At some point, the Cardinals will release linebacker Pago Togafau and not bring him back. But the Cards aren’t at that point yet.
Instead, they brought back Togafau last week to replace the underachieving Ali Highsmith. It is the third time he has been with the Cardinals and, because of that and his familiarity with the system (and the Cards’ lack of depth at inside linebacker), Togafau is already practicing with the first unit, alongside inside ‘backer Paris Lenon.
“I can’t complain,” Togafau said. “If they are shuffling it up, I got the right cards. I am with the ‘ones.’ I’m not going to say anything, I’m just going to keep working with the ‘ones’ and when you play with the ‘ones’ we have out here, they make you better.”
Linebackers coach Matt Raich said Togafau’s depth chart status is just part of “shuffling guys around” and he wanted to see how Togafau does as the Mike linebacker. “We liked him last year and he was pushing to make the squad until he got hurt,” Raich said. “He’s doing the same now.”
Togafau was in coach Ken Whisenhunt’s first training camp in 2007. He was cut in camp and picked up by Philadelphia and played briefly for the Eagles before being released again. The Saints picked him up and then cut him, when the Cardinals decided to bring him back. He was on the practice squad at the end of the 2008 season — including the Super Bowl run — and was with the team in Flagstaff last August when a foot injury derailed his chances. He was let go, only to be brought back to the practice squad in late November. A month later, Togafau was promoted to the Cards’ active roster — and lasted two games before being cut once again.
He was claimed off waivers by Tennessee and re-signed with the Titans at the beginning of the offseason. But he broke his foot, and the Titans cut ties with him before training camp. So the Cardinals came calling again just a few days later — for a fourth time.
“So close but yet so far is the best I can put it,” Togafau said. “It’s always nice to have a chance, to have an opportunity. I can’t complain, man. I keep getting a shot and the Cardinals keep blessing me with these shots. Hopefully it works out this time.”
Tags: Ken Whisenhunt, Matt Raich, Pago Togafau, training camp
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