By: PAUL NASELLA
Growing up, Pago Togafau was a fan of the Dallas Cowboys, the Eagles' archrival. Since he was claimed off waivers Sunday afternoon from the Arizona Cardinals, that has all changed.
"That was a childhood thing growing up and liking the Cowboys,"he said with a smile. "But I'm an Eagles fan now.""
Togafau spent training camp and the preseason with the Arizona Cardinals where the 5-foot-10, 250-pound middle linebacker recorded 16 tackles, which was tied for best on the team. The Cardinals released the young upstart Saturday and the Eagles were quick to bring him into the fold.
"Honestly, it was a shock at first,"he said. "Of course, you get called by a franchise like the Eagles and it's overwhelming, just knowing the pride and how much they win around here.""
Togafau said he felt good about his first four preseason games with Arizona, but sees room for improvement.
"I'm going to continue to work and try to get better each day," said Togafau.
Togafau was a strong defensive leader for the Idaho State University Bengals, where he led the team in tackles in each of his last three seasons. He was voted their team MVP in 2005 and finished his career with 361 tackles.
The Eagles have positioned Togafau as their backup middle linebacker to starter Omar Gaither. Togafau said he's excited to be part of the Eagles' crushing 4-3 defense.
"Arizona is a bit different but here it's a real 4-3 defense,"he said. "I'm excited, especially knowing the D-line that we have here and how good they play.""
Although he has short time to learn the Eagles playbook for their bout Sunday in Green Bay, Togafau looks to be accountable and to pick up the pieces as fast as he can.
"Everything sounds like a foreign language right now,"he said. "But as soon as I hit my book, I should be okay."