When Nnamdi Asomugha was a younger man, he’d get upset at players he saw on television, the ones he thought were underperforming.
So he’s not going to badmouth Eagles fans who have targeted him the same way.
“If a fan has an issue with that, they’re not going to get me saying that’s wrong or anything like that,” Asomugha said, via Reuben Frank of CSNPhilly.com. “I can look back to being a fan and teams I liked and when a player I like comes in and, . . . it’s not working out, being upset about that.
“So I can’t now be that guy and then look at them and say, ‘You can’t be upset that we haven’t won and I haven’t been, you know, Superman on the field,’ even though that’s been expected of me.”
The cornerback has become the very symbol of the Eagles current woes, signing a five-year, $60 million contract to become part of the Dream Team, and struggling just like the rest of them once he got there. He’s been part of a team that’s gone 11-15 since he walked in the door, far below expectations.
That’s hard anywhere, but in Philadelphia, the heat is a little higher than in other places.
“It’s tough,” he said. “That’s one of the things they say, . . . Mentally, how do you handle this sort of situation? Not just the losing, but losing in this environment. Because losing is different here.
“No one wants to lose. You want to win everything that you’re doing, but as they’ve pointed out, as we all know, you’ve got to win here. You just have to win here.
“So I get that question a lot from younger guys, and I just try to talk to them, keep their head in it. When you believe in yourself and believe in your team no matter what’s going on, I’m one of the people that believes it turns around at some point.”
Of course, when it does turn around, it’s likely to include a new coach, and it’s far from guaranteed it will include a 33-year-old corner who’s scheduled to make $15 million next year. But he doesn’t second-guess his decision to sign with the Eagles.
“Did I make the right decision? Should I have gone somewhere else? That doesn’t cross my mind at all,” he said. “This is the place I wanted to be. Whatever happens or has happened, I always have the mindset that there’s something to learn from it and there’s a way to grow.
“And I think especially with what we’ve been through, the type of stuff we’ve been through the last year and a half, what did you learn from it? How can you become a better man from it? That’s going to help you on the field. That’s always been my mentality. I absolutely believe in the decision that I made and believe in this team.
“I don’t even think about that stuff. Whatever happens, I’m built to deal with that situation. Honestly? Being as honest as I can be? It doesn’t go through my mind.”
It’s going through many others, however, and they’re rightly wondering if it was all worth it.