ATLANTA — Asante Samuel never stops yapping.
It doesn’t matter whether he’s on the practice field or in a game.
There’s no mute in his playDetroit in the closing minutes, then lost in overtime.
“Sometimes you have to blame yourself. You can’t try and always point the (finger) at someone else,” book.
Last week, when the Atlanta Falcons’ cornerback picked off a pass and returned it 79 yards for a crucial touchdown with less than 3 minutes remaining against the Oakland Raiders, his mouth was running as fast as his legs.
“All I heard was ‘Hello!’ Hello!’” said safety Thomas DeCoud, who was about 40 yards away in deep coverage. “I still heard him. Loud and clear.”
Samuel has brought plenty of swagger and bravado to the Atlanta defense, helping the Falcons (6-0) get off to the best start in franchise history. He kept on jabbering right through the bye week, going on Twitter to take a few pokes at his former team, the Philadelphia Eagles. Or, more specifically, his former coach, Andy Reid.
Guess who the Falcons play next?
Yep, the Eagles.
The 31-year-old Samuel has been to the Pro Bowl four times, but Reid reportedly expressed concerns about his high-priced cornerback being on the down side of his career. That’s apparently why the Eagles all but gave him away, trading Samuel to the Falcons during the offseason for a measly seventh-round draft pick.
Not long after his first pick in an Atlanta uniform helped pull out a 23-20 win over the Raiders, Samuel was already looking forward to returning to the City of Brotherly Love.
“They love me,” he said. “They’re going to scream when I come out (of) that tunnel. Philly, y’all better scream when I come out (of) that tunnel!”
As if trying to stir things up even more, Samuel doled out some not-so-subtle tweets for Reid after the coach fired his defensive coordinator, Juan Castillo, with the Eagles also heading into a bye week. The move came after Philadelphia (3-3) squandered a 10-point lead on Samuel wrote.
He followed up with this, “I’m just saying ... Ain’t no decline over here.”
“He’s a ball hawk,” coach Mike Smith said. “He’s got great skills once the ball is in his hands. Not only does he know how to jump routes and play the coverages, but when he gets it in his hands, he can do a lot of things.”
Through the first five games, Samuel didn’t have any picks.
Going into Week 6’s game against Oakland, Samuel’s teammates were razzing him about when he was going to get his first pick with the Falcons.
Right on cue, Samuel came through.