Raiders Blog and Q&A

News, observations and reader questions about the Oakland Raiders

July 19, 2009
Nnamdi at the Coliseum on a Sunday

This summer, Nnamdi Asomugha has addressed the United Nations, hung out with former President Bill Clinton and taken a humanitarian aid trip to his family's native Nigeria. Sunday, he threw out a ceremonial first pitch at the Oakland Coliseum prior to the A's game against the Los Angeles Angels.

Asomugha, rewarded this offseason as the highest paid player in the NFL, was all smiles as he slipped on an A's cap and a personalized size 52 jersey - "Big jersey here," he cracked, "(Warren) Sapp could fit this." - complete with his name spelled correctly and No. 21 on it. And while his friends worried about his toss, Asomugha's throw was better than President Barack Obama's limp-wristed toss at this week's baseball All-Star Game in St. Louis.

With just over a week to go until the Raiders report to training camp in Napa, Asomugha spoke on a variety of team-related topics, specifically on new defensive coordinator John Marshall.

"He's got a few more coverages than we've had in the past, so he might be able to use that," Asomugha said of Marshall, who has been off limits to the media since replacing Rob Ryan.

"(Marshall is) still a dominant man-to-man guy. He never has been, but coming here he understands that's the way Mr. Davis likes it. And he sees the talent that we have and the speed so he's fallen into that. So we're still going to do man, still going to free up linebackers and other guys like that. But he's got a lot more blitzing, a lot more coverages, so we should be fine."

There had been talk that Marshall's scheme might free up Asomugha to shadow the other teams' No. 1 receiver.

"It may happen," he said. "This has never been something that we here have done. We've always just kept me where I am (on the field) and then double team whoever's on the left. I think if it's someone that's really dominant then we (move me) but nowadays the No. 2 receiver is almost as good as the No. 1. So you never know who to take."

And Asomugha's off-the-field activities this spring and summer have made him hungry for the start of camp.

"It does," he said. "It's a perfect statement; it keeps it fresh. There is no overdose (of football). Sometimes guys can max out mentally or physically. They're on something forever. So I like to take a little bit of a break and then get back into it and recharge."

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About Raiders Blog and Q&A

Matt Kawahara was born in Sacramento and attended McClatchy High School and UC Berkeley, where he wrote for the independent student paper The Daily Californian. He graduated from Cal in 2010 and started at The Sacramento Bee as a summer intern. He joined The Bee's sports staff in fall 2011.

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