Nnamdi Asomugha was dropped into a challenging situation with the Philadelphia Eagles last season. Free agency's grand prize went from the abyss of the NFL lockout to a new city, new teammates and a new defensive coordinator learning on the job.
Many took a look at Philly's cornerback trio of Asomugha, Asante Samuel and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie and penciled them in for greatness. Instead, they were part of an Eagles defense that failed to live up to the billing out of the gate.
By season's end, however, coordinator Juan Castillo oversaw an improved defensive unit that allowed just 11.5 points per game down the stretch.
With a full offseason at his disposal, Asomugha migrated east from his California home to work out with teammates at the Eagles' NovaCare Complex. He believes this will lead to big things.
"We've had what it takes, it's about coming together as a team, being able to work together, being cohesive," Asomugha told the team's official website this week. "That's the stuff that we are working toward. ... That's been the goal, just build off the way that we ended the season and looking forward to the things that we can do this year. I think everybody's pretty excited about it."
With the addition of linebacker DeMeco Ryans behind one of the league's better defensive fronts, Asomugha might be on to something. The Eagles were fiercely over-hyped last summer, and the NFC East hasn't grown any softer, but Philly's defense remains intriguing heading into next season.
Either that or we're falling for the same trick all over again.