Samuel creates stir in first practice with Falcons


In an effort to improve their secondary, the Atlanta Falcons shipped merely a seventh-round pick to the Eagles for cornerback Asante Samuel.  So far, it looks like the Falcons pulled off the kind of steal for which the Eagles had become notorious.

According to Dave Campbell of the Associated Press, Samuel made a real impression in the Falcons’ first full-squad practice of the 2012 offseason.

“Asante I thought did about the same thing he has done to me for four years,” quarterback Matt Ryan said. “He made a good pick.  He’s going to make us better.  Specifically I think he’ll make myself and our wide receivers better going against him and Dunta [Robinson] and [Brent] Grimes every day as corners.  It’s going to be good work for us.”

The plan is to move Robinson to the slot, with Grimes and Samuel on the outside.  “I have a preference,” Samuel said.  “I want to be on the left side.  I’m a left corner but I’ll do anything I can to help the team.  This is a right-handed league and I want to be where the ball is coming.”

Samuel played both sides on Tuesday, and he was eager to show off.  “Can I get some action out here?” Samuel yelled at one point while on the practice field.  “Am I out here for my health?  I want to show the people what I can do!”

After intercepting a Ryan pass, Samuel pointed to his jersey and said, “Deuce Deuce right here.”

Asked after practice about his desire to get “some action,” Samuel was brash.  “And I got some right?” Samuel said.  “That’s what you’ve got to do, put the bull’s-eye on your shoulder and step up to the plate.  That’s how you get better.”

Robinson thinks Samuel’s energy may have surprised some members of the offense.

“It’s a lot of fun,” Robinson said. “It makes practice fun.  All the talk, all the yelling.  I can tell the offensive guys weren’t very used to it.  They didn’t know how to take it.  But it was a lot of fun.

“You look across the board and it’s myself, it’s Brent and it’s Asante and you’re like wow.  If we do what we’re supposed to do, we can be a very dangerous secondary.”

The secondary recently has been dangerous, to the Falcons.  For the team to truly contend in the NFC, that needs to change.

70 responses to “Samuel creates stir in first practice with Falcons

  1. As a Eagles fan I loved watching Asante practice . He always made it fun . This dude can definitely be a play maker , but his shoulder missed tackles will drive Falcon fans crazy . Good with the bad !

  2. “That’s what you’ve got to do, put the bull’s-eye on your shoulder and step up to the plate. That’s how you get better.”

    Brees wants an explanation…….

  3. Asante did a great job in Philly and will surely do a great job in Atlanta as well. He has big play making abilities and swag to match. Only criticism is that his tackling is ineffective in certain situations.

  4. He’ll make an impression on the turf in the Georgia Dome the first time he tries to tackle anybody and gets steamrolled. The next time Asante tries to wrap up a ball carrier will be the first.

  5. He does improve the talent in the secondary, but I don’t think talent was ever the biggest problem there (Grimes is as good a cover corner as there is, we’ve got 2 solid safeties and another CB who was very good before we got him so should be able to get good again). The single biggest improvement we could have made this offseason in regards to improving the secondary was to replace Brian Van Gorder with a more aggressive DC, which we did when we replaced him with Mike Nolan. No amount of talent could look good in Van Gorder’s old soft-zone system, and I fully expect our secondary to bloom in a better, more aggressive system.

  6. The Patriots didn’t want him. The Eagles are paying him to leave. Something’s not right here. Good luck Atlanta, it’s your turn.

  7. I can’t wait till Falcon fans see him miss or shy away from every tackle…. You’ll be begging for the 7th round pick when his gambling on picks and missed tackles get you losses…

  8. Yeah’s all fun and games till the first Matador whiff tackle, the first half hearted almost break his neck headfirst dive into a RB knees, the first pointing fingers and blaming the coaches or scheme etc, the first time he ever refers to himself ever again as a ‘Business Entity’, the first time he ever clutches up in the 4th man to man against the Nicks, Fitzgeralds of the world…I think I’m fine this year with Nnamdi and DRC playing tough press man to man with our pass rush..Good luck ATL

  9. I hope Duece Duece brings swagger to my DirtyBirds. We got the talent, now we just need that attitude that we’ve been missing since the OG Dirty Bird

  10. One of the best cover two corners of his era, just too much of a riverboat gambler………

  11. Of course Samuel looks good in a helmet and shorts… Watch his effort tackling when teams run right and you’ll realize why he was available for a 7th round pick

  12. Wait until they see him put his hands on his hips when it’s time to make a tackle. Dude should have been a bullfighter.

  13. He’ll be great for them right up until he drops an easy pick in the Super Bowl and loses the game for them-he’s good at that too-

  14. Picking off passes has never been a problem for Asante, its the tackling. Anyhow he picked off Matt Ryan big deal lol. Yeah and he is a me first kinda selfish guy.

  15. Without a pass rush even having The Flash at corner won’t make a difference. The Falcons could use The Incredible Hulk at defensive tackle & the mighty Thor at defensive end opposite John Abraham. Mike Nolan will iron things out though with what they got.

  16. Yeah he thinks he is so great until a ball carrier is coming his way. He is all about himself and can only play one way (off coverage on one side). Dont get me wrong he is great at that one trick, but thats the only trick he has. But for a 7th round pick the Falcons did the right thing, its a good move for them. But the Eagles will hardly miss him

  17. I remember when asante singlehandedly lost the SB for the patriots when a sure int. went right through his hands with two minutes left

  18. samuel has two rings wit new england and close to 50 career interceptions, hes no slouch

  19. As a Bear fan living around Atlanta, I will pull for the Falcons a bit as a second team (NEVER against daBears.)

    But, no matter how amazing their regular season record is each year. This team ALWAYS chokes in the playoffs.

    I guess playing the eventual SuperBowl champs in their first playoff game the last two years is a tough matchup though.

  20. Lol…

    Wait till everybody puts pads on and ball carriers are headed his way…he’ll make Michael Turner look real good.

    Go Eagles!

  21. He’ll be awesome! Just don’t expect him to tackle. He will be one of the few NFLers who will retire without ever having a concussion. Oh, he’ll be awesome if you don’t mind a few self-serving, team disrupting comments made to the media every few weeks. Enjoy him.

  22. Play the game and stop acting like a hood rat…damn, all that money and you still can’t act in a professional manner

  23. Corners can’t be the centerpiece of a defense. The Falcons let the centerpiece of their D go in free agency (Lofton). Anyone think the Steelers, Niners, or Ravens corners are great? No, a great defense is built with the front 7 and maybe a bada$$ safety. The NFL has legislated the value of a lockdown corner out of the game (which Samuel isn’t anyway, and never was).

  24. samuel has 2 rings with new england close to 50 career interceptions, hes no slouch

  25. I think the point we’re all missing here is that he picked off Matt Ryan.
    He picked off someone in practice who has never won a playoff game.


  26. As a falcons fan I like to hear this…this kind of veteran can make the rest of secondary better…I wonder what his locker room influence will be(?)
    Not sure what his history is. Positive roll model we would hope and not diva veteran(?)

  27. It’s a little early for this type of prediction. The bullets arent flying, and who knows how hell play with his team mates. I bet Nnamdi had some good practices too.

  28. cwmorga says:
    May 29, 2012 10:13 PM
    Corners can’t be the centerpiece of a defense. The Falcons let the centerpiece of their D go in free agency (Lofton). Anyone think the Steelers, Niners, or Ravens corners are great? No, a great defense is built with the front 7 and maybe a bada$$ safety. The NFL has legislated the value of a lockdown corner out of the game (which Samuel isn’t anyway, and never was).


    Lardarius Webb and the former Raven Chris McAllister say hello.

  29. Matt Ryan is a slightly above average QB. How do we know these werent’ bad throws? Guy engineered 2 pts in his last outing….wait, he didnt’ even get that, it was a safety….

  30. Wow. The NFC South is going to be a dog fight this year. The Bucs and Falcons are gearing up. My Saints are under the gun this year…wow..gonna be a stellar year of football.
    That DB squad in Atlanta is going to have Drew on his toes. Good moves.

  31. Listen, as a Giants fan, this guy tortured Eli for a couple of years as an Eagle. I don’t care how many times he was burned, it wasn’t against the Gmen. He was a thorn in Eli’s side & I’m glad he’s out of the NFC east.

  32. What steal? The Eagles were dumping payroll. They didn’t let Asante go because of performance issues. They let him go because they have 2 younger more physical corners that fit the press coverage scheme they wanted last season.

    Asante is a zone corner. It still won’t help with the ZERO points in the playoffs 🙂

  33. “Maybe combined they can tackle Jimmy Graham.”

    I kinda liked that defense they called that put 5’10 Brent Grimes on 6’7 Jimmy Graham in the endzone. More of that, please.

  34. Robinson and Samuel are too old to play because my Nona’ legs are still faster than their chicken legs. Grimes is too tiny boy to cover the receivers!

  35. i’ll always appreciate the things asante did in philadelphia and i’ll continue to watch him during his time in atlanta. he isnt the best tackler but he always went for a hard hit and never shyed away except for one game when he was injured. jump on the bandwagon and say he cant tackle. it isnt the truth.

  36. pacificnw7722 says:
    May 29, 2012 9:00 PM
    “That’s what you’ve got to do, put the bull’s-eye on your shoulder and step up to the plate. That’s how you get better.”

    Brees wants an explanation…….


    I think it’ll be Samuels who will want the explanation when Brees is torching his a$$ all over the field.

  37. I like the left side but I’ll do whatever the team wants…. The microphone didn’t pick up..except play the right side,slot,press coverage and I don’t usually tackle other than that whatever you ask. He’s done the day he loses a step. One trick pony ..great one trick

  38. bathroombenlovemachine and the 16 psychopaths who “thumbs upped” the comment:

    How can you wish to see another human being injured, in pain? That is sickening. Most people develop the ability to feel empathy early on in elementary school, the exceptions being psychopaths, who tend to turture animals or become serial killers. You disgust me, you are not human in any important respect, and I hope you are put in jail BEFORE you can reproduce and pass along your defective genetics.

  39. As a Saints fan I am happy to see that Melted Ice is throwing picks. Seems about right. If they don’t want it they might not score 2 Points again in the playoffs.

  40. Asante isn’t going to do all the little things for you, and he won’t be putting in any dirty work. He’s always reminded me of a sub .200 home-run hitter who seemingly strikes out all day only to show up for a homerun play every now and then. He may have 10 INTs by season’s end but he doesn’t show up on every play.

    Now remind yourself there was a BIG reason the Eagles swapped this guy for a 7th round pick….THEY WERE CONTENT WITH SIMPLY DROPPING HIM. Not a good sign ATL…

  41. Definately over-hyped. Samuel is an alright cornerback, but hardly a steal. The Eagles were happy to be rid of him. Why would Andy part company with such greatness? Becayse he isnt great. He is average with an above average mouth.

  42. “I’m a left corner but I’ll do anything I can to help the team.”

    If asante had that attitude in philly, he would still be an eagle. he destroyed us last year by being selfish and wouldnt move from him left corner spot.

    which is why nnamdi spent parts of the year all over the field trying to find himself.

    good riddance. falcons fans will be clamoring for his release when he starts whiffing on tackles.

  43. The Eagles got a 7th rounder. How much can you get for a corner thats not good enough to make your team ?

  44. It would be awesome if Asante Samuel suffers a career ending injury against his old team the Eagles.
    Eagles = Super Bowl 47 Champions. Bet on it bitches.

    counting and hoping for injuries to other teams players shows ur lack of faith in ur own team to win it all…keep wishing for lucky breaks!! we’re going to focus on being the best team in the league next season and we’ll see who comes out on top!!!

  45. I’m an Eagle fan and I really didn’t care whether or not he could tackle. He was a great cover guy and intercepted a lot passes. I know that it was more of a money thing and the Birds have a few D-backs, but a 7th round draft pick for his talent should set him off this year. I hope he has a good seaon with Atlanta

  46. Good ridance! He didnt want to take a pay cut to stay with the birds so the hell with him! Cant wait to see DJax burn him all day and Shady steam roll him!

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