Foye Oluokun has taken on a new role in Dean Pees' defense, and he's thriving as one of the most dynamic Falcons defenders.
Oluokun sat down with Tori McElhaney at the Falcons headquarters to discuss how he sees the game, and how his analytical approach to football developed.
By Tori McElhaney
Playing MIKE linebacker at the professional level is like walking into the middle of a loud, chaotic freeway. That's how Falcons inside linebackers coach Frank Bush views it.
"There's so much going on that if your eyes are not trained correctly," Bush said, "it can consume you."
Foye Oluokun doesn't get consumed. The fourth-year veteran does the consuming.
There's something calming about the way Oluokun describes how he sees the field in a simple and clear methodical juxtaposition. In the midst of the swirling chaos, the moving pieces, the noise, he picks it all apart. He essentially strips it away, taking a meticulous, analytical approach to the in-game dissection of a singular play or moment.
It's not the Buccaneers or the Saints or anyone else the Falcons are playing that week, it's Xs and Os. It's patterns and angles. When Oluokun breaks it down, football -- at its core -- is math. The Yale graduate sees football as an extension of what you may have learned in your elementary school classroom.
"Kids who like math, everything they see is a puzzle," Oluokun said. "We learn puzzles. We learn patterns in math. That's why I applied it to football. Every pattern you see out there, it's the same application of patterns that you see in math."
Oluokun expounded upon this idea, saying he believes intelligence isn't what you can remember. It's how you use those memories, that learned knowledge you've accumulated, and how you apply it. Oluokun believes intelligence is knowledge in action, and it's a point he has proven throughout his years in the league.