So much has changed over the last year for Nnamdi Asomugha. In April of 2011, the All-Pro cornerback was still in a holding pattern, waiting for the league's work stoppage to end so he could hit free agency for the first time after eight seasons with the Oakland Raiders. Now, following a whirlwind first season with the Eagles, Asomugha is adjusting to his new surroundings and readying for a big season in 2012.
"Well I have to travel all the way out to Philadelphia to work out sometimes, so that's different," Asomugha said when asked to compare his previous offseasons to this one. "Usually I've just stayed in California, so now I really have to schedule my time this offseason and make it so that everything works together with my schedule.
Asomugha has admitted that it took him a few weeks into the regular season to become comfortable in defensive coordinator Juan Castillo's defense. But by the end of the year, the Eagles defense had grown leaps and bounds and allowed a mere 11.5 points per game over the last four games (all wins). With Castillo returning, along with the addition of a brand new middle linebacker in DeMeco Ryans, Asomugha expects the Eagles defense to continue along the path they forged to close the 2011 season.
"That's been the goal," he said, "just build off the way that we ended the season and looking forward to the things that we can do this year. I think everybody's pretty excited about it.
"We've had what it takes, it's about coming together as a team, being able to work together, being cohesive. That's the stuff that we are working towards. We have the offseason now and we're taking advantage of that offseason and guys come in when they can and we try to work out as much as we can together."
In fact, despite the cross-country trek from his California home, Asomugha has made regular appearances at the NovaCare Complex in an effort to help prepare himself and his teammates for the season ahead.
"It's been good so far, just being able to work out with the guys and build that type of camaraderie. We've gone out and we've thrown a little bit, making sure that we keep the plays down that we've learned and so it makes a big difference when you have six months to prepare as opposed to six days."
And with that, Asomugha left for the practice fields to work out with second-year cornerback Curtis Marsh. Back to work.
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