Defensive tackle Amobi Okoye said Monday that he’s glad to be back with the Bears.
Okoye left the team as a free agent this offseason to go to the Buccaneers, but is now back in Chicago after a knee injury cost him a lot of time this summer and, ultimately, his job in Tampa. Okoye blamed the injury on returning too fast from a scope on the knee in June, causing Bucs coach Greg Schiano to make some comments hinting at an overly cautious approach from Okoye when it came to handling what Schiano characterized as a chronic knee problem.
Okoye felt that was a “kind of unfair” assessment of the state of his knee and went on to question Schiano’s commitment to living up to the standards he sets for his players.
“It really makes me question the character of he himself, because, while I was there, he was trying to mold us to be kind of like him. It made me question all the things he was teaching me, as far as TBA — Trust, Belief and Accountability — his way of doing things,” Okoye said, via Sean Jensen of the Chicago Sun-Times. “It’s like, ‘Wow, what type of guy is this?’ That really hurt.”
Schiano is hardly the first coach to express frustration about the pace of a player’s recovery from injury and Okoye isn’t the first player to get forced out of Tampa because Schiano feels he isn’t a good fit for the team that Schiano hopes to build. The guy who lost his roster spot when Okoye arrived, defensive tackle Brian Price, went through the same exact thing and so have several other players over Schiano’s first offseason in Tampa. We’ll start finding out soon if that results in a better Buccaneers team, because that will be the ultimate judge of whether Schiano’s way is the right way.