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Is Earl Okine A Colts Pass Rushing Option In 2016?

Intro: Earl Okine will be making the switch this season from the defensive line to outside linebacker. Is the 6-6, 290-pound Okine a backup option behind Robert Mathis and company?


INDIANAPOLIS – Acronyms are highlighted all over the resume of one Earl Okine.


And now, the NFL, for a second season.

Playing in those professional football leagues, Okine's position as been on the DL, lining up with his hand in the ground as a defensive lineman.

Is OLB now going to be added to the resume of Okine?

With the Colts beginning their fourth week of the offseason program, Okine continues to work with the outside linebacker group.

This move for Okine was brought up in the early stages of the offseason and the 6-6, 290-pounder catered his training for such a transition.

"I was just doing a lot of speed work, a lot of explosive lifts, things like that," Okine says of the switch. "Just really working on my athleticism."

On paper, the massive Okine relocating to outside linebacker makes plenty of sense.

From a sheer numbers standpoint, the Colts could use an extra body at outside linebacker.

The Colts don't return any outside linebackers under the age of 30 from last season. They also didn't spend a premium draft pick there last week.

Okine, 26, would have been in a very competitive defensive line room fighting for a roster spot. That group also should have Arthur Jones back in 2016 and selected defensive tackle Hassan Ridgeway in Round Four of this year's draft.

Once Okine was informed of the move, he made sure Robert Mathis was going to have one attentive listener.

"Even if I think I have a grasp of it, I'll pick Rob's mind and ask to see what's his opinion is of it," Okine says of moving from defensive end to outside linebacker, something Mathis went through back in 2012.

"His spin move is incredible. That's what I've been working on because I haven't been a spinner in the past. His get off is good, too. I feel like my get off is good, too. Rob keeps beating that in my brain."

When Okine flashed last preseason (three sacks), Chuck Pagano mentioned he could envision such a role for the University of Florida product.

Okine played in five games last season, spending about two and a half months on the team's practice squad.

Is a 6-6, 290-pound frame now ready to stand-up and come downhill?

"I hope so," Okine says.

"That's what I'm working towards. I feel like I can rush way better on the edge. I just can't wait for the season to start."

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