SANTA CLARA – Nnamdi Asomugha spoke in the media tent Sunday morning. Here’s what he said.
Q: Were you pleased with how things went in the preseason game Thursday night?
ASOMUGHA: Yeah, it felt good. It felt good to be out there and to have the jersey on and to be running around with my teammates. The first preseason game, you always have to make sure you’re doing the right things fundamentally because you’re not really game planning the teams that you’re playing against. I think fundamentals and technique, those types of stuff, went well.
Q: How is your mindset different this training camp than in past training camps?
ASOMUGHA: Mentally, my head is in the same place. I’m a very self-motivated guy. It’s not the situation around me that’s going to bring out the best in me. I wouldn’t say that it’s much different in that way. It’s always been my goal to go out and be the best.
Q: When we asked Vic Fangio about how you’re playing, he same some good, some not-so-good and he openly wondered how much you have in the tank. Did you read that and did that come as a surprise?
ASOMUGHA: I heard about it as of late, but I didn’t read it. I focus on what I can deal with. I think that’s where my mindset has been, progressing each day. I think I’ve been able to progress each day. I’m highly critical of myself. Highly, highly critical of myself. There is not much that someone else might say that makes me feel like I need to be motivated in a different way. Like I said, I’m a self motivated guy. I’m probably saying worse things about myself than the next guy is saying. But I think I’ll progress each day, which is the goal of this time of the year. Progressing and getting more comfortable in the system is something I’ve been able to do. I’ll just keep going forward with that.
ME: Fangio said you’re at the age where some players start to lose some of their athleticism and he needs to see where you’re at and how much you have left. You’ve talked about technique and fundamentals, but how do you feel about your level of athleticism? Do you feel as athletic as you were in your 20s?
ASOMUGHA: I feel great, and I’m not just saying it for it to sound good. I feel great. When I’m watching some of the stuff I’m doing on film, it’s looking good and it’s encouraging. Not the age that I am, but just what I’ve been through, there are moments along the way when I need to see some of that progress just for self encouragement. And I’ve seen it. I’ve been out there making plays and doing a lot of the things I normally do. My confidence is in a good place. It’s continuing to raise with each day. But he is right. When guys get to a certain age or a certain level of their career, maybe they don’t do as much, they don’t work as hard. And so, they start to lose some of that stuff. And then it’s inevitable at some point you’re going to lose what you’ve had, but I’m not there yet.
Q: What kind of feedback have you been getting privately from Fangio?
ASOMUGHA: The feedback from the coaches has been positive. They don’t say too much. This isn’t a group that will yell at you and curse you out if something’s going wrong. That’s what I love about the coaching staff as a whole, just their ability to coach each individual player and to take time with them. As far as feedback from the coaches, it’s more about the individual time I’ve had with coaches and them just being able to bring me along as far as technique, as far as coverages and being positive in that way. I focus on the positive, that’s what keeps me going.
Q: You mostly have played on the right side in practices and games. Are you comfortable playing on the left side? Is that the plan to give you some exposure on that side?
ASOMUGHA: I don’t know what the plan is, but it’s always the plan in my head to be prepared for any situation I can be in. I get work on the right and on the left on my own. During practice, for the most part you’ve seen me on the right. For most of my career I was on the right. There have been many times I’ve been on the left or shadowed a guy. I have a comfort level playing both and I always want to be prepared.