Q&A: Asante Samuel happy to be a Falcon

Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Asante Samuel (22) encourages the crowd during the first half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Dec. 11, 2011, in Miami . (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Philadelphia Eagles cornerback Asante Samuel (22) encourages the crowd during the first half of an NFL football game against the Miami Dolphins, Sunday, Dec. 11, 2011, in Miami . (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

FLOWERY BRANCH – Here’s transcript of the teleconference with cornerback Asante Samuel from Wednesday.

He has no hard feelings toward the Eagles, believes that he, Dunta Robinson and Brent Grimes can co-exist and that he and Jacquizz Rodgers can work out a deal for jersey number 22.

OPENING STATEMENT: How is everybody doing today. Ok, I’m sorry that I had to jet out so fast on you guys. This thing happened out of the middle of nowhere. I’ll be back up there shortly. I’m happy to be a Falcon. I know the city is embracing me well. I’m excited. I know the Falcons already have an excellent team, excellent coaches, schemes and talent. I’m just going to add to the bunch to try to get the one common goal. You know what I mean. I’ll take any questions that you all have.

ON WHEN THE DEAL STARTED TO COME TOGETHER AND HOW HE’LL FIT INTO THE DEFENSE: I’m a confident guy. I’m going to always have confidence and that’s how I play and how I operate on a daily basis. I’m going to come into this thing and be ready to compete. . . we’ll see how that goes. I’m sure I’ll make a big impact, some way, some how.

The Falcons' defense slowed down Green Bay and New Orleans this season, but they need to get cornerback Brent Grimes back, according to Mayock.  Curtis Compton  ccompton@ajc.com

The Falcons' defense slowed down Green Bay and New Orleans this season, but they need to get cornerback Brent Grimes back, according to Mayock. Curtis Compton ccompton@ajc.com


I’ve been getting [new followers] every second of the minute. It’s fun right now. Everybody is excited and pumped up. They feel like I’m a missing part of the (chain). We’ll see how this thing goes.

[You can follow him on Twitter @pick_six22]

ON HIS IMPRESSIONS OF THE FALCONS (The Falcons have played the Eagles in each of the past two seasons): Like I said, Great talent. Great coaches. Great schemes. A wonderful place and organization to play. I have heard nothing but great things . . . Thomas Dimitroff, the general manager, we knew each other from New England and he was a big a part of making this deal happen. He was excited too. He knows what I bring to the table. I’m going to come in their confident.

MORE ON DIMITROFF: I knew he had a lot of familiarity with me. We knew each other. We talked every time that we play each other. That definitely had a lot to do with it. He definitely made me feel comfortable. I also talked to coach [Mike Smith]. Everybody is making me feel comfortable and at home. It feels like I have not missed a beat coming from Philly.

MORE ON COACH SMITH: I spoke to him a couple of times actually.

ON WHAT SMITH SAID ABOUT HOW SAMUEL WILL FIT IN: He knows that I’m confident and the expectations that I have of myself. . . He knows that I can make a big impact.

ON IF HE HAS A PREFERENCE TO PLAY ON THE RIGHT OR LEFT SIDE:Whatever I need to do and whatever’s best to help the team win, I’m ready to do. Wherever they need to play me at left, right, back or forth and make a difference.

Falcons defensive back Dunta Robinson (23) breaks up a touchdown pass by Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson (10). Jason Getz / jgetz@ajc.com

Falcons defensive back Dunta Robinson (23) breaks up a touchdown pass by Philadelphia Eagles wide receiver DeSean Jackson (10). Jason Getz / jgetz@ajc.com


ON PLAYING WITH DUNTA ROBINSON AND BRENT GRIMES: I think it’s going to be good. Those guys are very talented and well established. Brent Grimes is coming off the last two years. He’s adjusted and is making some big plays. Dunta has been doing his thing since he’s been there. So you know what I mean, we are all going to come in and work together to make this thing the best that it’s ever been.

ON WHEN HE PLANS TO START TALKING TO SOME OF HIS NEW TEAMMATES: Probably a little after I finish talking to you guys.

ON IF HE KNOWS SOME OF THE PLAYERS ALREADY: I’ve run across a few of the guys. Dunta Robinson, Roddy White and Mike Turner. They are some of the people that I’ve seen out or I’ve seen before. We’ve talked. My boy Matt Ryan, I know he’s happy to see me. . .(laugh). Tell him it’s all love and I can teach him some of the little tricks of the trade.

ON RESTRUCTING THE CONTRACT: It was not a big deal for me at all.

ON ADDING A YEAR: That’s more something for my agent. He could talk to you about it. He did the deal. We just went over the numbers. I wanted to be a Falcon and they made it work.

ANY HARD FEELINGS TOWARD PHILADELPHIA FOR TRADING YOU: Come on man. You know it’s always hard feelings, man. Naw, I was just joking. I wish Philly nothing but the best. I love that organization and Eagles nation. I know they were sad to see me go. I know everybody can’t figure out how this is happening and why this is going this way. Business is Business and life is life.

ON THE QUARTERBACKS THE FALCONS ARE FACING THIS YEAR: I’m not a big talking. The only thing I can say is that it’s time to go to work. It’s time to get to work. Put the pedal to the metal. It seems like a bunch of all-star quarterbacks that we are playing against. So, like I said, we have to get cracking.

ON HIS 5 PERCENT RULE: It’s my 10 percent rule. You guys will find out when I get there that I only talk to the media 10 percent of the time. That could change. We could negotiate that. In Philly, they are real drama-fied. If y’all start some drama that 10 percent could get real tight.

ON HIS AGE (31): You’ve got a lot of people 30 and 31 and still producing at a high level. I think for the most part, it’s how you handle your offseason. How you train. How you work on your explosiveness, your technique and your hands. You can just say I need to go out there and be in shape and run 100 laps and run 100, 110 [yard sprints] and all of that and say I’m in the best shape of my life. You need to constantly work on your speed, your explosiveness, your hand-to-eye coordination and quickness. That’s how you maintain, you know what I mean.

ON IF HIS OFFSEASON PROGRAM HAS CHANGE AS HE’S GOTTEN OLDER: It’s my same routine since I entered the league, you know what I mean. I’m not missing a beat with my explosion, speed and hands. I do a lot of the resistance training with the bands and all that stuff. Those are some of the things that I like to get into.

ON KEEPING JERSEY NUMBER 22: (Laughs) You know I’m a deuce-deuce man for life. I’m sure the Lil’ Homie [Jacquizz Rodgers]. . . we won’t have a problem working it out. You know how that goes.

–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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53 comments Add your comment

Falcon Fan

April 25th, 2012
7:47 pm

Welcome to the team son, lets go win some games!

Ball hawk

April 25th, 2012
7:55 pm

Where are the Saints fans? This is a saint troll message board right?


April 25th, 2012
7:59 pm

With Asante Samuel on board, we have Brent Grimes covering the slot receiver. Without Samuel, we’d be looking at Chris Owens covering the slot man. HUGE upgrade.

Now let’s just hope Mike Nolan will have the DBs jam the receivers at the line, so that the pass rush can have a little extra time to get to the QB. With guys like Kroy Biermann, that can make all the difference in the world.


April 25th, 2012
8:00 pm

Boom! Should be….interesting… Don’t think Asante would come here not to start on one of the edges, so….. what happens? Can Dunta play in the slot?


April 25th, 2012
8:00 pm

D-Led – any word yet on other roster moves the Falcons might have made to clear the cap space?


April 25th, 2012
8:01 pm

Saints fans will be here soon enough…


April 25th, 2012
8:09 pm

Here we were this time last year having just been butchered by Aaron Rodgers for 5 consecutive 80 yards drives, sitting with the 27th pick of the draft, and wondering how with this we could get more explosive on offense, more pass rush from the LDE, and better CD coverage to get off the field on 4rd downs.

Just one year later we have added Julio Jones, Ray Edwards, JaQuizz Rogers and now Asante Samuel. Wow!

That’s getting it done, Mr. Dimitroff!


April 25th, 2012
8:09 pm

off the field on 3rd downs

Falcon Fan

April 25th, 2012
8:10 pm

I think Grimes is made for the slot. He could really thrive there especially in a contract year. I can’t tell you how many sacks the Falcons would get if they just had one more second to rush the passer. I think our coverage will be much better. Its got to help the pass rush some. I still think we need one more pass rusher to put into the rotation. Whats the deal with the Green Bay safety, I heard he just got cut.


April 25th, 2012
8:10 pm

Oh, and two new Coordinators too!

Chub Rock

April 25th, 2012
8:12 pm

Ball hawk- They probably eavesdropping dropping on us right now. LOL

My Thoughts

April 25th, 2012
8:15 pm

I think the new coordinators are going to make a major difference. No more vanilla, no screen offense. No more waiting till the pass is caught and try to tackle. Remember Cris Collinsworth last year wondering why Lofton was 12 yards back waiting for the pass ??


April 25th, 2012
8:21 pm

Good move Thomas. I really wish that we would have addressed the defensive and offensive lines first. I support the philosophy of building from the inside out. I think a good pass rush will make your secondary look better (see the Giants last year). That said, the move makes sense. I’m still not convinced TD has made enough championship moves. I’m just not a believer. However…as a Falcons fan…it would be inappropriate to use my “Fire….” tag on a day like today. I’ll reassess my stance after the draft is over.


April 25th, 2012
8:26 pm

Great move Falcons! Glad you’re here Asante!!

Not a Falcon fan

April 25th, 2012
8:33 pm

I guess falCANT fans are now going to give the Super Bowl win to the falCANTS now that Asante Samuel is a falCANT. It will not happen. Again, different year, players, coaches. It still the same old falCANTS. No champoinship !!!!!!!!


April 25th, 2012
8:35 pm

HBCU Overall Rankings (1-64)

Rank Name Ht/Wt Pos School Career Notes

1. Ryan Davis 6’3, 245 DE Bethune AP/FCS All-American,
2011 MEAC DPOY, 2x All-MEAC, 2010 MEAC Champ, 24.5 sacks,
47 TFL, 112 solo

2. Adrian Hamilton 6’3, 250 DE Prairie View AP/FCS All-American,
2011 SWAC DPOY, All-SWAC, 25.5 sacks, 34 TFL, 74 solo,
led NCAA in sacks, Walter Payton Watch List

3. Christian Thompson 6’2, 220 SS SC State All-MEAC,
2010 MEAC Champ, 3INT, 10PD, 86solo, 7.5TFL,
4.5/40, “Top Performer” – NFL Combine

4. Mario Louis 6’1, 190 WR Grambling AP/FCS All-American,
All-SWAC, 2011 SWAC Champ, 67 rec., 1,413 yds., 19 TD,
22ypc., 94ypg

5. Dominique Ellis 6’0, 185 CB SC State FCS All-American,
2x All-MEAC, 2009/2010 MEAC Champ, 102 solo, 7.5 TFL,
4 INT, 10PD, 1TD, 4.4/40

6. Donavan Robinson 6’2, 230 LB Jackson St 2x All-SWAC,
102 solo, 56.5 TFL, 26 sacks, 10 PD, 8 FF

7. Reggie Sandilands 6’1, 230 LB Bethune 2x All-MEAC,
2010 MEAC Champ, 109 solo, 34 TFL, 4 INT, 6 sacks,
5PD, 1FF, 1TD

8. Ryan Lewis 6’3, 225 LB Bethune 2x All-MEAC,
2010 MEAC Champ, 91 solo, 31.5 TFL, 10 INT,
6.5 sacks, 7PD, 8 FF, 2 TD

9. Sanford Banks 6’5, 300 OL Grambling 2x All-SWAC,
2011 SWAC Champ

10. Micah Pellerin 6’0, 196 DB Hampton All-MEAC, 80 solo,
36 PD, 7 INT



April 25th, 2012
8:55 pm

Great move , just thought they were going to do this last year after the Eagles added a corner in free agency. Took them a year to pull the trigger on the deal but i guess late is better than never. Definite up grade for our secondary. GOOOOOO FALCONS.


April 25th, 2012
9:16 pm

Not a Falcon Fan is obviously a disgruntled Saints fan. Disgruntled that his team has gone from the darlings of the NFL to the outcast overnight. Deal with it.


April 25th, 2012
9:23 pm

i dont know, sounds like he lacks confidence

D. Orlando Ledbetter

April 25th, 2012
9:29 pm

hbcuclassics — How are you going to drop a top 10 HBCU list on the blog without a token Bison on it? I’m thinking about deleting the list.

D. Orlando Ledbetter

April 25th, 2012
9:31 pm

torgo – Working on that.


April 25th, 2012
10:07 pm

i called it 3 days ago. now trade grimes for a first round pick and get a starting offence lineman

Sly Ty

April 25th, 2012
10:38 pm

Great day for the Falcons…Dimitroff got this guy in exchange for a 7th round pick. This is theft by taking in my book. TD really screwed the Eagles on this one. I hope no one screws us over like TD did the Eagles.


April 25th, 2012
10:40 pm

Welcome Asante!!

Sly Ty

April 25th, 2012
10:46 pm

@Gary…I don’t think Grimes is worth 10 million, but there is no way we trade the guy. TD and Smitty are ROLLING WITH NOLAN. The Defense will be a top 10 defense (barring injury). I am pleased with the Defense. Oh, I do feel Grimes is an excellent CB though, just not Revis or Champ Bailey.

Sly Ty

April 25th, 2012
10:51 pm

DLed, thanks for the effort on these long days. Most of us realize you have a family, and it has to suck reporting to junkies like me at all hours of the night. Thanks in advance for the extensive coverage during this draft weekend. Seriously, thanks old man.


April 25th, 2012
11:56 pm

Thank you Lawd!!! Finally a corner we can depend on. I’m liking the secondary a lot more now. So who’s going to play Nickel? DR or Grimmey?

Sec 104


April 25th, 2012
11:59 pm

Today is a great day, this organization has come a long ways from were it use to be.We long time Falcons fans have got to be proud of the way our team handle its business now,over the last 5 yrs this team has added an abundance of play makers to the roster. I’m sure once we add a jumbo left tackle we have to be the favorite to win the NFC South which means playing at home in the playoffs.Would be a great thing to win our 1st Super Bowl in NO,Bourbon St would never be the same.

[...] Trades: How Asante Samuel to the Falcons Benefits Both SidesBleacher ReportBellingham Herald -Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)all 505 news [...]


April 26th, 2012
12:59 am

Great news picking up Samuel! Samuel and Grimes start on the edges and Dunta on the slot. Grimes is clearly the best corner we have (any true fan over the past 5yrs would know). Samuel being here should only make Grimes better.

Asante Samuel | NewsTrendr

April 26th, 2012
1:13 am

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[...] deal places Samuel in a secondary with Falcons corners Dunta Robinson and Brent [...]


April 26th, 2012
1:20 am

@ Sly Ty Grimes has played just as good if not better than Bailey and Revis.True fans should know, but for the fake ones compare the stats for ya self. Tired of seeing so many people complaining that Grimes isn’t good enough. He deserves to be respected as one of the leagues top corners.
Brent Grimes
Champ Bailey
Asante Samuel
Darrelle Revis


April 26th, 2012
1:32 am

Finally we start stealing some of this talent from teams with picks that doesn’t matter. Asante for a 7th round is definitely a steal even though I understand why philly did it. I think they are going to move daunta robinson at slot when we run nickel formation. Now we just need to Sign Nick Collins and Marcus McNeil. Then draft best available player in draft.

[...] Samuel to the Falcons Benefits Both SidesBleacher ReportOpposing Views -Bradenton Herald -Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)all 513 news [...]

[...] to the Falcons Benefits Both SidesBleacher ReportOpposing Views -Bellingham Herald -Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)all 515 news [...]

[...] are intriguingFOX43.comBrooks: Top 50 prospectsNFL NewsBleacher Report -Opposing Views -Atlanta Journal Constitution (blog)all 526 news [...]

A-ville Ranger

April 26th, 2012
3:45 am

Has anybody else noticed this guy could have HOF numbers with 3 really good seasons here ? He already has 45 ints. If he averages 5 ints he’ll be at 60 when his contract is up. I’m not sure if there’s a DB with that many picks who didn’t make it but some of the all time greats didn’t have that many.

This could be the most important pickup we make this week.


April 26th, 2012
4:06 am

@A-ville Ranger…….I like your post, but getting to 60 might be a little high expectation wise…..but love the addition!!


April 26th, 2012
4:33 am

but if he can get 6-7 in the 3 years he is”signed” too and a ring….he will certainly be in the conversation( so the passing league certainly helps)….But we gotta get that ring, More excited for having a WHOLE off-season with a “newish” coaching staff and kept around pass rush(healthy Edwards and Sid, Biermann in diff kinda rolls)…..But it won’t matter if we don’t protect the QB


April 26th, 2012
7:52 am

Yes with Asaunte Samuel under contract I think Grimes won’t be A Falcon after next season…


April 26th, 2012
7:54 am




D. Orlando Ledbetter

April 26th, 2012
8:02 am

Sly Ty — Thank you for your kind words. Should be a fun weekend.

Falcon Man

April 26th, 2012
9:04 am

Welcome Asante !! Glad to have you !!!


April 26th, 2012
9:41 am



April 26th, 2012
10:11 am

Enter your comments here


April 26th, 2012
10:16 am

good job adding an aging corner back to an already soft secondary. wish yall would have gave asante 5 years I’d love to see him get burned down the field longer …who what..you know….who you…

abby normal

April 26th, 2012
11:16 am

OK…we have Asante Samuel on board. Good move. Now lets fix the OL.

That Ain't Right...

April 26th, 2012
11:32 am

“I’m going to come in their confident.”
That’s just gross…


April 26th, 2012
12:08 pm

DLed- thx for all the hard work.

Fire Khaos