

Joe: I’ve heard you’re a monster in the weight room repping some big numbers. What are you benching these days?

Okam: Well, it’s over 500. I haven’t had to max out since college, so I don’t know for sure. But I know the reps are over [500]. I feel good.

5 Responses to “Frank Okam Talks To Joe”

  1. Guest#27 Says:

    This guy is an absolute beast, 350 pounds with a motor, someone we need to develop into a solid NT, so McCoy and Price and run wild.

    I watched him play specifically yesterday, he is strong as an ox.

    I want to see more of him. I have a feeling about this guy, much like I did with Blount.

  2. Bob Says:

    Wish we had some tape on him for yesterday’s game….there were a couple of times yesterday where he literally blasted through the offensive line and broke up the play. He is one big, strong dude. It will be interesting to see how he , Al woods, Roy Miller and Michael Bennett and the rest of that defensive line play against the Saints.

  3. OB Says:

    Note the attitude of Frank and all the other players “The whole team holds you accountable for what you put on tape, and you don’t want anything bad out there and let anyone down.” Did you notice all the “Yes Sirs” in the locker room after the game? This is becoming a very disiplined team that peer pressure is forming into a football machine. How else can all of these new guys/rookies step up to what they are doing, in every game until the end. The coaching obviously is creating the atmosphere and what to do, the players are learning and executing. Yet not a word about them in the national media on the playoff picture or what they are doing.

  4. gotbbucs Says:

    this is the kind of atmosphere that gets young players excited to come to work. there is a “next guy in” mentality that makes them hungry knowing that they will get a shot to play if they perform well in practice or spot duty in a game.

  5. Joe Says: