After declaring that the Eagles had been his top choice all along, All-Pro cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha dissected the future of his new team's secondary, which features three Pro Bowlers. Can Asomugha, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and Asante Samuel co-exist?
"Oh, it's very workable," sadi Asomugha. "It's the best situation because you have, obviously teams are passing a lot more and there are rules that are - I don't want to say catered to the offense because I don't want to get fined or anything - there are rules that are pretty interesting and allow the offense to be more explosive. So you want to have as many defensive players, defensive playmakers and defensive backs that you can and if that's the case, it's very workable and it could mean some very impressive things on our end."
If all three stick, the expectation is that Asomugha would work the right side with Samuel on the left, leaving Rodgers-Cromartie, who has said he's willing to do whatever the team wants, perhaps in the slot. Even though Asomugha and Samuel are different kinds of shutdown corners, Asomugha is the prototypical lockdown guy while Samuel is the league's premier playmaker, Asomugha has appreciated his new teammate from afar for a long time.
"I've admired his game since forever," Asomugha said. "Anybody that knows me, I've always said if there's a playmaker at the cornerback position that's him. He really knows how to go after the ball. Coming here was very exciting in that regard knowing that he was here."
Although they have different styles, Asomugha and Samuel are similar in their dominance. According to Football Outsiders, Samuel allowed a ridiculous 3.2 yards-per-pass in 2010, which would have been best in the league except he was only targeted 36 times, below the minimum threshold to qualify. Asomugha, meanwhile, was targeted even fewer times, 31 to Samuel's 36, and allowed a dismal 5.9 yards per pass. Contrasting styles or not, Asomugha is excited to get to work in the Eagles defense.
"There's this thing about styles," he said. "To be honest, I'm a football player. I play within my scheme and I try to do the best for the coaches that are teaching me. If they tell me they want me to do this, I'm going to go out there and do it and I'm going to put my best foot forward. There's no one way of doing anything before being a so-called shutdown corner or a cover corner, you're a football player. I was a safety in college. I had to learn the cornerback position. I've come a long way. I struggled my first two years in the league. I don't necessarily put it into having a style. I put in into being a football player and being what I'm asked to do, so it'll mesh. I'll make it mesh."