Lawrence Okoye participated in his first football practice Friday morning. After practice, he spoke on the side of the field with Bay Area reporters. Here’s a transcript.
Q: Were you overwhelmed out there today?
OKOYE: I wouldn’t say overwhelmed. I got some things wrong out there today. It’s all part of the learning process. I we went on I got more and more comfortable. I went up against an O-line and it got more difficult again, but I adjusted.
Q: What’s the strangest thing so far about American football for you?
OKOYE: I wouldn’t say anything’s strange. It’s very technical. There’s a lot of prep you have to do in the classroom before you go on the pitch…or the field, or whatever. I’m just trying to learn as much as possible as soon as possible. They’re doing great with me. They’re not trying to force feed me. They’re giving me the little snippets I need for today. Tomorrow they’ll give me more snippets.
Q: How much studying have you done already?
OKOYE: I’ve tried to stay away from getting too technical. They’re going to give me a playbook and they’re going to teach me from scratch.
Q: How much influence did the NFL Europe have one you?
OKOYE: I wouldn’t say it had a great influence. It’s more a personal thing, and intrinsic thing. It’s something I’ve wanted to do, and I decided I’m going to be brave and do it. This is the first step of many.
Q: Why were the 49ers the right fit for you?
OKOYE: I think it’s because of Jim Tomsula. His background coaching guys in NFL Europe who have minimal experience playing the game was a big contributing factor for me. He made me realize if these other guys can do, there’s no reason I can’t do it. I believe in my ability.