Asante Samuel aiming for big day in Philadelphia
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. (AP) — Asante Samuel can't wait to return to Philadelphia with his unbeaten Atlanta Falcons.
The brash cornerback says he still has "nothing but love" for Eagles fans despite getting traded to Atlanta six months ago.
"All y'all fans, all I did for y'all, y'all better cheer for me," Samuel said. "You know what I mean? Deuce here got nothing but love for you."
Samuel indicated that the unceremonious departure still hurts his ego.
After all, he intercepted 23 passes in 56 games for the Eagles, but still was dealt to the Falcons for a seventh-round draft pick.
"Lot of turnovers over there, helped them win a lot of games," he said. "We're undefeated over here, so I'm helping this team win a lot of games, and I'm happy to be here. I'm happy we helped build this team up with the Falcons, you know?"
The four-time Pro Bowl cornerback lost his starting job after the 2011 NFL lockout ended as Eagles coach Andy Reid signed Nnamdi Asomugha as a free agent and traded for Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.
Though he openly criticized team management after being forced into a backup role, Samuel said this week that his focus now is entirely on helping the Falcons (6-0) win at Philadelphia (3-3) on Sunday.
Even so, Samuel stirred things up during Atlanta's bye week with tweets that criticized Reid's recent firing of defensive coordinator Juan Castillo.
Samuel, 31, sought to clarify his thoughts with Atlanta reporters this week during a chirpy interview.
The session did not begin until he put on his helmet for the television cameras, copying the diva move that former NFL running back Ricky Williams used with New Orleans in the late '90s.
Samuel clearly enjoyed the exchange, upping the antics by speaking through his chinstrap.
"I've got a little personality issue, so it's how I have to do my interviews," Samuel said with a smile through his facemask. "I've just trying to humble myself down. Make sure I don't expand, you know, too much, so my personality issue is kicking in. Talk to me. What's up?"
— Asked about last week's tweets, Samuel said, "Y'all assume that was about Andy. I didn't say this is for Andy. I just made a quote and then another quote. Y'all did that, so talk to me."
— Asked if he appreciates Reid trading him to Atlanta instead of another team, Samuel said that "they tried to not let me come to Atlanta, of course, but you know we got it done. We got it done."
— Asked about Philadelphia's fourth-quarter meltdowns on defense and the turnover problems of quarterback Michael Vick this year, Samuel was blunt.
Sports Photo Galleriesview all
- 83313Oklahoma tornadoes: 'It took it all'
- 56374Oklahoma weather: Severe storm updates
- 33323Oklahoma State football: Limiting Wes Lunt's transfer options makes Mike Gundy look bad
- 23846Oklahoma weather: Crews work to clear storm damage in Oklahoma City as the state braces for severe weather Sunday.
- 23231Oklahoma Severe Storm Updates
- 8483Bounty hunters look for bail jumpers, fugitives on the streets of Oklahoma City
- 8265Oklahoma sucker-punched by second round of twisters