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Smith discusses Okam


Okam finished his career as a Longhorn with 160 tackles and 10 sacks.

Defensive coordinator Richard Smith talked to the media about University of Texas defensive tackle Frank Okam, who the Texans drafted in the fifth round.

Defensive coordinator Richard Smith
(on the Texans fifth round pick Frank Okam) "What's nice about it is we got a guy from Texas. He's from Dallas, he went to the University of Texas and we had him in here a couple of days ago. We brought him in and interviewed him again, just to go through in terms of his passion of the game. What you have here is a big football player. He brings a size and dimension that we don't have with our defensive line. This guy is 6-4 ½. I think at the combine he was 347 pounds and I think he played at 335. So that's a size you are looking for, especially in our league where you have to stop the run. We think he has that type of ability. Plus, the size of this man; he is also a very good athlete. We like the way he can bend, he can change directions and a very good body and core balance. Why did he drop to the fifth round? Well, his play was very inconsistent this year. That's our job as coaches to get it out of them. We think he's got great potential and we're pleased to have them."

{QUOTE}(on weight concerns of Okam) "No, when you see this guy with his shirt off, you will see him when he comes in here that he looks good. He was a little heavy at the combine, but like I said he was down to 335. He's a big man. He's got long legs, about 34 inch arm length. He probably has the biggest hands in the combine which is very important for defensive guys to be able to grab onto people and get rid of them - size 11 hands, so for most things, he got all those measurables that you look for. The thing that excites us most about this kid is his size and athletic ability. We're excited to work with him this upcoming mini-camp."

(on how Texans will utilize Okam) "When you look at us on our inside at our defensive tackle position, you have Travis Johnson, who had a great year, and you have Amobi Okoye, who is a three technique, and behind him, you got (Anthony) Maddox. We're really a little bit under sized inside. We're excited about this guy because he has the athletic ability that he can play either position. Whatever the position may be, that's going to work its way out in time. We were excited because coming into the draft, we were looking for a bigger inside player. I know everybody reads and talks about us getting another pass rusher, everybody in the country would like that. But at this particular time in the draft, we were fortunate to get this big man. And, like I said, we are excited because of his athletic ability and his promise that he has."

(on playing with other defensive tackles) "When you come in here you are always looking for youth. With good competition at each position, I think he will do that. Once again, it's all right wishing and we think we're right. Once again, he has to come and prove it and we have to do a good job of coaching him too."

(on questioning Okam's heart) "This guy is very intelligent. When you talk to him, he is working on his law degree and things like that. What I just wanted to do when he came here to meet with us was to see how important football was to him. You can have all the talent in the world and if a guy doesn't have it right here in his heart and have the passion to play this game - because it's a hard game to play then you is wasting a pick. Our time here spent together, he said the right things I wanted to here. It wasn't where anybody prepped him on the questions, because I had his strong points and weak points written down and I think that's sometimes good for him. And we're fortunate that we were able to get him at that pick."

(on what type of Okam will be) "He could play either he could play 3 or he could play nose (tackle) or he could also because he's such a big man who people have him playing 3-4 and said he could be a zero technique. He is a big man that has the athletic ability. When we looked at him he had the ability to bend his knees, change direction and he's got good body balance. He's got hip rotation were he can turn his hips and scant. He's had like 11-16 sack in his career, but anytime you have 335-pound guy you're getting a guy who would be able to plug holes in for you."

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