Nnamdi: ‘This Is the Place I Want To Be’

Nnamdi Asomugha had a candid session with reporters Friday, discussing the disappointing start to his time in Philadelphia and the possibility that it could be cut short.

Though things have gone different than anticipated, the much-hyped cornerback says he is not planning his exit strategy out of Philadelphia.

“I definitely feel that I have assimilated into it and acclimated into it and all of that stuff,” said Asomugha. “I have gotten the question throughout this year a couple times: did I make the right decision [coming here], should I have gone [somewhere else]? And that doesn’t cross my mind at all. It’s always, yes, this is the place I want to be.

“I absolutely believe in the decision I have made and believe in this team.”

When the Eagles signed Asomugha to a five-year, $60 million deal prior to the 2011 campaign, he was heralded as one of the top cover men in the game. He has fallen well short of that billing. It has not gone the way anybody envisioned, including Asomugha himself.

“Not even close. Not even close,” Asomugha admitted. “When I came I didn’t know anybody but everybody was on the same page that we were going to get it done the first year out of there. Then we saw that we had to jell. Then we started to jell. It looked like  at the beginning of the season things were on a roll, then we started losing and the momentum went the other way for us. So it just hasn’t gone well.

“I’m mentally strong because I haven’t had the success in the league that I’ve wanted since I was a rookie, but mentally I’ve been able to deal with that and know or believe that at sometime it will turn around.”

Asked specifically why he hasn’t been able to play at the high level everyone expected, Asomugha declined to answer in fear that it would sound like an excuse. There has been a decent amount of excuse-making over the past two seasons from this club, and Asomugha has been part of that. Whether intended or not, some of his postgame explanations as to why things went wrong often came across as finger-pointing, sometimes in the direction of former defensive coordinator Juan Castillo.

But on Friday Asomugha took some ownership, and said he understands why some of the fan base is  upset with him.

“As a fan I can look back to teams that I like and a player that I’ve liked  comes in and expecting it to just change, and it not working out and being upset about that,” he said. “I can’t now be that guy and look at them and say, ‘You can’t be upset that we haven’t won and I haven’t been Superman on the field’ even though that’s what has been expected of me.”

Opposing quarterbacks have a sterling 110.4 quarterback rating when throwing in Asomugha’s direction this season, per Pro Football Focus. The 31-year-old has just one interception on the season. He is due a base salary of $15 million next season, only $4 million of which is guaranteed. Asomugha says that he has not allowed himself to play the what-if game in terms of his future, but said, “I want to be around for this turnaround that I know is going to happen.”

He will have to be amenable to a sizable pay cut in all likelihood if that is to occur.

“Obviously it hasn’t been as good as I wanted it to be,” said Asomugha. “As far as team and individually, my expectations were so high. And then things just kind of hit really quickly, and it was like, team wise and player-wise it was kind of like playing catch-up trying to get it back on the right foot. That part of it has been difficult, but I keep that faith and believe that the thing will turn.”

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  • usmcnole

    Sorry Nnambi but don’t let the door hit ya where the good lord split ya. You brought your losing mentality from Oakland but left your skillz on the other coast.

  • daytoday

    i know i cant speak for all eagles fans, but i know that for myself, im glad we have nnamdi. He is a great guy on and off the field. The big name guy always gets the blame when things dont go well, but if you know football, then you would know that the two main problems on this defense are the safteys, next yr we need to upgrade that position with 2 new good safteys, we have 2 pro bowl level CBs, and they need better safteys behind them. Its just that simple…

    • dollamakeuholla

      WHAT?!?!?!?!?! a 110.4 QBR when throwing at him? That is HORRIBLY bad! How many times does Revis not have any help on his side and he dominates. This guy has lost a step and my wife might have a shot on a deep post against him!

      • daytoday

        well when you only get thrown at 1 or 2 times a game, its easier for a QB to get a higher QBR against him, plus with these 2 bad safteys always messing up the coverage it makes everyones job harder

      • bsn

        Revis gets help a lot more than people think. And to say something as stupid as your wife could beat him on a deep post? Come on man, she ain’t gettin off the line if he presses. He shut Calvin down for most of a game. And he sucks? I can’t defend this team or most of its fans….

    • Kimbafuzz

      I’m still glad we got Nnamdi. But I do wish we had better safety help so that his individual weaknesses weren’t so easily exposed.

    • Run Eagles Run

      nnamdi still isnt used correctly, he is a man on man cb not a zone. the wide nine, safety, andy reid. fix those problems, and just stick nnamdi on their best receiver and D is good.

  • Wilbert M.

    Did any reporters ask Nnamdi about how he was featured on ESPN as a low heart/effort guy? Or, why the All-22 films showed him being pushed all over the place last week? Please just ask him why he’s playing like a dog.

  • http://www.philthycanuck.com/ Adam

    There’s nothing more I’d rather see than for him to turn it around and silence the critics… but I’m just not sure Nnamdi has it anymore. He’s not strong enough to get a good jam off, and he’s got no closing speed if he’s unable to get a good jam.

    I think he’s going to have to restructure if he sticks around next year.

  • Concsussed FB

    Nnamdi’s tombstone will read, “I thought I had help over the top!”. How many times do we have to see him look around for someone to blame when he gets beat?

  • xlGmanlx

    Nnamdi – it isn’t whether this is where you want to be, it is more if the eagles want you hear next year. I feel confident regardless, he isn’t coming back at the current rates in the contract, a restructure is the obvious next move

  • http://twitter.com/THEKID_ Mike Jehle

    Nnamdi is Reid’s mistake. Once Reid is gone, so is Nnamdi…unless he restructures. Cuz there’s no way you pay him $15m next season when a rookie or much less costly FA CB can do the exact same thing as he’s done his two years.
    And I’m all for “good people.” But I don’t need my CBs to be good people off the field…i need them to cover WR’s on the field.

  • Mr. Magee

    Some really good comments in here.

    I am with those that feel Nnamdi has underperformed. I am not sympathetic to his plight, or his comments – especially where he implies that expectations of him have been unrealistic. This is totally consistent with his reaction every time he is burned on the field – always somebody else’s fault.

    Highly unlikely that Nnamdi comes back – future coaches will correctly see him as emblematic of the soft, “me first” approach that many eagle players have taken in their descent to a losing team over the last two years.