Asante Samuel was difficult to disregard during the Atlanta Falcons’ first full-squad practice this offseason on Tuesday.
Atlanta’s new No. 22 showed he love to talk, pose and make plays. Baseball scores
“Can I get some action out here?” Samuel called out on the field during the training as he became impatient for a pass to be thrown in his direction. “Am I out here for my health? I want to show the people what I am able to play!”
Within a few minutes he had 2 interceptions, one against Matt Ryan.
After the 1st pick, Samuel struck a pose, with his arms crossed. Then he placed 2 fingers over each 2 on his jersey and proclaimed: “Deuce Deuce right here.”
Samuel was asked after the training about his call for action.
“And I got some right?” he announced. “That’s what you need to do, put the bull’s-eye on your shoulder and step up to the plate. That’s how you get better.”
It was an impressive introduction to arranged team activities (OTAs) that left Samuel’s new squad buzzing and Coach Mike Smith smiling.
Samuel, a 4-time Pro Bowl pick for the Patriots and Eagles, has joined Dunta Robinson and Brent Grimes to make cornerback an area of strength for the Falcons.
“Asante I thought did about the same thing he has done to me for 4 years,” Ryan announced. “He made a good pick. He’s going to make us better. In particular I suspect he will make me and our wide receivers better going against him and Dunta and Grimes each day as corners. It’s going to be good work for us.”
The Falcons plan for Grimes and Samuel to play outside with Robinson moving within, where he has played formerly in his career, when 5 defensive backs are on the field. Samuel, 31, worked on both the right and left side on Tuesday.
“I have a liking,” Samuel recounted. “I want to be on the left hand side. I’m a left corner but I will do anything I can to help the team. This is a right-handed league and I want to be where the ball is coming.”
Smith said his staff, including new defensive coordinator Mike Nolan, will watch the cornerbacks closely as OTAs continue thru June 15.
“It gives us a lot of flexibility in terms of how we would like to line up our players. That’s something that Coach Nolan and the team has spent a substantial amount of time debating and something we’ll look at really strongly, very closely.”
Robinson said he welcomed the addition of Samuel, bought by the Atlanta Falcons from Philadelphia for a 7th-round pick previous to the NFL draft.
“When I originally heard it, the 1st thing I said is ‘That’s going to make our defense better, ‘” Robinson recounted. This thing is all about competition and that’s what we come out here for. I think having 3 very good corners is a good problem to have instead of a bad problem. Some groups don’t have one corner; you know what I am saying?
“So for us to be in this situation I believe is a good position for this team.”