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For Atogwe, Redskins Were Worth the Wait


Oshiomogho Atogwe waited for months to join his new team.

Signed by the Redskins before the NFL lockout began last March, the 5-11, 205-pound free safety was excited to meet his new teammates at Redskins Park.

"I was excited to come in here and play with guys like London Fletcher, Ryan Kerrigan, DeAngelo Hall, Lorenzo Alexander," Atogwe said. "The character of men is what attracted me here and what they are building here."

Atogwe has familiarity with Redskins defensive coordinator Jim Haslett – he played for Haslett when they both were in St. Louis from 2006-08 – so he should be able to pick up the Redskins' 3-4 scheme quickly.

His biggest learning curve in his first week as a Redskin? Finding his way around the team's facility.

"It felt like I was lost. I didn't really know my way around," Atogwe said. "I didn't know where the field was. I was just playing follow the leader."

Atogwe has high standards for himself and his leadership skills on the Redskins. He expects to emerge as a leader on the Redskins' defense.

"My prayer is that I come in here, and I bring my skills and abilities to create turnovers and ability to lead and inspire men to help strengthen what they already have going on," Atogwe said. "I want to push it to another level."

Atogwe produced 22 interceptions in his six seasons with the St. Louis Rams before coming to Washington.

Asked about reuniting with Haslett, Atogwe said: "Any time you play for a coach that's passionate, you know he wants to win just as bad as you do and his hearts always in the right place."

Atogwe has been following his safety counterpart LaRon Landry for years. He hasn't been able to line up with Landry yet, though. Landry remains on the Physically Unable to Perform list due to a lingering Achilles injury.

"We're going to continue to grow. It's a relationship, and any relationship takes time to develop itself," Atogwe said of playing with Landry. "He's a great kid and a phenomenal football player."

Atogwe has had his share of big plays against the Redskins in the last five seasons.

Redskins fans may remember Atogwe as the player who returned a fumble recovery 75 yards for a touchdown at FedExField three years ago to lead the Rams to a victory.

"Was that here?" Atogwe tried to remember.

Doesn't matter, he shrugged.

"We're all Redskins now," he said.

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