Sunday, August 30, 2015

Nnamdi: Being Targeted is 'Beautiful Challenge'

It's been a new experience in Philadelphia for corner Nnamdi Asomugha, who saw teams avoid throwing at him for years when he played for the Oakland Raiders.

Nnamdi: Being Targeted is 'Beautiful Challenge'

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Nnamdi Asomugha defends the Giants´ Domenik Hixon on Sunday night. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)
Nnamdi Asomugha defends the Giants' Domenik Hixon on Sunday night. (Yong Kim/Staff Photographer)

It's been a new experience in Philadelphia for corner Nnamdi Asomugha, who saw teams avoid throwing at him for years when he played for the Oakland Raiders.

Last year, his first with the Eagles, Asomugha had to transition to a lot of zone play under new defensive coordinator Juan Castillo. This year he has been more frequently used in the man coverage he feels more comfortable with, but with Dominque Rodgers-Cromartie on the other corner, opposing offenses haven't avoided Asomugha. He's being thrown at on roughly twice as many plays as he was his final year in Oakland.

Asomugha, 31, said Friday it's a different challenge, but one he welcomes.

"It's a beautiful challenge, because that's what you want -- you want opportunities to play, instead of just being out there."

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Asmougha said he is "kind of learning new things and getting back into it, as far as the competition level."

Asked if getting thrown at more means you're going to get beat more, Asomugha said: "You don't really think about it like that. In Oakland, you're competing on every snap, but you don't have an opportunity at the ball on every snap. My mentality since I've been in the league has been to play hard every time I'm out there and good things will happen, one way or the other.

"If a guy makes a catch, it's not because I wasn't playing hard. I've never proclaimed perfection on the field or anything like that. My whole motto has been playing hard, being focused on every snap, and if the guy gets one, he earned it.

"From the outside [looking] in, if you have a reputation for being perfect, and you have a slipup, all of a sudden, 'what's going on?' But on the inside, you know it's not going to be perfect. You're going to be a competitor, you brush that stuff off."

***

Eagles coach Andy Reid said that as expected, LB Akeem Jordan (hamstring) will not play this week. The Eagles listed special teams ace Colt Anderson (knee) and DT Derek Landri (knee) as questionable, but Reid indicated they should play Sunday at Pittsburgh.

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