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10 questions with Okam


Defensive tackle Frank Okam worked to lose nearly 25 pounds during the offseason.

Defensive tackle Frank Okam took advantage of the additional reps he got during OTAs when Travis Johnson was on the sidelines. Okam, who shed about 25 pounds during the offseason, is looking to compete for a starting job during training camp.

1. You trimmed down before OTAs this year. What motivated you to get into better shape?

"After your rookie season, you have a good feel for what the NFL is all about. I definitely wanted to come into OTAs in better shape than I was last year. So I started working out a lot more. I knew I wanted to compete for a starting job this year, and the best way to give myself a chance to play was to get in better shape."

2. How did you change your workout routine?

"(Strength and conditioning coach) Ray Wright brought in a different style this year. We did a lot more running this year, which I didn't do in college. We also lifted differently. We added more Olympic lifting to help us become more explosive. On my own time, I started to add some spin classes."

3. What do you expect from yourself in your second year in the league?

"I expect to know what I am doing and go out there and make plays. That is my ultimate goal – any shot you get on the field, you have to go out there and make a play to help the team. I think one of the strengths I do bring to the table is that I am a big body who can clog the middle. I have agility and quickness to be able to rush the passer and make things happen up the field. I want to be a guy who can let DeMeco (Ryans) do his thing and be a player who can let our defensive ends get pressure on the quarterback."

{QUOTE}4. What kind of opportunity do you think you have because you are the biggest body on the field for the team?

"Being the biggest guy on the team is what I bring to this team. At the least, I should expect that I will get double-teamed or have to deal with two blockers inside. I need to be the guy who can hold those two guys and make sure the linebackers are running free and don't have to worry about people coming up on them really fast. If I do my job, then they have a better chance of making a play."

5. How did it go working with new defensive line coach Bill Kollar?

"He is a very intense guy. He doesn't hold anything back and he's a straight shooter. He already is motivating me and pushing me to make more plays. I am excited about what he is going to do with our D-line. The guys understand and buy into his system, and I can see us making more plays."

6. How do you see yourself fitting into defensive coordinator Frank Bush's scheme?

"Frank Bush worked with the defensive line last year, so I spent the whole year with him. He was always pushing me about what I could do to get better. One thing people probably don't know about him is what a great motivator he is. He is able to connect with each personality of each player, and he finds the way to get the most out of them. He really has motivated me this year and pushed me to compete to be a starter."

7. What is the biggest thing you want to prove in training camp?

"The only way to separate yourself is to make more plays. I want to come into camp in the best shape; I want to be physical upfront and give guys around me a chance to make plays. If I can do my job by holding two blockers and get someone else free, that will let them make a play. So I have to do my job and then make those extra plays to separate myself."

8. Do you have any fun plans before training camp begins?

"I am going to spend a lot of time working out. My sister is going to move in with me, so I will hang out with her. I plan on trying to get my bowling game back up. We had a bowling event a couple of weeks ago and my team won. So I want to make sure when training camp rolls around and we have our bowling tournament, that I am ready for it."

9. Which team are you most excited to play next season?

"I really love playing the Tennessee Titans and really all the teams in our division. Those games are really physical. But a game that is high on our fans' radar is that last one against the New England Patriots. I am excited to see how those guys play. And the Jets, coming in the with New York media, Thomas Jones and possibly a rookie quarterback in the first game of the season. It's going to an exciting season."

10. The Texans are being compared a lot to last year's Arizona Cardinals. What do you think of that comparison?

"As a player, you enjoy when people say positive things about you or your organization. I hope we can finish with a better record than Arizona did last year. But it's really about getting to the playoffs, getting to the Super Bowl and winning the thing. I would take a comparison to the Steelers; they won the whole thing. Arizona did a great job, but we want to do better."

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