Philadelphia Eagles News

CB Asante Samuel

On whether it has been tough to miss so much practice because of his hamstring injuries: "It's a little tough. It's part of football though, adversity. I've been dealing with adversity since I've been in the NFL. Last year, I missed all of training camp and came out and had a pretty good year. I've been mentally staying into it. I'm focused, and I'm learning the plays and everyone is helping me out well, so it's going pretty good."

On why he missed training camp last year: "It was a contract situation."

On how eager he is to get on to the field and see how he fits into the defense: "I'm a competitor at heart; I love to compete. When I'm watching film and I see my teammates out there competing and getting after it and making plays, something just comes into me, makes me want to get out there. If my brothers are out there and I'm not out there, it's kind of frustrating, but I'm back and feeling good, so we'll see how I go."

On what his first thought was when he strained his second hamstring: "As soon as it happened again I was like, 'Oh gosh, not again'. I don't want this year to be hampering me with injuries and stuff like that, so that was the first thought that came into my head, but I should be beyond that now."

On whether this camp is tougher than anywhere else: "It's definitely a challenging training camp, but like anywhere else, it isn't any different. It's just more physical in training camps, fast paced, and you just have to be in shape and prepared for it."

On how he mentally balanced his hamstring injury and desire to be on the field with the danger of coming back too early: "That's the thing, you can't rush it no matter how eager you are and how bad you want to get back out there. A hammy is the worst injury that you want to play with. If you come back too early you could strain it again or tear it, so it's definitely something that you don't want to play with. You want to make sure that you're at least 90 or 95 percent healthy before you get back out there."

On his relationship with CB Lito Sheppard: "We have a real good relationship. My first year up here, he kind of shows me the ropes, Sheldon too. We're all pretty tight. It's a good relationship. It's no bad blood with anybody. A situation is a situation and everybody goes through a situation, but that doesn't affect us. We go out there; we've got a job to do."

On whether he can understand what Lito is going through since he went through a similar situation last year: "Well, yeah. We talk about it being that I went through a situation last year, so I give him my pointers and my opinion on the whole situation. We can relate to that definitely."

On what the best advice is that he could give Lito: "I can't tell you." (Jokingly)

On how different head coach Andy Reid is to Patriots head coach Bill Belichick from what he's seen: "I'm not into comparisons and all that stuff, but he's a good coach. He's led this team to a Super Bowl before, went to the NFC Championship a couple of times, so he definitely knows what he's doing, and he's put a good program together."

On the differences in personality between the two coaches: "You know Bill doesn't have a personality, so Andy wins that. (Jokingly) Not much, but Bill doesn't give you anything."

On the unity of this Eagles team: "There's a lot of unity out here; a lot of unity, a lot of love. Everybody's out there, everybody has each other's back, everybody's out there wanting to compete, everybody wants to get better. That's the main thing that you look at in good teams, who wants to get better and how bad and how focused everybody is, so it's looking pretty good."

On how dangerous the secondary could be this year with all three cornerbacks on the field along with the rest of the defense: "I think it's definitely going to do a good thing, should be one of our strong points on defense seeing as how we have a couple of veterans, a couple of Pro Bowl guys out there, so it'll be interesting to see how it goes, and we should be doing pretty good."

On how much he wants to play in this Thursday's preseason game against the Panthers: "You know, it's not up to me. I'll wait and see what the coaches and trainers say. I'll go out there and whatever they tell me to do, then I'm definitely going to do it."

On whether there have been any surprises in joining the Eagles: "No not really. The defense, I knew it was an aggressive defense, and being a cornerback you would like that and hopefully get a lot of pressure. The quarterback can't make a perfect throw every time, so that definitely should help out a lot."

On whether he feels there is something for him to prove after the way the Super Bowl ended last year: "I don't worry about that stuff. I don't feel like there's any pressure on me. I just go out and play ball the way Asante Samuel knows how to make plays. I look at it day in and day out no matter what you guys are saying, what people are saying about - I'm a good corner because of a system or whatever, I just go out and make plays."

On whether he still thinks about the play in the Super Bowl where he nearly intercepted a pass from Giants QB Eli Manning at the end of the game: "No. Like I said before, at cornerback you have to have a short memory. Definitely I should have made that play hands down. Nine times out of ten, I never miss that play, but one play doesn't make a game. That's the way that it is. We lost and life goes on, you know? You have to move forward."

On whether it upsets him that people, including some of his former teammates, are still questioning his performance during the Super Bowl: "I mean I don't worry about it. Whatever people are going to say, people can say whatever they want. Like I said, one play doesn't make a game. Whoever said it, I'm pretty sure they had a couple messed up plays that had an effect on the game. It is what it is. He (Giants WR David Tyree) made a hell of play, definitely. It's going to go down in history as one of the best plays in the Super Bowl. Still to this day, I don't know how he held on to that with his head."

On the difference in linebackers between the Eagles and the Patriots and how the two different styles make life different for a cornerback: "It depends on who you are playing with. Like you said we have athletic guys that can run, back in New England –it's two different styles. Definitely being able to stop the run would be a plus, and getting pressure on the quarterback would definitely help out too."

On what he hopes people see in him and the way he approaches the game: "That I just love to go out there and make plays. That's what I'm all about. Making plays, helping my team win."

On whether he can sense the excitement in the Eagles fans: "Definitely. I can feel the love, and I can feel excitement. You know, they're talking mess and talking crap, I definitely feel that they want to see me out there and see what I can do for the team."

On how much work he still has to do on the defense: "I've pretty much got the basics down. There's still a lot of learning – curves and little things that I need to learn how to tweak it and put it in my own style. It's coming along good, and definitely, these last couple of days have helped me, getting out here."

On how much game time is needed with the other guys to be familiar with the scheme: "As much as possible. Whatever the coaches –like I say, wherever they put me in and ask me to play, I definitely think they are going to make the right decision being that the hamstring injury and also to get acclimated with my teammates and get familiar with the checks and the play calls and all that, so it'll be alright."

On how different the instruction during meetings is at the Eagles compared to at the Patriots: "I mean different teams have their own different styles as far as coaching and play calling. It's all basically the same thing. I don't imagine there is any defense that I haven't played. I've pretty much played every defense you could possibly play from college to the NFL. It's just a matter of figuring out the wording of how you put it in, how you know how to play it."

On the status of his hamstrings and whether he thinks he will have anymore problems this season: "Well, knock on wood, I hope not. I definitely feel good. (WR) Reggie Brown took me deep today –he tried to take me deep and I definitely got a good explosion out of that, but that was a good test and it felt pretty good, so it should be alright."

On what he has been doing during the rehab process to be able to come back: "Strengthening it, getting it back in shape, making sure it's not fatigued. That's basically all you do. You ice, you stim, you do your little workout and get the strength (back) and the fatigueness gone, and then you'll be alright."

On whether his hamstring injuries have caused frustration and whether he thought he would be out of practice this long: "Definitely it was frustrating, but, like I said before, NFL you know, adversity. You have adversity every type of way, so you just have to deal with it accordingly. I got a lot of good mental reps, you know, being focused in the film room and out here in walk thrus."

On whether he feels like he's caught up now: "Yeah, I'm pretty much alright. I'll be good."

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