Friday, June 22, 2012

Eagles bring in DT on the heels of Atogwe signing

The Eagles have signed rookie free agent DT Tevita Finau and waived DE Maurice Fountain with an injury settlement.

As a senior at Utah, Finau (6-4, 283) logged 37 tackles and three sacks in 2011. He played a huge role in their Sun Bowl win against Georgia Tech, recording a career-high 10 tackles. The Kahuku, HI, native was recognized as the 2008 regional co-defensive player of the year at Phoenix College after posting 53 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, and a forced fumble. The 26-year-old Finau was a three-year recipient of first-team, all-state honors in football and basketball at Kahuku High School.

The moves come on the heels of the Eagles signing veteran safety O.J. Atogwe to a one-year deal earlier in the week. To make room on the 90-man roster for Atogwe, the team released LS Matt Camilli

Atogwe (5-foot-11, 205) has amassed 520 tackles, 25 interceptions, 5.5 sacks and 19 forced fumbles in his seven-year NFL career. Since entering the league as a 3rd round draft choice of the St. Louis Rams in 2005, Atogwe’s interception total ranks eighth in the NFL and third among all safeties, including an NFC-best eight in 2007.

After spending his first six seasons as a member of the Rams (2005-10), Atogwe joined the Washington Redskins in 2011, and played in 13 games, recording 66 tackles and three interceptions. A native of Windsor, Ontario, the 30-year-old Atogwe played collegiately at Stanford and also ran track while majoring in biological sciences.

“O.J. will bring us veteran, quality depth at the safety position,” said Eagles general manager Howie Roseman. “We feel good about the young safeties we have on our roster, but our goal is to have the most competition possible at all of our positions as we head into training camp. O.J.’s presence will help to enhance that for the safety group. He is an accomplished player in this league and we’re happy to have him.”

The Eagles also made a pair of front office moves naming Greg Gabriel as a senior college scout and Roger Pollard as a NFL scout.

Gabriel, a 29-year NFL scouting veteran, was most recently with the Chicago Bears as the team’s director of college scouting from 2001-2010. In his previous position, Gabriel played a key role in crafting the Bears draft plans as well as evaluating college players. Prior to his nine-year tenure with Chicago, Gabriel spent 16 years in the New York Giants scouting department, beginning in 1985. He contributed to teams that won two Super Bowls and three NFC Championship games with the Giants, where he worked his way up from an area scout to the club’s director of player development. Gabriel broke into scouting as a part-time scout with Buffalo in 1981. A three-year starting running back for Canisius College, the Buffalo, NY native contributed to the popular website National Football Post following his tenure with the Bears.

Pollard joins the Eagles personnel department after serving as a college scout for the Miami Dolphins from 2003-08. With Miami, Pollard evaluated talent in the Northeast area with BLESTO responsibilities. Prior to his work with the Dolphins, Pollard coached at the collegiate level in various roles. He was the head coach at Dean College from 1996-98 and was also an assistant coach for 12 seasons with stops at Columbia (2000-02), Jacksonville (1999-00), Brown (1991-94), and Hofstra (1989-91). Pollard worked on the set of ESPN’s “The NFL Matchup Show” before coming to Philadelphia. He also assisted in coordinating the operations of NFL Europe in 2003.
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