As the Redskins only player from Canada, safety Oshiomogho Atogwe had to be excited when the NFL schedule was released last spring and his new team would be playing Buffalo in Toronto.
Or maybe not.
I dont circle too many games and I didnt circle this one, Atogwe said. Its definitely a blessing to go home and play in your home country and in front of your fellow citizens. But all games are equal.
Still, Atogwe will have 40 friends and relatives at Rogers Centre on Sunday. He is expected to start after missing last weeks loss at Carolina with a knee injury.
Atogwe grew up in Windsor, Ontario, which is across the border from Detroit, about four hours west of Toronto. As a youth, he played 11-man football before starring in high school under 12-man rules.
Football is very popular, he said of Canada. I would say its the second most popular sport behind hockey. I couldnt care less for hockey it was football all the way. We had a youth league, we had high school football, we had travel football. It was pretty big in my area.
Atogwe hopes to play a part in stopping the Redskins two-game losing streak.
A lot of has to do with us just being able to do what were called to do and do it better, he said. If that requires spending more time in the film room, more time in practice working on our technique and on our assignments, thats what we have to do.
Next Step For Armstrong
Receiver Anthony Armstrong missed most of one game and all of two others with a hamstring injury before returning last week. He played 44 of 67 snaps but had only one catch for 9 yards.
You come back after a hamstring, youre a little rusty but thats what practice is for, receivers coach Keenan McCardell said. I expect him to come out this week and be Anthony, go out, play hard and were looking for some big plays down the field. We need some big plays.
Only three teams (Cleveland, San Francisco and the Jets) have fewer than the Redskins two completions of 40 or more yards. Rex Grossman threw 40 yards to Fred Davis against Arizona and 45 yards to Jabar Gaffney against Philadelphia.
At this point last year, the Redskins already had six completions of 40 or more yards.
Atogwe on Toronto: Great food, nice attractions, great night-life, nice people, malls, shopping.
As for the several Redskins who havent visited the city, he added: These people on this team dont get too far and dont travel too much. If it requires a passport, dont count on it. The rookies probably havent left their cities until coming here.
Offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan on tight end Logan Paulsen, elevated to No. 2: Whatever you ask him to do, he might not be the fastest guy out there and his strength is definitely his blocking, but as you saw, he can still make plays in the pass game.
The sack originally given to cornerback DeAngelo Hall last week (even though he didnt touch Panthers quarterback Cam Newton) has been given to nose tackle Barry Cofield, who chased Newton out of bounds.
With 4.5 sacks apiece, Brian Orakpo and Adam Carriker have more than Buffalos entire defense (four). Entering the season, Carriker had 3.5 sacks in his first 47 NFL games.
Contact OHalloran at email@example.com