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Okoye Feeling Effects Of Long Season

                  Houston Texans defensive tackle Amobi Okoye

Houston Texans defensive tackle Amobi Okoye shouldn’t feel alone or left out; he is suffering what the vast majority of NFL players go through:  the “rookie wall”.  If Okoye saw premonitions around Week 5, then the wall hit him hard somewhere around Week 9.  His body went fast and furious, then his production has tapered off, especially after the bye week in November.

If the Texans want to realize their best season to date, then perhaps Okoye may need to catch a second wind – and it’s highly unlikely the Texans will lighten up on Okoye.  Currently the Texans are 5-7, and they’ll need everyone at their best of they want to have a decent record.  For the most part, the “rookie wall” is preventable – or at least treatable – as the wall is simply a metaphor for physical and mental fatigue a rookie usually experiences around Week 9 or 10 in the pro game, where the competition is stronger and the season is much longer.

Despite this rookie “rite of passage”, Texans head coach Gary Kubiak is confident in Okoye rebounding from the “wall” effect and will benefit from the experience.  Kubiak explained it best when he told Bernardo Fallas of the Houston Chronicle, “I know the rookie season is a difficult one for guys that start from the very beginning, which we’ve had many of those players.  I do know when you go through that, then all of sudden, it jumps you from year one to four. Just look at Mario, what type of player he is now because of what he went through last year. I see Amobi on the same path.”  so really, the bottom line is this – if Texans defensive end Mario Williams, based on his production this season is any indication, then Okoye should be just fine going into the 2008 season.


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