Those early fears have been allayed: Nnamdi Asomugha won't require a walker or a hearing aid this season. The 49ers' cornerback played like a past-his-prime player in Philadelphia last season and defensive coordinator Vic Fangio questioned whether Asomugha had "gas left in his tank" early in training camp. Asomugha 32 has since done more than just putter along in the preseason. In three exhibition games Asomugha has allowed one catch for 5 yards in 39 snaps in pass coverage according to Pro Football Focus. Quarterbacks have tossed four passes in his direction and have a 39.6 passer rating when targeting him. As a result Old Man Asomugha will have a new title when the 49ers open the regular season against Green Bay on Sept. 8: No. 3 cornerback. Fangio said Asomugha has overtaken Tramaine Brock for that role which had been filled by Chris Culliver before he sustained a season-ending ACL tear in training camp. Asomugha jumped ahead while Brock was dealing with an injury the past few weeks. Asomugha who wore a noncontact jersey in practice Tuesday is himself at less than full strength. Still Fangio said he has won the No. 3 spot. "He's done well in his reps that he's had in the game and in practice" Fangio said. "Particularly the last two or three weeks he's played much better." Asomugha isn't a starter but he'll be a major contributor. Last season Culliver played 64 percent of the defensive snaps. This season the No. 3 cornerback probably will log similar time as the 49ers face a schedule that includes nine games against quarterbacks who finished among the top 10 in passer rating last season. Fangio said he doesn't plan to monitor Asomugha's snaps because of his age. The 10-year veteran clearly has answered some of the questions Fangio had during training camp. "He's still playing at a good enough level to be a major part of our defense" he said. If Asomugha falters the 49ers could turn to Brock or later in the season Eric Wright who reported to the team this week and will spend the first six weeks of the season on the non-football injury list. Wright 28 is a six-year veteran who has made 81 starts since he was a second-round pick in 2007. He recently was viewed as a top-end cornerback - he signed a five-year $37.5 million deal with Tampa Bay last year - but has since struggled on and off the field. He was signed Aug. 8 but was away from the team while addressing what general manager Trent Baalke termed a "personal matter."
49ers' Asomugha to be 1st cornerback off bench
San Francisco Chronicle | Aug 29