Samuel takes offense with notion he’s in a steep decline

073012 FLOWERY BRANCH: Falcons new cornerback Asante Samuel (center) shares a laugh between plays with wide receivers Julio Jones (left) and Harry Douglas (right) in Flowery Branch on Monday, July 30, 2012.      CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

073012 FLOWERY BRANCH: Falcons new cornerback Asante Samuel (center) shares a laugh between plays with wide receivers Julio Jones (left) and Harry Douglas (right) in Flowery Branch on Monday, July 30, 2012. CURTIS COMPTON / CCOMPTON@AJC.COM

FLOWERY BRANCH — Falcons cornerback Asante Samuel wouldn’t confirm if he has Oct. 28 highlighted on his digital calendar.

But clearly he has taken note of a newspaper report that Eagles coach Andy Reid felt his skills were in steep decline.

“No comment,” Samuel said after Tuesday’s practice. “We’ll see who’s in steep decline.”

It was noted that the Falcons travel to play Reid and the Eagles in October.

“We’ll figure out who’s in steep decline then,” Samuel said.

The Falcons sent a seventh-round pick to the Philadelphia Eagles to acquire Samuel on April 25. He was signed to a three-year, $18.5 million contract.

Before Samuel gets a chance to settle the score with Reid and the Eagles, he is winning over converts in red and black.

When cornerback Peyton Thompson, a rookie free agent from San Jose State, made a sudden move toward a wide receiver and broke up a pass play, Samuel got excited.

He raced over to praise Thompson for being bold enough to make such a strong move on the ball.

“Yeah, we have to play with cockiness and arrogance,” Samuel told Thompson. “That’s the way to do it.”

Samuel, who can be heard throughout practice encouraging players, taunting the offense and talking about bringing out his own referees to call the receivers for pushing off, has used the tenets of his teachings to become the NFL’s all-time leader with four postseason interception returns for touchdowns. He also leads the NFL with 39 interceptions since 2006.

“You have to step on the field with confidence,” Samuel said. “Being a little cocky, being arrogant, but being humble at the same time. It definitely is the way to be out there as a cornerback. If you are just out there going through the motions, you’re going to have a lot of bad plays.”

He sums up his C&A — cocky and arrogant — philosophy this way.

“My thing is that I have to go out there with my little swag,” Samuel said. “I’ve got to look good, feel good, smell good every day and play good. That’s how I approach the game.”

The Falcons’ starters are soaking up all of Samuel’s teachings and catchy phrases.

“He’s upgraded our swag,” safety William Moore said. “That’s huge for us. He’s a leader back there. He’s another guy with dreads back there. We need that. I think it’s going to be exciting just to watch him play.”

Even owner Arthur Blank got ensnared into Asante’s web of excitement. After breaking up another pass play, Samuel yelled out, “All I want to do is make Arthur Blank proud of me.”

Blank heard the statement, went over and shook Samuel’s hand and whispered something in his ear.

“That’s top secret,” Samuel said. “That was a classic handshake. That was classic. Just know that.”

Falcons defensive coordinator Mike Nolan is just fine with Samuel’s cocky and arrogant philosophy.

“But, I would say if he’s cocky and arrogant, that doesn’t hurt him if he backs it up and he’s good,” Nolan said. “But there is no question that it doesn’t hurt a lick.”

With Samuel, Brent Grimes and Dunta Robinson, the Falcons hope that the trio of cornerbacks will help dramatically improve their pass defense, which ranked 20th (236.6 yards per game) in the NFL last season.

“I think it’s nice that we have three of those guys out there right now and some of the backup guys are doing a good job,” Nolan said. “That first group with those three on the field, we’ll keep watching to see how they mesh because we’ll be looking for a slot guy at some point. Right now, there are just a lot of guys competing for it.”

It seems that Samuel has not stopped talking since the trade, and that’s just fine with the Falcons.

“Everybody has different personalities. The one thing I will say is Asante is really positive when he talks, and there’s not a negative word that comes out of his mouth,” Falcons coach Mike Smith said. “When guys are that way, I really don’t care that they’re talking, as long as they’re holding themselves up and holding their teammates up, and that’s really what he’s doing. He’s making it fun, and the guys seem to be enjoying it.”


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–D. Orlando Ledbetter, The Atlanta Falcons beat blog

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51 comments Add your comment


July 31st, 2012
9:55 pm

alright …. proof time in 5 weeks ….

Michael M.

July 31st, 2012
9:56 pm

First, and Andy Reid could be considered in a deep recline if that Philly Team don’t perform better in 2012, Falcons have them in their house this year.


July 31st, 2012
9:56 pm

First……..finally, just like were going to be in the division this year……..with a top 5 offense and a top 10 defense overall………go falcs nd braves

Michael M.

July 31st, 2012
9:58 pm

in Philly…………….

Falcons 62 - Saints 7

July 31st, 2012
10:02 pm

Jimmy Casey

July 31st, 2012
10:03 pm

I play the banjo when I watch the falcons


July 31st, 2012
10:06 pm

first? im starting to love this guy. if you’ve watched our team play in the last 4 years, you know we have badly needed some more attitude, swag, edge, call it what you want, on our team. With Matty leading the O and Asante firing up our D, its gonna be pretty exciting to watch.


July 31st, 2012
10:10 pm

Can’t see how this isn’t a complete upgrade from years gone by. I hope he can go 16.


July 31st, 2012
10:11 pm

AS is a blowhard who is all about his own stats. He will take chances to increase his own Int. stats so look for him to burnt toast quite alot. He often plays outside of what the defensive scheme is asking him to do. Thats not a team player thats a ME player.

If he changes what he has done in the past, then I have a question for him. Why does it take being traded after countlessly thumbing his nose at defensive coordinators to change?

Thats because its about his ego. High risk/high reward with him. Teams love to take advantage of his aggressive nature with burning him on stop and go routes. Prepare yourselves to be frustrated with him quite often.

Falcons vs Eagles this year in Philly….Eagles will test the”steep declining” AS often. I smell smoke already. If he is still playing by then. Chances are by October…he will have worn out his welcome.

There is a reason Belichek let him go as well. Tired of him doing his own thing as well. Good luck with the “declining” one.


July 31st, 2012
10:16 pm

Asante not in decline he started at Philly despite the fact they brought in DRC from Arizona

Falcons 62 - Saints 7

July 31st, 2012
10:17 pm

When you get a lot of INTS, that’s more “inclining”.

Falcons 62 - Saints 7

July 31st, 2012
10:40 pm

45 interceptions ain’t bad.

[...] to acquire Samuel on April 25. He was signed to a three-year, $18.5 million contract. Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution   [...]

Sly Boarders

July 31st, 2012
10:50 pm

I can tell you this…I will be in deep RECLINE on Sundays. Can’t wait to see these guys play. Bring on the season!

Najeh Davenpoop

July 31st, 2012
11:08 pm

I don’t know about “steep”, but he definitely isn’t as good as he was with the Patriots.


July 31st, 2012
11:30 pm

Regarding cocky and arrogant Asante…. I’m looking forward to him and Spoon playing together on defense… there’s gonna be a lot of trash talking every game and they’ll be motivated to back it up!

Falcon James

July 31st, 2012
11:50 pm

I am excited about this guy. He seems to have brought some “spark” with him. I have a feeling that our CB’s are going to feed off one another and have a great season.

wisconsinfalcons fan

July 31st, 2012
11:53 pm

I hope his c& a shows up every game but I like deion better like him or not I wish he was on our team but hey let kick ass this year sorry I mean butts hehe

[...] Atlanta Journal-Constitution Go to Source Category: Football News. Top Rated [...]

Josh Smith for 3

August 1st, 2012
12:14 am

Asante Samuel might not be in his prime anymore, but he’s still unquestionably a starting cornerback in the NFL. His competitive swagger is a cherry on top, I think Dunta, Grimes and Co. will feed off of his energy. Can’t wait for football season.

yo mama

August 1st, 2012
12:23 am

lets see, is asante an upgrade from last year. could he be the guy who gets in drew brees head, with pic after pic? i like that fact that he gets brees twice and coach Nolan with have an answer to Spagnolo/Joe Vitt.

we have a tough schedule this year, and getting off to a good start is key. I see 3-1 in sept, win in opener at kc, edging out peyton to go to 2-0, stuffing san diego in week three, and a slip up against cam at home.


August 1st, 2012
1:02 am



August 1st, 2012
1:33 am

No doubt, there’s a decline in athletic performance as you get older.. As for Asante Samuel, it remains to be seen just how MUCH of a decline.
Personally, I think he still has a lot in the tank, and it sounds to me like he’s lit a fire under our secondary….that alone, could reap HUGE benefits…



August 1st, 2012
3:12 am

WHERE IS MY TIME MACHINE? I cant wait for this season to start! This is the year we get to see how Ray Edwards can really play and to top it off we went out and upgraded our secondary big time. LETS GO

Mike is Back

August 1st, 2012
8:00 am

Dled,Love the acquisition of Samuels…I’ll looking for the BIRDS to just punch teams in mouth…AND say F

Mike Franklin

August 1st, 2012
8:06 am

I see (on another website) that former Falcon Art Malone has passed away.

The old team players just don’t get to stick around very long…

RIP Art.


August 1st, 2012
8:42 am

From what I saw at practice, he was RIGHT on Roddy like glue…..doesnt look too old to me. Champ Bailey’s damn near 40 and still quite the Samuel should have at least 3 good seasons left in him. I just want our guys HEALTHY!!!!! Let’s stay HEALTHY and the rest will take care of itself.

SeenThis B4

August 1st, 2012
8:53 am

Highlight Nov 11, and Nov 29 on that digital calendar of yours Samuel, you’ll get a real measure then.


August 1st, 2012
8:55 am

How soon we forget that not long ago we had another me me me me Cornerback who was a detrement to the team.

The comment about him having dreds and that is what we need back there I don’t get. But, personally, I think they should show some maturity and class and follow the lead that Julio Jones is tryint to set.


August 1st, 2012
9:25 am

Defensive backs must be aggressive & cocky in practice & in the games, The falcons corners are solid Brent grimes is always around the ball sometimes his size hurts but he’s there every time, Dunta is better when he’s able to play press coverage, This new attitude & the addition of Asante will help the entire defense…


August 1st, 2012
9:59 am

Hehehehe, all ya’ll Falcon fans just wait, it won’t take long to notice Samuels professional acting career, and a very bad one at that, and his excellent ability to trip over his own feet so he doesn’t have to make a tackle. I would buy everyone here a beer myself if Samuel were to even touch Peyton Hillis in the season opener, let alone tackling him.=P


August 1st, 2012
9:59 am

No different from Curtis Lofton offended that some idiot in the Falcons building called him a 2 down linebacker.

Andy Reid has had a nice career, but he’s the Bobby Cox of the NFL without the championship Always the Bridesmaid never the Bride.

Asante is a better fit here because he’s wanted and needed here. The Eagles made other expensive moves at CB and couldn’t afford Asante anymore.

The Falcons made some bad financial decisions in Dunta Robinson and Ray Edwards….as well as franchising instead of just giving Brent Grimes a contract 2 years ago, thus they could no longer afford Curtis Lofton.

It’s the NFL, when mistakes are made they are usually big.


August 1st, 2012
10:02 am

The Falcons don’t care if Asante Samuel can tackle, the Falcons needed another playmaker to take risks and intercept passes. Dunta plays more like a safety. Samuel is a scheme fit for what the team wants to do.

all that said, he’s not Antonio Cromartie. He’s not just going to ole

Rod Paradise

August 1st, 2012
10:41 am

He is what/who we need as well as Mike Nolan. The Falcons need to open it up on both sides of the ball. Hopefully with Asante, we will now have that on defence.


August 1st, 2012
11:02 am

The team seems to really support him and the new re-vamped secondary with the cockiness that goes with it and as fans we should also support it, until there’s no positive results to speak of.As a Falcon fan, I am glad to have Asante Samuels in Atlanta!

Drew Brees will smoke AS...fact

August 1st, 2012
11:35 am

Likei I said yesterday…until you win a SB, FAILCANTS….ssshhhhh….

Saints > FAILCANTS…..


August 1st, 2012
11:37 am

Splain this:

“He’s upgraded our swag,” safety William Moore said. “That’s huge for us. He’s a leader back there. He’s another guy with dreads back there. We need that. I think it’s going to be exciting just to watch him play.”

Only people I now with dreads are Rastafarians and hippies, both are very unproductive introverts. Am I missing something here?

Mike Franklin

August 1st, 2012
11:38 am

I remember when Bart and the Falc’s ‘Big Ben’d’ the Ain’ts twice in one year. Their fans began wearing ‘I hate the Falcons’ tee shirts. Was about the same time when they also started wearing bags over their heads to games…

Of course, we won’t talk about that. No sirr-ee.

SeenThis B4

August 1st, 2012
12:07 pm

@Mike Franklin: LOL! Who is Bart? And what century are you from?


August 1st, 2012
12:07 pm

You guys are all crazy.
Don’t ever compare Andy Reid to Bobby Cox. One of these guys has class and a championship as well as 13 straight division titles in a row. Hall of Famer.

And Asante is NOTHING like MeAngelo. One is a legit corner who can back up all his talk.

falcons relax

August 1st, 2012
2:13 pm

Anybody who thinks Asante isn’t in his prime just doesn’t know football. Not only did he say it BUT HES ONLY 31 YEARS OLD. Woodson is like 37 and still a top 5 CB. Asante still makes plays PERIOD. Reid made a big mistake and we capitalized on it. 10′ season asante had 9 picks. Last year lockout with the addition of a d-coordinator who doesn’t know what hes doing lead to the drop in INTs for asante. HES STILL THE SAME PLAYER TO ME. Its obvious by the plays hes making in practice. Whats the quote, “AFTER BREAKING UP A BALL.” Hes still making plays. Moore saying asante giving the swag lets me further know the impact asante brings.

Its taken 4 years to improve this secondary from grimes taking his beatings and improving, to bringing in dunta, to mike nolan, and now asante but its here now. As a team we’re going to start hitting our stride. Theres a difference between arrogance based on play making ability and then thinking your the alpha. Asante>D-Hall as far as that is concerned.



August 1st, 2012
8:26 pm

asante will be joining abe , gonzo , turner , edwards and smitty to do aarp and polident commercials this season. i wonder if winning a playoff game is on their bucket list !

[...] Asante Samuel takes offense with notion that he’s in steep decline [...]

[...] Asante Samuel takes offense with notion that he’s in steep decline [...]

[...] Asante Samuel takes offense with notion that he’s in steep decline [...]

[...] Asante Samuel takes offense with notion that he’s in steep decline [...]

[...] Asante Samuel takes offense with notion that he’s in steep decline [...]


August 4th, 2012
8:33 pm

Asante who?? yep..he’s in decline only valued as a 7th round pick…

[...] Asante Samuel takes offense with notion that he’s in steep decline [...]

[...] Asante Samuel takes offense with notion that he’s in steep decline [...]