The San Francisco 49ers acquiring Nnamdi Asomugha is one of the more interesting moves of this NFL offseason. The question is are the 49ers getting the same cornerback who dominated for the Oakland Raiders? Or will Asomugha be a bust in San Francisco, like he was with the Philadelphia Eagles?
The answer lies in how the 49ers can use Asomugha and how much his struggles in Philadelphia were due to diminishing skills and not other factors.
The 49ers play a lot of 2-deep zone concepts. On the surface, that won't suit Asomugha, who struggled in zone defenses with the Eagles.
However, there are key differences in the coverage schemes used in San Francisco.
Defensive coordinator Vic Fangio has tweaked things to give his corners more freedom to matchup one-on-one underneath.
So Fangio's scheme resembles man under with both safeties covering the deep zones behind it. The underneath man coverage part of that dynamic should appeal to Asomugha.
He came to prominence with the Raiders, thanks to his aggressive, man coverage. The phrase "press" was most often used to describe Asomugha's technique.