FLOWERY BRANCH – Falcons cornerback Asante Samuel needs some NoDoz tablets during the games to stay alert.
Teams have avoided his side of the field for extended portions of games. He doesn’t have an interception, just one pass break-up and 17 tackles.
“I always say in my head, they are coming at you soon,” Samuel said. “I just try to stay awake, stay alive and try to do whatever I can do to help my team, whether if it’s run support, communication or putting other people in places to make plays; whatever I can do to help.”
Samuel is expecting a big challenge from Washington, which features the league’s top rushing attack (175.5 per game) and rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III.
“He’s very explosive,” Samuel said of RG3. “Mike Shanahan has a good scheme and its very explosive.”
It’s hurt Samuel, who has 45 career interceptions, to watch as the defense has amassed 12 turnovers and he’s not been able to get a good whiff of the football.
“We are not going to let somebody stop us from doing what we do,” Samuel said. “We are going to do what we do and be the best at it. Their offense has a lot of challenges to it with the running back [Alfred Morris], the quarterback and the receivers; they have a lot of people over there making plays. The tight end [Fred Davis] is very explosive. You just have to run your scheme, be physical with them and try to confuse them as much as possible.”
Samuel was asked to rate the defense’s effort thus far on a scale of 1 to 10. He gave the unit a five.
“We’ve got a long way to go,” Samuel said.