How Big of an Impact has Safety Atogwe Really Made to the Rams?


I suppose it is good to have Oshiomogho Atogwe back.  Of course no one else wanted him (the Bears decided they’d rather have Chris Harris), but he is one of the best defensive players in the Rams secondary.  

And he does have some good individual numbers.  In the 2007 season, Atogwe had a team and NFC-high 8 interceptions along with 75 tackles and one touchdown and forced two fumbles.  Why then were the Rams only willing to offer him a 1 year contract (and then another 1 year contract for 2009)?

Atogwe came to the Rams in 2005.  Here are some of the Rams defensive rankings over that period:

Year                             Interceptions                 Passing Yards Allowed

2009                            31st 25th

2008                            21st 19th

2007                            10th 21st

2006                            13th 8th

2005                            24th 23rd

I wouldn’t think about taking a swipe at his individual performance, but he really has not had a huge impact on the defense as a whole. The Rams defense made dramatic improvement in passing yards allowed in 2006, but the rankings have slipped perilously since.

I am glad to have Atogwe back, but I will have my eyes on him.  For $7M a year for 5 years I think he really needs to grow in his leadership skills and in the intangibles that a make a player great.


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