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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    Atogwe overcomes illness for a strong finish

    By Bill Coats and Kathleen Nelson
    Tuesday, Jan. 01 2008

    Safety Oshiomogho Atogwe was sick to his stomach Sunday. And it had nothing to
    do with the Rams' queasy 48-19 season-ending loss to the Arizona Cardinals.

    Atogwe was fighting a virus that wasn't enough to force him to the sideline,
    but did cause him to stretch out on the visitors locker room floor for several
    minutes afterward before dragging himself off to the showers.

    Despite the illness, Atogwe put together a strong finish to a breakout season.
    The third-year pro from Stanford, a third-round draft pick in 2005, picked off
    his eighth pass ó tops in the NFC for the season ó late in the third quarter
    and took it back 52 yards for his first NFL touchdown.

    Leading the conference is "a great honor," Atogwe said. "I wasn't able to enjoy
    it because I was feeling so bad. But it's something I'll cherish."

    San Diego's Antonio Cromartie was the league leader, with 10.

    No Rams defender had picked off as many passes in a season since cornerback
    Dexter McCleon also had eight in 2000. Atogwe grabbed a total of four
    interceptions in his first two seasons before doubling that number this year.

    "You're happy that you're playing well, but you don't trade individual success
    for the team's, because there's nothing like playing in January and February,"
    he said. "That's what you really remember when all is said and done."

    The Rams, of course, will have no such memories. Their 3-13 record was the
    team's poorest since moving here in 1995. Still, Atogwe stressed that in the
    NFL, fortunes can change quickly.

    "This year is disappointing, but that has nothing to do with next year," he
    said. "If we put in our work and come back with a different attitude and
    improve on some things, you never know what's going to happen. ...

    "It's not like we were a 3-13 team where guys didn't like each other or guys
    didn't care about their jobs. It wasn't that feeling at all. It was just that
    we had some bad breaks, and we didn't capitalize on our opportunities. ... We
    don't have a bunch of losers in the locker room."

    Atogwe, who is scheduled to become a restricted free agent, paused when asked
    Monday whether he wanted to return in 2008.

    "I definitely enjoy being here," he said. "But it's not something I worry about
    or stress about; what's going to happen will happen. I played well this year. I
    held up my end of the bargain."

  2. #2
    TekeRam's Avatar
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    Re: Atogwe overcomes illness for a strong finish

    Yeah, I didn't realize until I saw sportscenter yesterday that Atogwe was second in the NFL in interceptions. Talk about quietly, eh? Hopefully it's enough for the Rams to put a 1st 3rd tender on him, as someone might be willing to give up a late 1st rounder for him. Washington immediately comes to mind.

  3. #3
    Rambos's Avatar
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    Re: Atogwe overcomes illness for a strong finish

    First- and third-round tender -- $2.35 million, is he worth that?

  4. #4
    shower beers's Avatar
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    Re: Atogwe overcomes illness for a strong finish

    I think he is. He's young, proven he can produce, has plenty of room to develop...

    and if someone bites on that, then I'll surely take another 1st and third rounder.

  5. #5
    tomahawk247's Avatar
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    Re: Atogwe overcomes illness for a strong finish

    we have to stick a decent tender on him, because who else are we going to get to replace him if we dont and he gets snatched away?

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