Difference focus for Raiders' Routt

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ALAMEDA, Calif. - Stanford Routt had quite the target on his back last season as opposing quarterbacks repeatedly threw in his direction in order to avoid All Pro cornerback Nnamdi Asomugha on the other side of the field.

With a hefty new contract in the offseason and Asomugha gone in free agency, Routt will have a different type of focus on him starting with the season opener Monday night in Denver.

Routt might get fewer balls thrown his way with Asomugha in Philadelphia but he will be under much more scrutiny to justify the millions of dollars he got and the confidence the Oakland Raiders showed in him this offseason.

"I don't really think about it like that," Routt said. "I know you as the media, you all are going to go ahead and put a media target on my back, but as far as like anything else, it's football. You guard the guy that you're lined up against. It is what it is."

The Raiders showed their confidence in Routt before free agency even began, giving him a three-year, $31.5 million deal with $20 million guaranteed in February. The two sides tweaked the deal in training camp for salary cap considerations.

Routt was one of the most frequently targeted cornerbacks in the league last season as he faced 99 pass attempts. Only 13 players were targeted by opposing quarterbacks more often.

According to game-charting data by STATS LLC, Routt allowed just 39.4 percent of those passes to be completed. That was the lowest in the league of any player targeted at least 60 times and was comparable to the numbers put up by his more heralded teammate, Asomugha (39.4 percent), and New York Jets star Darrelle Revis (33.9 percent).

Routt wasn't nearly as successful in his first five seasons, allowing 62.7 percent of passes thrown in his direction to be completed. He will need to duplicate last year's performance to make up for Asomugha, who left for Philadelphia as a free agent earlier this summer.


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