The newest 49ers’ cornerback, 31-year old former two-time All Pro Nnamdi Asomugha, spoke on a conference call Wednesday afternoon with Bay Area reporters. Among other things, he spoke about his desire to finally win. Remember, Asomugha never has played on a winning team in the NFL.
Here’s a transcript of his interview.
And here’s a link to my most recent column on Yahoo! Sports: Does Nnamdi Asomugha bring anything to the 49ers?
Q: How did you end up with the 49ers?
ASOMUGHA: I was making a decision between the Niners and the Saints. Ultimately, the Niners felt like the right place to be. I really was impressed with the way they run their organization, impressed with the winning, impressed with the coaches and the players. Everything felt like it was in line.
Q: Is it nice to come back to the Bay Area?
ASOMUGHA: It feels good being back here. Having started out here in college, it feels good, the familiarity of here. I don’t have to acclimate to a new culture and new surroundings. The focus can be on football, so that’s a beautiful thing.
Q: Was there ever any talk of you playing safety with the 49ers, or are you a cornerback?
ASOMUGHA: No, we haven’t talked about safety at all. I’m playing corner.
Q: When you met with Trent Baalke, what did he tell you your role would be if you signed with the team?
ASOMUGHA: We didn’t talk about what the role would be. I just told him that I wanted to come in and help this team as much as I can and whatever way that I can. But we didn’t go into specifics of what that role would be – would you go inside? Would you go outside? Would you be a…we didn’t talk about that stuff.
Q: Do you feel you have something to prove at this stage of your career?
ASOMUGHA: I don’t think the stage in my career really matters as much. I don’t know of a season when I’ve ever come in and I didn’t feel like I had something to prove. I’ve had a chip on my shoulder every year that I’ve played. It’s obviously bigger this year because of the adversity I went through in Philadelphia, but it’s always been a part of my game.
Q: Why don’t you think things worked out for you in Philadelphia?
ASOMUGHA: I think there were a number of reasons that you can point to, but ultimately it didn’t work out. I’m not the type of person that lists, that all starts to sound like excuses to me. I think the bottom line was it didn’t work out. I tried my hardest for it to work out. I believed all the way up until the end it was going to work out. I wanted it to work out so badly. I wanted to win in Philadelphia. I wanted to be great in Philadelphia. I just wanted everything to align and workout. Sometimes it doesn’t work out that way. I think the more level-headed you can be during those difficult moments, how you bounce back, I think I’ve been pretty level-headed with it.
Q: You’re coming to a team that went to the Super Bowl and has its top five cornerbacks returning. What are your thoughts on coming into a situation where there’s going to be a daily competition all the way through training camp?
ASOMUGHA: I just want to compete on this team. I just want the best brought out of me on this team. I just want to have fun, that’s the attitude I’m coming in with. I want to win games, so I’m going to do whatever I can to make those things happen regardless of what I’m coming into and this, that or the other. I’m going to compete and be the best that I can possibly be.
Q: At your age, there are a lot of doubters out there. Does that fuel you? Do you think you can still play at the highest level that we saw you play at the Raiders?
ASOMUGHA: Yeah, I know it. I know what went wrong and didn’t work in my favor, I know how those things are fixed and I know the level I can play at. So, that’s where I stand with that. I don’t think it’s an age thing, I think it’s not playing well during a difficult two years, being removed from that environment, just having a rejuvenated opportunity.