In his introductory conference call with the Philadelphia media, the Eagles' newest safety made it clear that he's prepared to be the consummate team player.
"The team definitely explained to me what my role would be," said
"They brought me in because they believe I can help the team be successful. I'm here to serve, so whatever capacity that is, whether it's playing, whether it's running down on kickoffs. I'm here to help the team win. My role will be defined by how well I learn the defense and how well I play and it'll be defined by what head coach Andy Reid feels is best for the team. I'm definitely looking forward to interacting with the other safeties and the (defensive backs) in whatever way possible and I also look forward to them helping me in my career."
Atogwe's first name means "God owns the day and only God knows my tomorrow" in Nigerian, and he expressed his trust that his decision to join the Eagles is one that will benefit both sides.
"The Eagles had made it clear that they were interested in me and once we kind of felt each other out for about a week or two, they extended the offer for me to come out and have a workout with them, which I was eagerly excited to do," said Atogwe. "So I went there I think it was two weeks ago and worked out for them and enjoyed my time there. I enjoyed meeting the coaching staff, meeting the general manager and just really getting a sense and a feel of the situation I'd be going into.
"I just never felt 100 percent comfortable making the decision with any of (the other teams I was in contact with during free agency) that were suiting me. Then with the Eagles, it just felt right. I believe God put me in that position and led me down that path because it was the best decision for me."
After an extremely impressive six-year tenure with the St. Louis Rams during which he recorded 22 interceptions, forced 19 fumbles and recovered eight more, Atogwe signed with the Washington Redskins last summer. So he lined up twice against the Eagles last season, two games won by the team from Philadelphia.
"They're very talented, anyone in the league would be able to say that," said Atogwe. "Having played against them, you knew that they were a team that has the potential for greatness. They're explosive. They don't have weaknesses anywhere and they're a tough team to gameplan against and tough to defend. So once I had an opportunity to join them, I was excited because I just knew what they had on the offensive side of the ball, as well as on the defensive side of the ball ... We have the potential to do everything that we desire to do this year, it's just working on everything coming together at the right time."
But even though Atogwe is prepared to help the Eagles in any way he can, that doesn't mean he's not fully confident in his skills and ready to challenge the likes of
"Internally, I know and believe that I'm a better player than I was last year, a better player than I was in my time at St. Louis," he said. "Now, for me personally, what I focus on is just doing the things necessary to put in what I believe and know in who I am out there on the field at a consistent basis. Truth proves itself once it's seen. I don't feel like I have anything to prove to anyone, but my focus is always on just what I know I'm capable of doing and everything else takes care of itself.
"I'm excited about going out there and playing great football this next season."
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