Jarrett, Through the Eyes Of O.J. Atogwe

It is difficult to get a read on Jaiquawn Jarrett. He says little and reveals less. You would have to imagine, though, that he’s going through it right now. To fall from a second-round pick to a question mark for the 53-man roster, in the town you played your college ball in, has to shake you to a certain extent.

O.J. Atogwe has his own issues to deal with. The eight-year veteran is trying to digest a new system and adapt to a new environment in the hopes of solidifying a niche on this Eagles team. But he has at least been around the block enough to know that he can play in this league. It is the type of crutch that the Temple product could really use right about now.

“I think all players go through that cycle of, ‘Am I good enough to play?’ And once you realize you are, ‘O.K., why am I good enough to play?’” said Atogwe. “And once that begins to set in, that’s when you start to maximize your potential and start to make a name for yourself or solidify yourself in this league.”

What does it take to get to that point?

“Patience, and just really being hard on yourself as far as evaluating what you’re doing well, what you’re not doing well; what your strengths are and what your weaknesses are,” he said. “Then doing your best to tailor your game so you are always playing from the vantage point of your strengths. For every player it’s different: some players get that really quick and get the adjustment down really fast, and some players it takes a little bit of time.”

Jarrett falls into the latter category, and the question is whether there’s time enough to find his groove.

On one hand, he is only 22-years-old. Are 12 regular season games and one really rough preseason outing against the Steelers enough to move on from this kid? On the other, this is a cutthroat league and Jarrett is currently a liability. He is struggling with his angles, leaving him unable to deliver the kind of jarring hits that he built his reputation on. If he’s not landing his blows, is suspect in coverage and doing little in special teams, can the Eagles — who are already questionable at safety — afford to continue the experiment?

Atogwe seems to think he’ll come around.

“He’s really talented, man. He really has a nose for the football. Just right now he’s coming into his own and continuing to learn his game on the NFL field,” he said. “Sometimes that can take some time just to figure out your place and how you fit when playing. He’s definitely talented and has the ability to be a really good safety in this league, he just has to settle in and play with confidence.”

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  • PaoliBulldog

    Jarrett’s deficiencies today are the ones he had coming out of Temple. So if he hasn’t figured out the NFL game by now….

  • Dominic Foti

    I’d be petrified if Jarrett is on the field for any game that matters, he’s looked really bad so far…

  • Andy

    What are the chances he sneaks onto the practice squad? If there isn’t room for him on the Eagles’ roster is there another team that has a roster spot for him?

    • jasvic

      None, he isn’t eligible. Far as I can tell, he was active 12 games last year.

      In order to be eligible for the practice squad, players must meet one of the following requirements:Have no prior Accrued Seasons in the NFL (An accrued season is six or more games on the active roster);Have one prior Accrued Season in which the player was on the 45-man active roster for no more than 8 games;If served two seasons on a practice squad, are eligible for a third season only if the team has at least 53 players on its active/inactive list for the duration of that player’s employment.

  • poetx

    that was a really nice thing for atogwe to say about his direct competition. he could have easily no commented, or gave the reporter some blandishment. that says a lot about his character that he’d go out of his way to be encouraging to a young dude that is struggling.

  • ACViking

    Dwight Hicks — a 4x Pro Bowler at safety for the 49ers during the 1980s — was drafted in 1978 in Rd 6 out of Michigan by the Detroit Lions . . . and cut. Hicks then spent the ’78 season in the CFL for the Toronto Argos.

    In 1979, the Eagles signed Hicks as a free agent to compete with rookie free agent Brenard Wilson for the FS job opposite SS Randy Logan.

    Wilson won. Hicks was cut and signed by Bill Walsh’s 49ers.

    In 1981 — three seasons after being cut by the Lions — Hicks was a Pro Bowler.

  • Anebriated

    Part of the issue is that he was brought in with a skill set that was more akin to a Brian Dawkins type game and we have since shifted the responsibilities of our safeties and brought in a new DB coach. We need them to be completely interchangeable being able to play both facets well instead of being an extra LB. I was at pretty much every Temple home game during his tenure and the kid can play, just not in every scheme.

  • http://twitter.com/taymgates Taylor

    I understand the media and news are all over JJ right now cause of his horrible first preseason game… But remember until that first preseason game he had been having a good camp where everyone thought he had progressed into an NFL player.. One preseason game is not going to make or break anyones career in the NFL..

    If he continues to have horrible games throughout all of training camp week after week, then I completely agree this kid is just not going to make it..

    But PLEASE its one preseason game… I hope he just had a bad game, came out extremely over hyped(seemed like a lot of people did), was overly excited to hit another color jersey, forgot plays he really does know, and just was trying to hard to impress Andy & Co. that he isn’t a bust..

    Let this kid play a few more games get comfortable and see where he is at before we call him a bust..

  • Formidable

    I see the team stashing him on IR at some point during the pre-season with a phantom injury and allowing him one last season/off-season to learn the defense and show he can play. Reid doesn’t give up on high picks early even when they are terrible or just not starting material (LJ Smith, McDougle, Mitchell, Caver, Gardner, Matt McCoy, Abiamiri, Laws, Graham). Why should Jarrett be any different? Maybe Reid and Co will smarten up and replace Zordich with Brian Dawkins as an assistant.

  • EaglefaninAZ

    I’ve seen it written a number of times that he was overvalued as a second round pick in that draft. I thought most draft gurus had him going in round 4 at most.
    If so, that points right back at Coach Reid and management, and this ongoing discussion doesn’t occur if he was drafted in the fourth. He’d merely be a “disappointment”, and not a potential “bust”.

  • BirdsNYC

    Otogwe comes across as a standup dude. Like these behind-the-scene pieces where you get some insight into what it’s like for the guys who make and those who don’t, because at this level the differential has to be pretty slight. There are players with less talent than JJ that have had nice careers. That said, it’s pretty clear the Birds reached on him, which isn’t exactly his fault.