Broncos receiver Brandon Marshall cowers from no cornerback.
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. (AP) — Broncos receiver Brandon Marshall cowers from no cornerback.
Still, he’s quite wary of Oakland’s Nnamdi Asomugha.
The sixth-year defensive back is one of the closest equivalents to Champ Bailey, arguably the best in the business.
“You’ve got to love this type of challenge,” said Marshall, whose team will host the Raiders on Sunday. “This is where you can say, ‘I’m good’ — when you do it against a good corner, a great corner.”
Asomugha doesn’t have the sizzling stats, simply because other teams avoid him at all costs. He has just one pick this season, opponents preferring to try their luck on the other side of the field.
It’s the same tactic teams take with Bailey.
“(Asomugha) is the most underrated football player that I have ever seen in my coaching career,” Broncos coach Mike Shanahan said. “I can’t believe this guy hasn’t been to the Pro Bowl or people don’t talk about him all the time. He is off the charts and as good as it gets.”
But Marshall has proven good at getting open. He’s among the league leaders with 63 catches, benefited by a team-record 18-catch performance against San Diego.
This, though, will be his most menacing test.
“He does a good job of shutting down one side of the field,” Marshall said.
Marshall is cautious of being jarred by the jam. It’s Asomugha’s signature move, a little left forearm to a receiver, just to bump him off his route and disrupt the timing of the play.
Then again, Marshall isn’t the easiest receiver to push around given his 230-pound frame.
“It’s definitely going to be a chess match out there,” Marshall said.
Marshall was missing from the first meeting, the receiver serving a one-game suspension in the season opener.
“That seems like three years ago to me,” Marshall said.
Marshall watched rookie receiver Eddie Royal have a grand game against DeAngelo Hall, who has since been waived by Oakland. Royal finished with 146 yards and two touchdowns.
Asomugha can only cover one — will it be Royal or Marshall?
It doesn’t matter to quarterback Jay Cutler, he has confidence in both.
“We have a lot of weapons and we will see what happens,” Cutler said. “You just have to be careful with when you go at (Asomugha) and pick your battles.”
That seems to be the trend as Asomugha sees only about one pass a game.
“He’s having a great year,” Raiders coach Tom Cable said. “But he’s going to get tested this week. They’ve got two great receivers and they throw the ball extremely well. He’ll get a chance and everybody will get a chance to see really who he is this week.”
Shanahan already knows the ability of Asomugha.
“I’ve never met him, but I’m going to shake his hand after the game because I keep on looking for him but I never get a chance to talk to him. He’s one of my favorite players, even though he is with the Raiders. That shows you how much I like him.” Notes: Rookie left tackle Ryan Clady hasn’t given up a full sack in 10 starts. ... CB Dre’ Bly missed practice Friday with the flu. ... CB Champ Bailey (groin) will be evaluated before the game to see if he can play. “He’s feeling much better,” Shanahan said. ... Shanahan doesn’t think RB Selvin Young (groin) will play Sunday. ... Denver has won six of its last seven against Oakland. ... LBs Nate Webster and D.J. Williams, both out with knee injuries, are steadily progressing. Webster and Williams might be back for the New York Jets game on Nov. 30.