Nnamdi Asomugha spent eight seasons in Oakland and the best record he had to show for it was 8-8. He never suited up in a playoff game for the Silver & Black and departed before the 2011 season to join the Eagles, a team many considered to be a Super Bowl contender.
What happened? The Eagles crashed and finished 8-8. So, does mediocrity feel different from the Raiders to the Eagles? He spoke with Sportsradio 94 WIP in Philadelphia recently and touched on that topic in a wide-ranging interview.
Click on this link to listen to the full interview.
Q: We read some quotes where you compared the difference of being 8-8 in Oakland compared to being 8-8 in Philadelphia?
A: Its true. The 8-8 in Oakland? We were perennially the last team in the AFC West. We would win maybe two games a year or four games a year. When we got to 8-8 and it was like wow! There is so much improvement. Youre not excited you didnt make the playoffs, but youre excited that we were moving in the right direction. I love how different that is over here because 8-8 is not acceptable. It doesnt matter where you have come from. 8-8 should always be we are playing below where we should be playing. Out here that is the mentality. 8-8 shouldnt be anywhere near what we are thinking. That was great.
Q: Did you have fun playing last year? Was there ever a point in time where you may have regretted making the decision to play for the Eagles?
A: No. No. No. I definitely had fun. There were definitely times where it was tough. Its not like its non-stop fun, but we had some games in there where they were won by a considerable amount. In the NFL that is 10 points or more. We had some of those games. That was the most fun we had all year. We definitely had those great moments. We had the moments of tough times and things, but the fun part of it was never lost.
The Raiders were pretty darn good last season. A 12-4 record proved that point. There was plenty of talent on a team with a penchant for high-wire acts in victory that masked the fact there were holes on the roster.
They need to be filled for the Raiders to improve in 2017, and new players will be imported through free agency and the draft.
Left tackle Donald Penn is excited to see who gets added, but said there’s no doubt talent is coming to Oakland. He speaks for Raiders players, who have faith that general manager Reggie McKenzie will make the right moves.
“Things that Reggie has done in past drafts have been great, and we’re looking forward to seeing what he brings back towards us,” Penn said recently during an in-studio appearance on NFL Network. “We can’t wait to get back out there healthy. We’re ready to hit the football world with a storm.”
While new guys are coming, a few might head out. The Raiders have several unrestricted free agents. Penn wants to keep his guys around – he mentioned running back Latavius Murray by name -- though he has some ideas for McKenzie’s checklist.
The Raiders don’t need much with most key players under contract – the Raiders should be less active in free agency over past offseasons – but a few key components could put this team over the top.
“If we stick to Reggie’s plan, we’ll be great,” Penn said. “I know he’s going to have a great draft, add a couple little pieces here and there – maybe somebody in the secondary to help out a little bit.
"On offense, you could always use a weapon. Maybe we get another receiver to take (pressure off Michael Crabtree and Amari Cooper), but we have a good nucleus right now.”
Derek Carr is on the mend. The Raiders franchise quarterback had surgery to repair his fibula shortly after he broke it in a Week 16 victory over Indianapolis, and is recovering well during the offseason.
Carr insisted on intense rehab this winter in an attempt – however unlikely it may have been – to return should the Raiders have played in the Super Bowl. It slowed to a normal pace after the Raiders' loss at Houston in the postseason’s opening round, but those in contact with him say he’s making strides.
Left tackle Donald Penn was recently in contact with Carr, and provided an update on Monday during an in-studio appearance on NFL Network.
“I texted Derek (a few) days ago checking in,” Penn said, “and he said he’s almost 100 percent.”
Surgically-repaired broken filbulas take significant time to heal, and the Raiders plan to be conservative with their MVP candidate during the offseason. Derek Carr’s brother and NFL Network analyst David Carr, who was on set with Penn on Monday, said Derek could be back for offseason work.
“He’s doing good,” David Carr said. “He’s walking around already, stretching it out. You can’t do a lot for the bone, right? But he’s going to be back. He’s going to get a whole full offseason in. That’s going to be the best part.”