Philadelphia Eagles News

Samuel Wants More Interceptions In 2009

When cornerback Asante Samuel meets the media, it's an event. Samuel calls it "10 percent day" because he only wants to meet the media – you guessed it - 10 percent of the time.

On Tuesday, Samuel met the media for the first time since the start of training camp. He started on the Physically Unable to Perform list with a hamstring injury. Samuel returned to the practice field for Monday afternoon's practice and on Tuesday took part in his first live contact drills.

"It feels good to be out here with my teammates running around," Samuel said. "I'm a competitor at heart and that's what I love to do."

Entering his seventh NFL season, Samuel knows what he needs to do to be prepared for the upcoming season. In his first year with the Eagles in 2008, Samuel led the team with four interceptions. He had two more in the postseason and returned one of them for a touchdown. As good as Samuel was, he earned a Pro Bowl nod for the second straight season, he knows that he left a lot of picks on the field.

"I'm definitely more comfortable than last year," Samuel said. "There is definitely a lot of room for improvement for me to keep learning the defense and making my job a lot easier out there. I want to catch more of the picks that I dropped."

Samuel was in a joking mood with reporters as he declined to speak about why he missed the second week of the Organized Team Activities in June. But when he was asked about new defensive coordinator Sean McDermott, Samuel was serious about praising his former secondary coach.

"I see a smart, intelligent guy," Samuel said. "We have a lot of confidence in him and I think he's going to step right in and do a hell of a job for us."

Samuel was much more vocal during the OTAs and was seen joking around on the sidelines. He was mentioned as one of the players expected to take more of a leadership role this season. But he doesn't feel any pressure due to the loss of middle linebacker Stewart Bradley.

"Coach (Andy) Reid and the staff do a good job of bringing guys in that we depend on to step up if somebody goes down," Samuel said. "We're definitely confident in whoever is going to step in."

-- Posted by Chris McPherson, 1:25 p.m., August 4

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