Nnamdi Asomugha has done a great job establishing himself as one of the all-time great Oakland Raiders cornerbacks. There is no doubt that when he departs from the team whether it is via trade, retirement, or free agency, Asomugha will be in the discussion of the greatest with the likes of Lester Hayes and Willie Brown.Yet, Nnamdi is not yet satisfied. You get the feeling that he wants more for this team. A team that he loves, a team he wants to see succeed, a team that he wants to win the Super Bowl as a part of.
Nnamdi says he has a truly good feeling about this team, "Everyone (in the NFL) has that optimism, some is real (and) some is fake. Mine right now is real. I really do believe that we can make it. I really do believe that we're going to have a really good team this year, and we'll be able to compete. It's something that we haven't had in the past and watching us and seeing the demeanor and the confidence just raising us, there's a real sense of optimism from me and from the whole team. It's a big deal."
You have to hope for the best for Nnamdi, especially considering that he has an option at the end of this season on whether to continue his contract or move on from the team. I really can't see him making a move to a different team though. I think he is undertaking the rebuilding of this team as a personal goal of his own self as well as for the benefit of the organization. Thus the staying late to play Darrius Heyward-Bey in one-on-one and playing along when Hue Jackson calls him out. He does things like this because he knows it will make the team better.
I think it is a personal goal of his to make that happen. I think he has challenged himself.
"I've been in everybody's ear,'' Asomugha said." I want to be everywhere, causing as much trouble as I possibly can, because it's not like any of these positions are difficult for me.
"It's just let me be involved, let me do more, let me be disruptive. I'm just taking it upon myself in practice to move around as much as possible, and the coaches have been very receptive to it, and I think it's just helping everybody out."
Nnamdi is truly excited and says it is easy this year to avoid the lull of a typical camp. The guys that have been put on this team since Tom Cable's arrival and the guys who have stayed on the team since his arrival are coming together as a team this year. Actually, they have been for a while. In fact, this may be the closest the Raiders have been to having an actual team since the Super Bowl team.
"It's been exciting since we've been out here practicing," said Nnamdi. "You guys are watching, there's a lot of talking going on. A lot of fun stuff, so it's exciting."
Nnamdi talked about the possibility of the defense becoming a more unpredictable. He says they are doing really well with their blitz packages.
"We had blitz period today, so it was all about working on the blitzes that we have for the season and seeing how they work," said the two-time Pro Bowler. "You know here, if it works we're going to use it. Today we had that period and it's been working. The stuff we've been doing has been working, so if we can get that going, get better at it, continue to make it work, it's going to help us a lot during the season because we'll be able to feature that more than, obviously, we have in the past.
"We're still going to be the type of team that we are, we won't change our identity as guys that can take individuals out of the game. But the thing that is going to get us over the hump this year is we're going to have a lot more confidence."
I know the general talk of Nnamdi is positive. I know he is all about the positive thinking, the positive wording towards his teammates, and the positive smiles he hands out left and right to ESPN and NFL Network. But to hear Nnamdi talk this year, it is a different vibe. It's not the politically correct Nnamdi, it the real guy who knows his stuff...or is it?
How can I say he knows his stuff when he hasn't been part of a winning team since he got into the NFL?
What do you think Raider Nation: Does Nnamdi really know what he is talking about right now, or is this just the best bad team he has been on so far?
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