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Asomugha Embraces 49ers Culture

Posted Jul 28, 2013

Nnamdi Asomugha fits right in with the 49ers hard-working culture.

Nnamdi Asomugha fits right in with the 49ers hard-working culture.

The conclusion of Saturday’s padded training camp practice spoke volumes about the veteran cornerback's work habbits with San Francisco.

When Jim Harbaugh sent in the veterans to allow the young players to have more reps in the final team period of practice, Asomugha kept working. As the numerous star players on San Francisco’s roster made their way to the locker room, Asomugha stayed back on the practice field to go over press-man techniques with safety Craig Dahl. While first and second-year players ran plays for 20 minutes or so, Asomugha and Dahl worked on fundamentals on an adjacent practice field.

Such moments underline how Asomugha is more determined than ever and willing to share his knowledge of the game. The 6-foot-2, 210-pound cornerback enters his 11th season and first year with the 49ers after signing a one-year contract in early April.

[ PHOTOS - TRAINING CAMP: JULY 27 ]

Asomugha has never been on a playoff team and feels like he’s in position to make the postseason with the defending NFC Champions.

“It’s definitely a different culture,” Asomugha explained. “The whole environment is a lot more positive, a lot more upbeat, a lot more optimistic.”

The physical cornerback known for his press-man coverage believes it’s not phony by any means.

“It’s true optimism,” the three-time Pro Bowler said. “It’s not like all the 32 teams come in and say, ‘this is the year, we’re going to win the Super Bowl this year.’

“It’s coming from a real place. I’ve never been around that.”

Asomugha is doing his part to add to the strong culture by sharing information to his fellow defensive backs. When the 49ers veterans can share tips on Vic Fangio’s defensive system, Asomugha returns the favor with teaching points on technique.

“I think it works both ways,” he said.

Asomugha has been working ever since he signed with the 49ers. It only falls in line with he sees on a daily basis from his new teammates.

“The hunger is definitely there,” Asomugha said of San Francisco’s driven locker room. “It’s a talented group and when you can still be mature and still be disciplined, still have focus and still be working hard, you have a chance to do some special things.

“I think that’s what we have, it’s not a situation where you know you’re talented and all have skills so things are going to work out. You don’t get that sense here at all. It’s not that way at all, so it’s a beautiful thing.”

Asomugha is competing for a coveted cornerback role in San Francisco's crowded defensive backfeild and has been primarily playing with the second-team defense in camp. The veteran said he’s been playing on both sides of the field and has been pleased with his ability to make plays while picking up a new system.

Now that the pads are on, Asomugha believes his ability will continue to stand out.

That was the case when Asomugha fared well in press-man drills and later broke up a Colin Kaepernick pass intended for Marlon Moore in a team period. Asomugha recognized the deep in route and batted the ball away right as it made its way into Moore’s hands.

Such moments explain why the padded practices are welcomed by Asomugha.

“It’s definitely good for when you want to be aggressive,” the two-time first-team All-Pro said. “Up until now it’s been working on your feet and maybe working some of your off (man) game. But now I think the aggressive part of it starts to play a role. As the day starts to build you get more comfortable with, so it’s good.”

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