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  1. #1
    RamFan_Til_I_Die's Avatar
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    Rams need to keep Atogwe, one of most underrated NFL players

    Ross Tucker
    SI.com


    The St. Louis Rams need to do whatever it takes to keep O.J. Atogwe. Normally I would couch that initial statement with the phrase "within reason" but to me the Rams lost that right when they elected not to tender the playmaking free safety June 1 at 110 percent of his franchise player salary from a year ago. They had their chance to make sure they maintained his rights and they passed.

    The Dallas Cowboys, with a need at safety, should make a strong push for Atogwe themselves. He is a clear upgrade and potential difference maker for a team that is desperate to play the Super Bowl in its home stadium. But it isn't just Dallas that should make a run at Atogwe. The Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings, and others need to take a long look at him as well.

    A common belief among league followers is that all of the attention being given to Atogwe right now is simply a matter of timing because there really isn't anything else of significance currently going on in the NFL. Though I'll agree that part of the attention is a matter of circumstance, he has toiled in relative obscurity for a horrendous Rams team and that more than offsets his unique early June free agency situation.

    How well-known and highly regarded would Atogwe be nationally if he played for the New York Giants or the New England Patriots? We're talking about a guy that has pretty much been a turnover machine over the past four years. Just ponder his numbers for a minute.

    Atogwe burst onto the scene his second year in the NFL in 2006 with three INTs, five forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries. That's 11 potential game-changing plays in the NFL, where turnovers often can be and are the difference. In 2007 he wasn't able to force any fumbles. No matter, he more than made up for it by leading the NFC with eight INTs while also scoring a touchdown.

    But 2008 was the real gem. Atogwe had five INTs, six forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries including another touchdown. That's 15 turnovers in which he was involved in that year, and the main reason why the Rams elected to franchise him after that season.

    Last year was solid but not as spectacular as Atogwe had two INTs, three forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries before getting hurt in Week 12 and being shelved for the rest of the season. He still is the Rams best defensive player. Yes, Chris Long began to emerge down the stretch and James Laurinaitis was a surprise tackling machine as a rookie. Neither player makes close to the amount of potential difference-making plays Atogwe does. Not by a long shot. That's why the Rams need to sign him if they are serious about winning and improving on last year's 1-15 record.


  2. #2
    Nick's Avatar
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    Re: Rams need to keep Atogwe, one of most underrated NFL players

    The Dallas Cowboys, with a need at safety, should make a strong push for Atogwe themselves. He is a clear upgrade and potential difference maker for a team that is desperate to play the Super Bowl in its home stadium. But it isn't just Dallas that should make a run at Atogwe. The Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings, and others need to take a long look at him as well.
    The problem is that Dallas, Philadelphia, and Minnesota have basically taken themselves out of the running, either with public comments or simply not showing any interest. The Dolphins are really the only other team linked to Atogwe, but that's cooled considerably.

    So this idea that the Rams have to do whatever it takes to keep him now because other teams are out there and could use his services seems to be a bit off, because none of those other teams appear to be stepping up and trying to get him. Maybe one makes it happen quietly behind the scenes; then we can have a discussion about if the Rams should have done more to keep him.

    But right now, it appears as if they're basically bidding against themselves as no one else is really linked to O.J. Which makes you wonder if Ross Tucker's opinion - that Atogwe is one of the most underrated players in the league - is really that accurate.
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  3. #3
    MauiRam's Avatar
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    Re: Rams need to keep Atogwe, one of most underrated NFL players

    He still is the Rams best defensive player. Yes, Chris Long began to emerge down the stretch and James Laurinaitis was a surprise tackling machine as a rookie. Neither player makes close to the amount of potential difference-making plays Atogwe does. Not by a long shot. That's why the Rams need to sign him if they are serious about winning and improving on last year's 1-15 record.
    Atogwe has created more turnovers than any of the other current Ram defensive players. That said, if I had to choose between Laurinaitis and O.J., I'd vote for Laurinaitis. If Chris Long can stay healthy for 16 games this year, he too stands a good chance to become one of our best defensive players. Let me clarify by reiterating I hope fervently that O.J. is resigned by the Rams. O.J. is a good player, and has had the time to become familiar with Spags defense. I still believe that Spags and Billy have handled the situation well, and simply are adhering to their blueprint for improving the team. The talks between O.J., his agent and the Rams have purportedly remained amicable with no hints of acrimony. O.J. may still sign with the Rams .. The longer it takes for him to sign, the harder it will be for O.J. to learn a new system should he opt for another team. We're still strongly in the hunt if not the frontrunner in acquiring his services.

    With regard to the statement about "if the Rams are serious about winning and improving," I regard that as an asinine remark. What is Ross thinking here? That Billy, Spag, and Kevin regard their tenure with the Rams as a hobby?

  4. #4
    KoaKoi is offline Registered User
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    Re: Rams need to keep Atogwe, one of most underrated NFL players

    Quote Originally Posted by RamFan_Til_I_Die View Post
    Ross Tucker
    SI.com


    The St. Louis Rams need to do whatever it takes to keep O.J. Atogwe. Normally I would couch that initial statement with the phrase "within reason" but to me the Rams lost that right when they elected not to tender the playmaking free safety June 1 at 110 percent of his franchise player salary from a year ago. They had their chance to make sure they maintained his rights and they passed.

    The Dallas Cowboys, with a need at safety, should make a strong push for Atogwe themselves. He is a clear upgrade and potential difference maker for a team that is desperate to play the Super Bowl in its home stadium. But it isn't just Dallas that should make a run at Atogwe. The Miami Dolphins, Philadelphia Eagles, Minnesota Vikings, and others need to take a long look at him as well.

    A common belief among league followers is that all of the attention being given to Atogwe right now is simply a matter of timing because there really isn't anything else of significance currently going on in the NFL. Though I'll agree that part of the attention is a matter of circumstance, he has toiled in relative obscurity for a horrendous Rams team and that more than offsets his unique early June free agency situation.

    How well-known and highly regarded would Atogwe be nationally if he played for the New York Giants or the New England Patriots? We're talking about a guy that has pretty much been a turnover machine over the past four years. Just ponder his numbers for a minute.

    Atogwe burst onto the scene his second year in the NFL in 2006 with three INTs, five forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries. That's 11 potential game-changing plays in the NFL, where turnovers often can be and are the difference. In 2007 he wasn't able to force any fumbles. No matter, he more than made up for it by leading the NFC with eight INTs while also scoring a touchdown.

    But 2008 was the real gem. Atogwe had five INTs, six forced fumbles and three fumble recoveries including another touchdown. That's 15 turnovers in which he was involved in that year, and the main reason why the Rams elected to franchise him after that season.

    Last year was solid but not as spectacular as Atogwe had two INTs, three forced fumbles, and two fumble recoveries before getting hurt in Week 12 and being shelved for the rest of the season. He still is the Rams best defensive player. Yes, Chris Long began to emerge down the stretch and James Laurinaitis was a surprise tackling machine as a rookie. Neither player makes close to the amount of potential difference-making plays Atogwe does. Not by a long shot. That's why the Rams need to sign him if they are serious about winning and improving on last year's 1-15 record.

    Why does this article just scream "2 weeks ago" to me? There's nothing new here and this was the type of dribble bouncing around the walls the whole week leading up to June 1st. Now its June 11th and we're hearing the same crap. None of the "interest" talked about has materialized... sooooo why we still talking about it as if it exists?

    if this was written a cpl weeks ago... then its out of date. but if this OpEd is new...its crap.

  5. #5
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    Re: Rams need to keep Atogwe, one of most underrated NFL players

    Quote Originally Posted by Nick View Post

    But right now, it appears as if they're basically bidding against themselves as no one else is really linked to O.J. Which makes you wonder if Ross Tucker's opinion - that Atogwe is one of the most underrated players in the league - is really that accurate.
    Maybe, but we have to factor in that alot of teams have spent there budgets or have filled there needs at free safety. Makes me wonder what OJs market would have been at the beginning of FA if he was completely healthy and unrestricted. IMO he is making the same amount if not more than than antelle rolle. In arguably OJ worst season in 3 less games he had more tackles more forced fumbles the same amount of sacks and 2 less interceptions. OJ is only a year older and they are both in their 6th season.

  6. #6
    TheRammer Guest

    Re: Rams need to keep Atogwe, one of most underrated NFL players

    Your right this does scream two weeks ago to me as well and if it isn't then this SportsWriter if you can call him that should be promoted to janitorial duties for his lack of job competence...
    Anyways I think we should get this job done soon and get OJ back into the mix of things. He will continue to make impact for us in our defense.

    p.s. Maui what's up with all the smart words you used in your post? You pull out the thesaurus?

  7. #7
    laram0's Avatar
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    Re: Rams need to keep Atogwe, one of most underrated NFL players

    Ross Tucker (former NFL player) is a banana! I never liked him on any of the NFL Talk shows via satellite radio. Now I like him even less...BUFFOON!


    Go back to sleep Ross!

  8. #8
    MauiRam's Avatar
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    Re: Rams need to keep Atogwe, one of most underrated NFL players

    Quote Originally Posted by TheRammer View Post
    p.s. Maui what's up with all the smart words you used in your post? You pull out the thesaurus?
    What's a thesaurus??

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    Azul e Oro is offline Registered User
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    Re: Rams need to keep Atogwe, one of most underrated NFL players

    Quote Originally Posted by MauiRam View Post
    What's a thesaurus??
    A dinosaur with a big vocabla...vacobulli......knows lots of words.

  10. #10
    MauiRam's Avatar
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    Re: Rams need to keep Atogwe, one of most underrated NFL players

    Quote Originally Posted by laram0 View Post
    Ross Tucker (former NFL player) is a banana! I never liked him on any of the NFL Talk shows via satellite radio. Now I like him even less...BUFFOON!


    Go back to sleep Ross!
    Well .. At least he's loved by monkeys ..

  11. #11
    VegasRam's Avatar
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    Re: Rams need to keep Atogwe, one of most underrated NFL players

    Quote Originally Posted by Azul e Oro View Post
    A dinosaur with a big vocabla...vacobulli......knows lots of words.
    Nice...
    "the Heart Lies and the Head Plays Tricks with us, but the Eyes See True".

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    Re: Rams need to keep Atogwe, one of most underrated NFL players

    We definitely do not NEED Atogwe by any means. Could we benefit from him? No doubt. But to say we need him is as bad as the increase of bandwagoning Celtics fans.

  13. #13
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    Re: Rams need to keep Atogwe, one of most underrated NFL players

    I despise people who say that our fates are intertwined with ONE frekin players. Players like Jackson are huge parts of what we do on a side of the ball, but we'd get over his or any other players loss eventually (although that year would probably be tanked if Jackson went down...).

    Atogwe is a very useful commodity, he has his positives and his negatives. If he's gone we lose his turnover production and his leadership. If Dahl took over we'd gain better run support and probably not lose too much in coverage.

    Do we want him? Hell yeah. Do we need him? Nope.

  14. #14
    TheRammer Guest

    Re: Rams need to keep Atogwe, one of most underrated NFL players

    Quote Originally Posted by MauiRam View Post
    What's a thesaurus??
    Quote Originally Posted by Azul e Oro View Post
    A dinosaur with a big vocabla...vacobulli......knows lots of words.

    lol you guys are great... was in the same mindset when i posted that!
    cheers to you guys

  15. #15
    TheRammer Guest

    Re: Rams need to keep Atogwe, one of most underrated NFL players

    Quote Originally Posted by Bralidore(RAMMODE) View Post
    I despise people who say that our fates are intertwined with ONE frekin players. Players like Jackson are huge parts of what we do on a side of the ball, but we'd get over his or any other players loss eventually (although that year would probably be tanked if Jackson went down...).

    Atogwe is a very useful commodity, he has his positives and his negatives. If he's gone we lose his turnover production and his leadership. If Dahl took over we'd gain better run support and probably not lose too much in coverage.

    Do we want him? Hell yeah. Do we need him? Nope.
    Although I do agree that a teams fate is not intertwined by one player most of the time (i.e. Payton Manning, M. Faulk) but I do think that Dahl and OJ are on two different levels and think a turnover machine that OJ is a little more important than someone a little better at run support...
    But I am high on Dahl and his set of skills but make no mistake he is no OJ.
    Unlike some other threads on this site it would be dumb to give you negative rep for not agreeing fully with your post...Which is why I will give you positive rep for trying lol
    Last edited by TheRammer; -06-16-2010 at 12:02 PM.

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