Cornerback Asante Samuel may have spent four seasons with the Eagles, but he's certainly not from this area. How do we know that? Samuel expects fans to greet him when he takes the field Sunday donning a Falcons jersey.
"They better cheer for me. They're going to cheer for me or we're going to have a problem right there in Lincoln Financial (Field)," Samuel told AtlantaFalcons.com on Thursday. "All y'all fans, all I did for y'all, y'all better cheer for me. Deuce here. (I've) got nothing but love for y'all."
Signed by the Eagles as a big-ticket free agent in 2008, Samuel had 23 regular season interceptions and two postseason picks. In the 2011 offseason, the Eagles acquired two Pro Bowl cornerbacks in Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie. Samuel remained the starter on the left side, but his off-coverage style no longer meshed with the press coverage the Eagles want from their cornerbacks.
Samuel was traded to Atlanta just prior to this year's NFL Draft for a seventh-round pick. Samuel sheds some light on how the transaction happened.
"We all had to agree on it together. I had other choices that I was not going to pick. Atlanta was a place I wanted to come," Samuel said. "They tried to not let me come to Atlanta, but you know we got it done. We got it done."
Samuel has intercepted quarterback Michael Vick plenty of times in practice, but never in a game. The last time Samuel faced the Eagles was as a member of the Patriots in 2007. Samuel intercepted A.J. Feeley twice, with one of those returned for a touchdown.
This season for the undefeated Falcons, Samuel has allowed 19 receptions on 33 pass attempts for 284 yards and a touchdown, according to Stats Inc. He recorded his first interception in the Week 6 win over Oakland as he returned it for a touchdown.
"We're undefeated over here. I'm helping this team win a lot of games. I'm happy to be here," Samuel said. "I'm happy we helped build this team up over here as a Falcon."
As happy as he is now, Samuel might not be Sunday when he arrives at Lincoln Financial Field.
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