Asante Samuel: “I see myself making a lot of big plays in this defense because of the way it is run. I’m real excited.”June 6, 2012 – 6:30 am by Steven Cuce
Asante Samuel made it known throughout the offseason that he wasn’t a happy camper playing for the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles made his wishes a reality by shipping him off for virtually nothing in late April: a seventh-round draft pick from the Atlanta Falcons.
Samuel sounds elated to have a fresh start in Atlanta. He was beyond annoyed that the Eagles were bypassing him for Nnamdi Asomugha and wanted another opportunity to lead a defense that appreciated his services. So far with the Falcons in OTA’s, No.22 is getting his shot and impressing his new employer.
Asante Samuel joined 790 The Zone in Atlanta with Arch and Bell to discuss being happy in Atlanta, bringing veteran leadership to the Falcons defense, not caring for why things didn’t work out with the Philadelphia Eagles and being confident he can make big plays for the Falcons defense under Mike Nolan.
Welcome to Atlanta:
“Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. I’m excited. I love it here. Everybody welcomed me with open arms. It’s time to kick this season off.”
Do you feel like you can bring veteran leadership and swagger to this Falcons defense?
“Yeah definitely. Me and Thomas Dimitroff, the GM, we have got a lot of history together. We was together in Philly. So as we would play them coming from Philadelphia we would talk about those things. We would talk about defense and playmakers and stuff like that. I guess destiny was meant to be for me to be here. We talked about it and it finally came true. He [Thomas Dimitroff] knows what I bring to the table and he knows my passion and my competitiveness and he knows the good players make everybody around them better. That’s why I consider myself a leader. I make everyone around me better.”
What went wrong in Philadelphia. Too much talent in a short time? Too many new faces?
“Oh man you know I don’t know. That’s their problems. They gotta deal with it. I’m here to be happy where they love me and play hard and it’s their loss. Hopefully they can make up for all those interceptions I made and helped them get victories. I’m taking my talents south to Atlanta.”
What’s your take on what Mike Nolan is doing defensively here from what you have learned in a short time?
“Well first of all I have been in the league and I had a good college coach [in terms of understanding offensive patterns and routes] and he taught me how to play cornerback. Any defense out there in the NFL I have played it. It’s just different terminologies and one thing I have learned from playing for different defensive coordinators. My system last year and with Bill Belichick. Mike Nolan know his system. The way they approach the game is very awesome. So I see myself making a lot of big plays in this defense because of the way it is run. I’m real excited. From my heart I feel big things are going to happen. I’m real passionate about that. I’m excited.”