Tag:Oshiomogho Atogwe
Posted on: April 7, 2011 11:38 am
Edited on: April 7, 2011 1:37 pm

Offseason Checkup: St. Louis Rams

Posted by Josh Katzowitz


Eye on Football's playing doctor for every NFL team with our Offseason Check-ups

The Rams were one of the most surprisingly successful squads in the NFL last season. Coming off a dreadful 1-15 season in 2009 – which netted St. Louis the 2010 No. 1 pick and, naturally, QB Sam Bradford – St. Louis won six more games than it had in 2009 and were a game away from taking home the NFC West division title and a postseason berth, falling instead to the Seahawks in the season finale.

But the biggest news since their loss to Seattle was the hiring of former Broncos coach Josh McDaniels as the offensive coordinator and quarterback coach. He’ll work closely with Bradfo

Quarterback, new offensive coordinator

While McDaniels helped current Chiefs QB Matt Cassel to a surprisingly good season the year he had to replace Tom Brady – who also got a little bit of McDaniels when he was in New England – and comes to St. Louis with a strong reputation as an offensive coordinator, Bradford will have plenty of work to do. The Rams will forgo the West Coast offense they ran last year and run more of a shotgun, spread-based scheme. This is where an offseason workout schedule would be helpful.

1. Wide Reciever
One of the most impressive accomplishments by Bradford last season was to throw for 3,512 yards to a corps of WRs that screams unknown and unproven (Danny Amendola, you’re our breakout star!!). The team lost Mark Clayton (patellar tendon) and Donnie Avery (ACL) while Danario Alexander missed eight games while undergoing a fifth (!) knee surgery. The acquisition of Randy Moss – if he would have let it happen – would have helped last year, but overall, the Rams really need help in this area.

2. Defensive Line
Surprisingly, the Rams weren’t terrible there last season, and much of that had to do with Fred Robbins and James Hall – who registered double-digit sacks for only the second time in his career at the age of 33. Overall, St. Louis ranked 19th in pass defense and 17th in run defense, and as you probably know, there’s a plethora of defensive linemen in the draft that could get a call from St. Louis (although drafting a WR in the first round makes more sense).

3. Defensive Backs
The Rams released standout SS Oshiomogho Atogwe, a defensive captain last year, because he was due an $8 million roster bonus Feb. 21. As a result, he left for Washington and left a huge hole in the St. Louis secondary. And while the Rams had high hopes in James Butler, he’s been plagued by injury and lost his starting spot. St. Louis probably won’t want to count on him.

The Rams still have plenty of holes to fill, but they also have young standouts on each side of the ball, particularly Bradford and MLB James Laurinaitis. In any other division, you’d say the Rams might struggle a bit and could feel good about themselves if they finish at .500.

But in the weak NFC West, they’ll be one of the favorites to win the division and return to the playoffs for the first time since 2004.

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Posted on: February 21, 2011 9:34 am

Bob Sanders to visit Jacksonville

Posted by Josh Katzowitz

On the heels of the news that former Rams S Oshiomogho Atogwe will visit the Redskins, NFL.com’s Jason La Canfora is reporting that former Colts S Bob Sanders will make his way to Jacksonville to take a look around.

Sanders, who’s played only nine games in the past three years because of various injuries, is one of the most talented safeties in the game. But given the choice to sign either Sanders or Atogwe today – and if you were to discount Atogwe is a free safety and Sanders is a strong safety – you’d almost have to go with Atogwe.

Atogwe has been one of the most solid safeties around while Sanders has missed 64 of 112 regular-season games in his career.

Just for context, here’s what the guys at Pro Football Focus think about Atogwe:

So what’s the bottom line? Is Atogwe worth chasing for teams that might not have many other opportunities to upgrade at safety? Short answer is absolutely. He is a well-balanced player. He has the skills to be effective on the blitz, to help out against the run, and to make plays in coverage. He is a player that offenses need to be aware of, but he can be inconsistent, and he’s not perfect.

And on Sanders:

Sanders, though, has been on the field so little over the past few seasons that we didn’t really feel we could make any concrete conclusions beyond what we all already know.

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Category: NFL
Posted on: February 21, 2011 8:41 am

Report: Atogwe to visit Washington

Atogwe Posted by Josh Katzowitz

While Oshiomogho Atogwe has said he wouldn’t mind return to play for the Rams – who happened to release him last week, a scant few days before they would have owed him an $8 million roster bonus – he’s taking a look at the rest of the league.

One of those places is Washington, according to 101 ESPN in St. Louis.

"This is an opportunity for me to explore other options," Atogwe told Howard Balzar. "It doesn't mean the Rams aren't still an option. A door has been opened so I can really see if this is where I'm supposed to continue to be or if I am supposed to go elsewhere. It gives me and my family more options to make a decision.

"At the end of the day, I'll make the decision that I believe I'm led to make and be in the place where I'm supposed to be. That doesn't count the Rams out and it doesn't count any team out. It gives me an opportunity to evaluate my current situation while giving me the option to go where I believe I'm supposed to go."

As we’ve recounted before, this is the first time the six-year veteran (who happens to be one of the more solid free safeties in the NFC) will get to test his market worth. The Rams franchise-tagged before the 2009 season, and last year, because of the uncapped season, he reverted back to being a restricted free agent.

Apparently, he believes he’s worth about $7 million a season, which is twice as much as the Rams were going to pay him for 2011.

Atogwe, if he lands with the Redskins, would make that secondary even more dangerous. With the ever-improving LaRon Landry at strong safety and DeAngelo Hall at cornerback, Atogwe could make a big impact on Washington’s defense.

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Posted on: February 20, 2011 10:12 am

Atogwe still can't find long-term deal

O. Atogwe would like a long-term contract (Getty). Posted by Josh Katzowitz

If former Rams S Oshiomogho Atogwe is a little frustrated – make that, very frustrated – it’d be hard to blame him. Atogwe is more than solid (in fact, he’s probably one of the better safeties in the NFC), but, as Will pointed out the other day, St. Louis released him rather than pay him the $8 million roster bonus they would have owed to him Monday.

Makes sense for the Rams, I suppose, especially with the unknown labor situation. But Atogwe spoke with the St. Louis Post Dispatch and said it wouldn’t be a shock if he returned to the Rams once again. Actually, he’d probably welcome another chance with St. Louis.

"My agent and myself have established a really good negotiating relationship with them, so were we to do something again (with the Rams), I don't believe it'd be a difficult task," Atogwe told the paper. "Because there's no bad blood there. We should be able to get something done."

Atogwe is coming off another solid year (73 tackles, three interceptions, nine passes defended), but he’s a little upset that, after six years in the league, he still can’t find a long-term deal.

Witness: he was franchise-tagged following the 2008 season, and then, because of the crazy labor scenario and the uncapped year, he reverted back to being a restricted free agent for 2010. Obviously he makes pretty good money (his base salary for 2010 was $2.1 million, and he was due to make $3.5 million in 2011, plus the rather large roster bonus), but for a man of his talent and production, he’s underpaid.

Yet, he was named the team’s defensive captain for 2010 (as voted on by his teammates), and it sounds like he’d like to return to the Rams. Unless, I suppose, he gets much more money from somebody else. Which, assuming because he hasn’t had much luck signing that elusive long-term deal, means he probably won’t.

"I think that's why it's very important for us to really get a CBA done, in place and secure, so that other guys won't have to go through a similar situation as myself,” Atogwe said. “And that the teams can really move on in paying their Bills and grow for the long term. But for me it's definitely frustrating. I'm thankful that I still have peace throughout this, knowing that it's going to work out the way it's supposed to."

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Category: NFL
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