Safety Oshiomogho (O.J.) Atogwe signed a one-year deal with the Philadelphia Eagles and knows that he will need to hit the ground running in order to get up to speed on learning the team’s defense without the benefit of OTAs and minicamp, all of which have passed. But it’s a challenge he’s ready to face.
“I’ve been fortunate in my career to be able to pick up defenses quickly. Having had played for [current Saints defensive coordinator Steve] Spagnuolo and learning the concepts of his defense, I know it doesn’t necessarily translate automatically on the field but I believe in my ability to pick things up and my aptitude of understanding…It’s just something you handle dutifully and you get a good challenge out of it.”
Atogwe had the opportunity to face the Eagles twice last year while playing for divisional rival Washington Redskins. He found Philadelphia’s offense to be a tough opponent.
“They are very talented. Everyone in the league can say that. Having played against them, you knew that they were a team that had potential for greatness. Their offense is very explosive and they don’t have weaknesses anywhere, so they are always tough to game plan against and tough to defend.”
That talent on offense will now help Atogwe work as hard as he can to learn and make an impact on the Eagles defense. While his experience in the league is an important addition to the team and particularly to the safety position, his recent injury history means that, for the first time in his career, he may well be a backup on an NFL roster rather than a starter.
Atogwe says that he feels 100%. His signing and the competition that will ensuing at the safety position between Atogwe, current starters Kurt Coleman and Nate Allen and players like Jaiquawn Jarrett will make it one of the most interesting position battles to watch at Lehigh.