Takeaways from Rookie Camp and OTAs: Lawrence Okoye should play quarterback

Jason O. Watson

The 49ers are in the middle of OTAs, which means it is time to analyze every potential roster move. One that is being overlooked? Moving Lawrence Okoye to quarterback!

Fooch's Note: We've added another member to the writing staff. I don't "write funny" particularly well, and sometimes it's nice to have more off-beat content. And so, welcome to Greg Lee. He's a Bay Area native, owns a VCR for the sole purpose of watching his original recording of Super Bowl XXIII and the defining moment of "Joe Cool." His other interests include finding the perfect buffalo wing, being 6'2, and poking fun at the awesomely absurd spectacle that is sport. In addition to being a life-long 49ers fan, he went to the same high school as Jim Harbaugh (Paly) and played for the same football coach (Hansen), before realizing he was terrible at football (something about "effort"). He comes to Niners Nation to write about the team he loves and the lighter side of an all too serious game.

Don't try to deny it: when you played NFL Madden (still?), you went into custom mode or whatever it's called and created a 7'0, 325lb quarterback, that had 99 speed, and an arm that made the turrets on the Bismarck look like the soap gun from Ernest Goes to Jail. Then you went out and had that monstrosity rush for 300 yards, pass for four-hundred, and score 12 touchdowns against the Scottish Claymores of NFL Europe.

I know. I've done it, too. Heck, I think my favorite part of the game was watching my fantastic behemoth shake off Warren Sapp like he was a malnourished sloth then drag the entire secondary 40 yards into the end zone. In fact I made a whole team of these guys at one point when I probably should have been studying or looking for a job...or doing anything else. And now probably the closest thing to my digital creation is the newly crowned "Adonis" at the 49ers rookie camp.

If you don't know who Lawrence Okoye is then here are the cribs: A British Olympian who is 6'5, 300 lbs, ran a 40 yard dash that made Anquan Boldin blush, and he's never played a day of football in his life. He is the rawest ball/mountain of clay out there and he does not have an established position yet, which is why he should be a read-option quarterback. I'll skip past the obvious reason of seeing him standing in the backfield would be one of the most amazing things ever to the real argument: seeing him scamper through the secondary would be THE most amazing thing ever.

I'm pretty sure the read-option can make any great athlete look like a great football player over short periods of time (see: Tim Tebow) and a great athlete, who happens to be a really good football player, can utilize it like nuclear powered cheese grater (see: Colin Kaepernick). So why not give Okoye a shot? He could be the Madden freak we all dreamed about.

Here are the pros and cons:



Freakish athlete with a rugby background

His throwing motion has been described as "discus-y"


It wouldn't be funny watching Dahl cry after playing scout defense...okay, maybe a little funny

Jim Harbaugh's Patrick Bateman-esque grin after Okoye breaks his first 40 yard run

Okoye still thinks "quarterback" has something to do with American currency

The roar of the crowd at Wembley Stadium when he trots out vs the Jaguars in October

He doesn't know what he's doing

It will work

No it won't

Yes, it will


Worth a shot?

You're an idiot

I guess a 29 year old guy with the maturity of a 12 year-old can dream, can't he?

Other notes on OTAs:

- In case you are living under a rock, or in Diomede, Alaska: The Ghost of Mike Singletary showed up at 49ers OTAs just long enough to chew through Michael Crabtree's Achilles tendon. I'm not going to knock it up to over work or anything as stupid as the "nutcracker" drill, but it's a not so subtle reminder of how much I hate OTAs. Someone ALWAYS gets hurt, some analyst ALWAYS makes a ridiculous assumption, and someone at ESPN ALWAYS uses this as an excuse to talk about the Jets quarterback situation. Seriously, give it a rest. If training camp is like high school, then OTAs are like your summer reading list being an old Playboy and a teleplay for the pilot of "Coach."

-According to Jim Harbaugh, Gore missed OTAs because he's "working through something." Working through what? An injury? Some calculus? A kitchen remodel? A Chuck-e-Cheese ball pit!?! I love Harbaugh's adorable break dance fights he does with the media but GAH!!! Frank Gore is the definition of "franchise cornerstone!" Then again, I should probably reference my "some analyst ALWAYS makes a ridiculous assumption" note a few lines ago and shut up.

-Patrick Willis makes amazing commercials:

-Nate Montana showed up to a second rookie camp. Alas, his dad never emerged from the cornfield to play catch with him.

- Personal anecdote: A friend of mine has a little brother who attends the Menlo School in Menlo Park, CA. If you're unfamiliar with the Menlo School, it's a high school with tuition costs that rival some Ivy League schools. The students are like a who's who of the San Francisco Bay Area elite's offspring. Recently they had their annual charity auction to raise money for their endowment. One of the items was hanging out with Steve Young while he works the sideline for Monday Night Football at the 49ers final home game vs. the Falcons. The item sold for around $30,000. That's more than I make in a year...sad face.

- On another note: Steve Young is the best thing about the ESPN MNF broadcasts and if he weren't such a darned nice guy (seriously he's the nicest person ever) he probably would have ripped Rick Reilly's voice box out and replaced it with the guy's own twitter box iPhone.

- I realize I referenced Warren Sapp earlier and that makes me feel old.

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