Asomugha making waves

Posted Aug 24, 2004

Charles Woodson's holdout has been Nnamdi Asomugha's opportunity.

The second-year man from California, however, is happy about two things -- getting more reps and focusing on one position.

Woodson, whom the Raiders tabbed the franchise player, continues to be out due to contractual holdout and goodness knows when, or if, he will report. His situation has meant more reps for Phillip Buchanon, free agent Denard Walker and Asomugha.

"It's been real good," Asomugha said. "I've been able to progress. My room for improvement is so large. As long as I keep getting repetitions I keep getting better."

Asomugha was one of Oakland's two first round draft picks last season with defensive end Tyler Brayton (Colorado) being the other. When the Raiders drafted Asomugha, they felt he was versatile enough to be a safety or a corner. He saw action in 15 games as a rookie with one start at free safety. That position will almost assuredly go to Ray Buchanan.

Despite the fact that the Raiders have started Phillip Buchanon and Denard Walker as the corners in the first two exhibition games with Asomugha being the No. 3 man, first-year head coach Norv Turner remains high on Asomugha.

"I think he has had a good camp," Turner said. "He is, in my mind, a starting corner. We want him ready to play on the right side."

Buchanon and Walker both did not help their cause by committing penalties in Saturday's game against Dallas. The longer Woodson continues to hold out, the more reps Asomugha will get. The second-year man, however, comes back to the idea that he has an easier task now that he only has to worry about one position -- even though he is capable of playing the other.

"That can do a lot," Asomugha said of playing multiple positions. "People don't really know that there's a difference but there's a huge difference between the two positions but now that I'm just focusing on one, it's helping me get better."

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