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Patriots Unfiltered Tue Dec 01 | 11:55 AM - 02:00 PM

Nnamdi Asomugha Conference Call Transcript

Q: When you look at this Patriots offense what's the most impressive thing that you've seen?  

NA: Well, you always like to play against a team that has one threat because you know that you can take that one threat out and then you can pretty much handle everything else. That makes it a lot easier on the defense. I think the thing that's different with the Patriots is that they have threats all over the field that can take over the game. I'm sure everybody says the same thing, but it's not just Wes [Welker] out there. It's the tight ends, both of them out there are playing really well this year. They got other receivers out there like [Deion] Branch and Chad [Ochocinco], [and Julian] Edelman. All these guys have made plays throughout the year and throughout their careers. They've got a lot of experience and they got a lot of talent out there and [Tom] Brady makes it go.  

Q: Your coach spoke with us earlier about how you're being asked to do a lot more than you were in Oakland. Could you talk about some of the things that you're asked to do now that's different than what you dealt with in Oakland?  

NA: In Oakland it was obviously just you line up on that guy and take him out of the game. So that's where your study was. That's where all your focus was. Now, there are different matchup issues that can happen all over the field, especially with the short offseason that we had. There are places that we've needed to fill in with that lack of time. When we get these matchup issues, we might take advantage of that whether it's a tight end or even a back sometimes like in the Chicago game when we played [Matt] Forte. There would times when I'd line up with him. It just depends, as I'm lining up - it's not like you're just lining up and playing man. There are different packages and different coverage's and all sorts of things that are going on. I've pretty much played all those positions in the defense at one point whether it's linebacker, corner, nickel, dime, free safety [and] strong side. So, I would say the biggest challenge is just figuring out what my responsibility is based off the position that I'm playing. It feels better as the season has gone on.  

Q: Is it fair to say part of your challenge is getting to the part of just playing as opposed to thinking and playing?  

NA: Yeah, that was definitely part of the challenge early. Obviously, just being a football player you have instincts that you can just go off of regardless of what position you're in [and] based on the coverage's and the different things that we're doing. That was the early challenge trying to be able to understand how you fit based off that particular scheme or that particular coverage and if you can just play and not have to think about it. Obviously, all those things get taken out during your mini camps and your training camps. Early on, it's one of those things you just learn as you go with it.  

Q: People have said, 'Why not just simply it and let Nnamdi do what he did in Oakland and line up on a guy and take him out of the game to kind of get you more comfortable.' Is it more complicated than that?  

NA: Yeah, it is. You got to see how the rest of the defense works. You know, I could easily do that and easily just be told to, 'Just take this guy,' then everybody else has to fit in to that as well. It won't necessarily happen that way. It's kind of like you can't do it for just one guy. You have to make sure that the whole defense can adapt if that's your plan. It hasn't been something that we've gone to because there are guys that are used to doing what they've done for years, so you're not necessarily going to get into that sort of moving around type of thing. We've had to figure it out based of that.  

Q: When you heard the term 'Dream team,' what did you think? Did you realize the media firestorm that would come with just that term itself?  

NA: No, I didn't. I didn't think anything of it when I first heard it. I just thought it was Vince [Young] talking about how he felt and how he was excited and how it was like a dream come true, something like that. You learn very quickly how things can get spun. I mean I think we all go a lesson in that after that statement he made. Then it turned into us just being cocky and us being over confident and saying way too much, etc, etc which we were never doing. No one ever took it like that when he said it. It was just something like that he's always looked forward too or he's happy to be in this situation.  

Q: Has that situation been annoying this year just that itself?  

NA: Yeah, people are always trying to bring it up or always trying to say something that has the word 'dream' in it or something like that. You always have to watch what you're saying because even if you say, 'It's been our dream to be in this situation' then someone's going to run with that. That's been the annoying thing. You just want to be able to speak freely, but as Vince [Young] was trying to do, but you see how that can be taken the wrong way and put on the shoulders of everybody.  

Q: Of your six losses, five have been less than a touchdown. Frustration or disappointment,  which is the greater emotion?  

NA: I think they're equal, it just depends - disappointment may come first and frustration might come first it just depends on how the game went in particular that day. Frustration and disappointment is just how you would phrase it having those losses come by, like you said, less than a touchdown each game. We know that we're- it's also encouraging, besides the disappointment and frustration you know that you're a good team that just needs to finish out what you start. That's what makes teams great is being able to finish what they start. It keeps it from making us feel we're in a lose-lose situation - like we have no ability, we're not even in games, there's still encouragement there.  

Q: Why with all of the talent that you guys have has it not worked to this point?  

NA: Has it not worked meaning why are we not undefeated?  

Q: You're 4-6. You're fighting to get back to .500 and for a playoff spot. Whether it was fair or not, I think everybody outside Philadelphia had huge expectations for you guys, but you're 4-6.  

NA: I think there can be a lot of reasons for that. I don't know if there are other teams or other instances that you can think of but we knew from the start that things don't happen overnight. We knew that expectations were going to be great and it was going to be assumed that we would be undefeated, but we knew there was going to be some worked to be done. Everybody was new, everybody was learning, [and] coaches included. We just needed to be real with ourselves and I think it becomes a bigger issue when you think about what the expectations have been and rightfully so. We try to keep it in perspective between what those expectations have been and what the reality of the situation is. When you bring a team together you have to build them. The team has to build and there has to be chemistry and they have to gel before things start to happen. You think you are going to [play] like what people would call an all-star team or something like that and you should just win every game, but not everybody got to be on the same page. You see teams over the years win many games and even Super Bowls without the most talented players, but those type of teams have been in the same types of systems for four or five years. There's been a growth period that has finally clicked for them. So, that's pretty much what we've been hoping for and experiencing that moment for when it just clicks, which has happened in several games this year. It just has to happen for the entire game and we got to make it happen every game.  

Q: I hope that didn't come across as disrespect. That wasn't my intent.  

NA: I know, I understand. I didn't take it that way. It's just that I understand once [Vince Young] said that everybody was like, 'OK this has to be the undefeated year.' I understand where the question was coming from and I know that in the inside there has been a process of learning and gelling that people on the outside won't really think has to happen or will really even think about at any time. It's a process that we've gone through.  

Q: You've seen your offense every day. You practice against your offense. What is the challenge of defending against Michael Vick and Vince Young since they can run and can move around looking for an open guy. What is the challenge when you face a quarterback like that?  

NA: Well, I think they kind of limited the kind of coverages that you want to do, especially, if he can throw and run. If he can throw, than you don't really want to be in that many zones [because] then he'll find those guys that are wide open in the zone. If you want to play man then there are a lot of guys with their backs turned to the quarterback because he's got legs and he can take off running. So, I mean it poses a lot of problems for a defensive coordinator. You have to figure out what the best way is to stop a team with a running quarterback. Defenses don't really want to play against those guys.  

Q: What are your impressions of Asante Samuel?  

NA: He's a funny guy. I don't know how he was when he was over there with you guys, but here he's just been loud and the guy that's always running around yelling something or doing something where everyone is watching him and stuff like that. It's fun being around him. He's a guy that likes to help out and give his experience in any situation that he's in. I like playing with him a lot and I've like him since as long as I've known him. I met him at an All-Star game in Hawaii and we just talked there and didn't know we would be playing a few years later. It's good, I like the guy.

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