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On Monday, when the National Football League’s All-Pro team was announced, cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha was one of the names that slipped under the radar. The New York Daily News had named the former San Francisco 49ers cornerback as its top defensive player, in part because of his play on the Giants’ defense in the 2006-07 season. The Giants went 4-12, and Asomugha finished tied for 12th among NFC players in passes defensed.
Asomugha finished with 12 interceptions and was one of the primary reasons why the Giants’ defense allowed a league-low 574.8 yards per game. But he made a big contribution as a shutdown cornerback at middle linebacker as well, making eight tackles and forcing three fumbles in 2008.
However, despite a productive four-year career in the NFL, those statistics don’t take into account his playing style in college. He played a ton of the downfield rush position, and he used his size and speed to cause problems in coverage as well. I recently caught up with him and asked him how he felt about the way he was called upon at the middle linebacker position in the NFL.
Q: I just want to touch base with some players that you played against. I know there are a couple of the other days and probably a couple of other days coming up here as well of guys that are going to be on us, but when you look at these players, some of them are probably going to be on our team that nobody knew about right now so it’ll be interesting to see when you have the time to go back and look at some of these players that you played against. But I’m just curious how you feel about some of the other players you played against for the Giants. Obviously, you had Asomugha, you had (James) Lofton, you had David Tyree. So there’s a couple of guys that you played against in your career that you will want to come back and look at.
ANSOMHFA: I am so thankful for those guys. I still think they are going to be great players in the NFL, and maybe even better.
Q: You obviously had a big career with the Giants, but in 2007 you