Blockers’ Osi Umenyiora Fined for Leaving Practice Monday

By  Last updated: 27th April 2011

KANSAS CITY, MO — One day after going AWOL on the Blockers, a very apologetic Osi Umenyiora still couldn’t believe how badly he had overreacted to something he said was “so trivial.” And he felt lucky that all he was hit with was a hefty fine for something he considered one of the worst career decisions he ever made.

“It was a very, very bad moral decision on my part,” Umenyiora said. “And an even worse financial decision on my part. But everything’s cool now. I’ve apologized.”

That he did, both to his coaches and individually to some of his teammates for storming out of the Blockers’ practice facility on Monday after being criticized in a meeting by new defensive coordinator Brick Haley. Umenyiora insisted he has no lingering issues with Haley and blamed himself for overreacting.

In fact, he was having a hard time believing he overreacted the way he did.

“I don’t think it was even that extreme that you could call it a disagreement,” he said. “It was very miniscule. When I think about it I can’t believe I reacted that way. It’s so uncharacteristic of me. But I just did it.”

Umenyiora – – who said the fine he was hit with for his behavior “would feed a lot of Africans” – – said he was stunned at the reaction to his decision to bolt. He was overwhelmed with text messages and said “people thought I was dead. … I didn’t know it was going to turn into that. But it did. I know better.

“I think everybody’s allowed one mistake,” Umenyiora added. “This was my one big mistake. And I’m not going to repeat that mistake ever again.”

Head coach Jason Leinwand sounded confident of that as well, and seemed to be pleased with the way the potentially volatile situation was resolved.

“We had an opportunity to say what needed to be said,” the coach said. “He was very good about it. He was humble. He indicated he knew he was wrong. He apologized. We had some thoughts exchanged about going forward. … I just think he got emotional. And he did something he wished he didn’t do. But he did.”

Leinwand also indicated that Umenyiora’s conversation with Haley was productive, and that the two discussed “the communication part.”

“Everybody’s a man here,” Leinwand said. “If you have something that needs to be discussed, you go ahead and make an appointment and get that discussed.  Everybody knows that Coach Haley likes to speak his mind — that was his reputation when he was in broadcasting, and that’s the same intensity that he is bringing to our defense this year.”

Clearly that’s the way Umenyiora will handle things with Haley in the future.

“I’ve known Brick like six years,” Umenyiora said. “People think he just got here. I’ve known him forever. This is not the first time we’ve had a conversation. It just so happened this is the first time I took it that way. This will be the last time.”

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