The Bears have explored a multi-year contract extension for defensive tackle Amobi Okoye, something the former No. 10-overall pick of the Houston Texans would like very much to see come to pass.
I would love to come back as a Bear, love to, Okoye told CSNChicago.com. We have talked so well see where it goes. But I would love to be here.
Coming strictly off the bench this season, Okoye has posted 4 sacks, second-highest total for his career after the 5.5 he had as a rookie in 2007 and tied for ninth in the NFL among defensive tackles.
We are very pleased with Amobi, very pleased, coach Lovie Smith said.
Okoye, who signed a one-year contract on July 30, the same day he was released by the Texans, has been used almost exclusively in a rotation with Henry Melton as the under-tackle. The mission statement is explicit: generate inside pass rush in a lynchpin position of the SmithRod Marinelli scheme.
With Meltons 7 sacks, the Bears have their biggest sack total by two defensive tackles during the Smith era. The previous full-season high had been 9 by Tommie Harris (8) and Darwin Walker (1) in 2007.
Rookie Stephen Paeas 3 give the Bears 14 combined from the defensive tackle position.
Okoye also has been credited with 24 quarterback-pressures, behind only Julius Peppers (49), Israel Idonije (33) and Melton (31), all starters.
Hes a young player whos just been getting better and better, taking coaching, Marinelli said. I like what hes going.
Okoye was in a 4-3 defense with the Texans but it was different from the 4-3 the Bears play. Okoye, at 290 pounds, is the prototypical under-tackle for the Bears scheme, which is exactly what he played as an All-American at Louisville.
It fits me like a glove, Okoye said. And havent even all the way played to the scheme. Ive been in a different scheme for four years, and Ive been able to catch up in this system, but I know that with time, itll only be better.