Respected in Seattle
Q: Are you excited about coming back to San Francisco? Okeafor: Yeah, I definitely miss playing in the 'Stick. It will be good to get back and stretch my legs in it. Q: How has your season been going? Okeafor: Pretty good, I mean all I can ask for is my health and keep getting better every game, I have been getting those two things and so I feel blessed. Q: How is Ray Rhodes different from Jim Mora? Okeafor: Honestly they run very similar schemes. Ray was in San Francisco and Mora's scheme is kind of molded after that. A lot of rush zones and in that sense the transitions is very seamless, we are basically doing the same thing. I like Ray a lot, he is more of a personal coach than I have really been around and I like his intensity and he is really down to earth. He is the person that treats you like an equal. Q: Was that a good move for you to go up to Seattle? Okeafor: Definitely, it was a lot more opportunity here than there. I wasn't getting as many plays there (in San Francisco) that I should have and I thought that was holding me back. So I am able to stretch my legs out here and get to play and not held back at all. I am feeling a lot more free and loose and my reps increased and my attitude as well. When you are happier in a better place, you are going to play more loose and free and feel better about going to work every day; definitely those things have been an improvement so I can't complain at all. Q: Are you exclusively on the right side or do you switch sides at all? Okeafor: Yeah I play both ends, it depends on the situation. I pride myself on being versatile. Q: Do you think that is the reason you have been able to put up better numbers? Okeafor: Like I said earlier, it is just getting more opportunities to play, I am playing more snaps. I am not being held off the field on nickel downs, those are the downs that you are going to get the pass rush on. Those are the main reasons, but my size and frame is built for the right end position. I had to be a bit heavier than I would have wanted to. It is a different type of player than the ideal or prototypical end on the left side. You are going to want him to be a little bit bigger. This just fits my body better and I am comfortable there. Q: Can you talk about your recent surge of five sacks in the last five games, and were you frustrated earlier in the season? Okeafor: No I wasn't frustrated in the first three games I had three sacks. When you have something like that people are going to come at you and say this is a guy that we are going to double team and he is not going to get any more sacks so there was a little job, but that was nothing to be frustrated on because it is not like I wasn't getting the job done, I was causing the offense to scheme me and send more people to my side that is respect. You are not going to get as many sacks if you are getting double- and triple-teamed. That is just the facts of the game. As long as you keep strong and don't give up then things will turn around. The last five games you can't explain that. But you can't get frustrated because then you are defeating yourself. I am just hitting my stride and things are beginning to roll for me. Q: Can you put your finger on why the team is not winning on the road? Okeafor: Well we are just not getting it done on Sundays. That is the facts of the matter. If you watch all the games, it is nothing that you can put your finger on. It is just execution, it takes everyone not just one person each time, it takes discipline and getting it done on Sunday. The record doesn't mean anything on Sunday you still got to get up there and get it done. Everyone has to shine and will go hard on Sunday, so you have to prove it. Q: What impresses you most about the 49ers offense as of late? Okeafor: Well, they are balanced. They run the ball well. They are getting the ball to the receivers and getting first downs and getting scores. They are putting points on the board. You can't ask for anything more out of your offense than that. Q: You go up against Derrick Deese this week, what are your thoughts on facing him? Okeafor: I am looking forward to it. I haven't had an opportunity to do it, so it will be fun. Q: According to the team he has a streak of 32 straight games of not giving up a sack. Do you think you can break that? Okeafor: Obviously, I never go into a game defeated, every game I go into I know that I can get it done. A streak is something for him that really doesn't affect me. Q: Was it your goal to get a fresh start somewhere else at the end of last year? Okeafor: What I wanted was to be treated with respect, like I treat other people. I just wanted to be paid according to my contribution to the team. In that way respected for my contribution to the team, and I didn't get that there, so that is why I didn't remain there. Q: Do you feel that it wouldn't have taken that much money for the 49ers to sign you? Okeafor: That was really not the case. They weren't very competitive with the other people. They weren't even close. I don't know why I was going to give up some much to go back to a place where I wasn't treated with respect. That explains itself. I don't feel like I was treated with respect there and when someone is not treated with respect it is highly unlikely that person is going to give you this so-called home team discount, because that is sort of like a favor that you do to people that treat you right, not as they feel fit.' Q: Was that respect factor a management or coaches deal? Okeafor: I am not going to really differentiate that because it is not really that difficult to figure that out. I will leave that to you and your readers. The treatment was a team effort, so there you have it. Q: Do you equate the lack of playing time with that lack of respect? Okeafor: No it was a general lack of respect in all facets of my playing there and it is not necessarily certain snaps, definitely quality of reps, I was basically used for their purposes and not for my betterment. It was pretty one-sided and regardless those things happened and that is why I am not there anymore. Q: What would it mean to come in and get a win? Okeafor: That is the whole thing about this, it doesn't have anything to do with the team we are playing, it could be any team. The fact of the matter is that we need to win our last game and it just happens to be the 49ers and that is really the only significance. All the stuff that we are talking about is for the media and not really affecting the weight of the game. The weight of the game is extremely important and it is our only game of importance because that is what is keeping us alive in this playoff hunt.
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