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  1. #1
    RamWraith's Avatar
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    RAMS NOTEBOOK: Atogwe can feel rookies' pain

    By Bill Coats

    As he watches the newest Rams go through their paces at their first pro minicamp, safety Oshiomogho Atogwe offers sympathy and advice.

    "When you step into the NFL, everything is just so new to you. It's an eye-opening experience," said Atogwe, a third-round draft pick last year. "For some of these young guys, I tell them to just relax, work on the things Coach tells you to do, be very coachable, play hard, and the rest of it will take care of itself through time."

    Atogwe should know all about things taking care of themselves. His pro career couldn't have started more discouragingly - two glaring special-teams gaffes in the season opener at San Francisco, followed by four weeks on the inactive list.

    And yet now he's listed as the first-team free safety. "It's an honor, definitely something I'm proud of," said Atogwe, 5-foot-11 and 203 pounds. "But it doesn't stop there. I've still got to prove that I deserve that spot."

    That's why Atogwe, 24, is among 22 young veterans joining the 19 rookies at camp. "I'm just going on my second year, so I still have a lot to learn," he said. "The more times I get on the field, it's only helping me in my development."

    Atogwe rejoined the game-day roster Oct. 17 at Indianapolis, on special teams; he saw his first action on defense Nov. 20 vs. Arizona.

    Michael Hawthorne, a free-agent pickup in the offseason, opened the 2005 season at free safety but was released after five games. Mike Furrey, a converted wide receiver, started the last 11 games but wasn't re-signed after the season. That created an opening for Atogwe.

    "He was a highly rated player" coming out of Stanford, coach Scott Linehan said. "He's been really working hard in the offseason, preparing for this opportunity, and he hasn't disappointed us. He fits what you're looking for in a safety; he's just green. The only way you're going to solve that problem is to play him."

    Although he acknowledged a certain amount of frustration over his "exile" after his rugged debut, Atogwe said his confidence never was shaken. "I plan on having a long career," he said, "and you have to take everything with a grain of salt and just fight through the adversity ... keep the faith."

    Star power

    On Saturday evening, after most of the players had left for the day, owner Georgia Frontiere and other team officials welcomed a special visitor to Rams Park.

    Two-time Academy Award winner Denzel Washington, the father of undrafted rookie running back J.D. Washington, spent about two hours at the facility, along with wife Pauletta and two of their three other children. Media relations director Rick Smith gave the group a tour.

    J.D. missed Sunday morning's workout so that he could attend his graduation ceremony at Morehouse College in Atlanta. He was back in time for the afternoon practice.


    Fullback Madison Hedgecock and rookie defensive end Victor Adeyanju engaged in a spirted scuffle at the morning practice. Though it took a couple of minutes to separate the two, no damage was done. . . . Offensive lineman Richie Incognito has been used almost exclusively at center during minicamp. . . . Linehan ended the afternoon workout, which was conducted mostly in the rain, about 20 minutes early. "We picked up our tempo, and we didn't miss anything we'd planned getting in," he said.

  2. #2
    tomahawk247's Avatar
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    Re: RAMS NOTEBOOK: Atogwe can feel rookies' pain

    I like that Incognito has been used at center, he can be McColloms replacement now for sure.

    And its good to see Atogwe starting at FS for now

  3. #3
    RamsFan16 Guest

    Re: RAMS NOTEBOOK: Atogwe can feel rookies' pain

    Denzel was at Rams Park. Thats sweet! I bet that John David Washington makes the team.

    And there was a scuffle. I thought so.

  4. #4
    Bruce=GOAT's Avatar
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    Re: RAMS NOTEBOOK: Atogwe can feel rookies' pain

    Good Publicity for the mighty Rams.

  5. #5
    RamsFan4ever's Avatar
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    Re: RAMS NOTEBOOK: Atogwe can feel rookies' pain

    if J.D. makes the team..... we have 5 HBs!! Jackson, Faulk, Fisher, Hagans, and maybe J.D.

    Wait is hagans listed as RB or WR?


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