Found October 25, 2012 on Fox Sports South:
FLOWERY BRANCH, Ga. -- Philadelphia fans infamously booed Santa Claus and yet Falcons cornerback Asante Samuel, a former Eagle making his homecoming on Sunday, has insisted for weeks now that some of the country's toughest fans will cheer him when he and his unbeaten team takes the field as an opponent on Sunday. "Oh, they better cheer for me," Samuel said. "They're going to cheer for me. Or we're going to have a problem right there in Lincoln Financial Stadium. "All y'all fans, all I did for y'all, y'all better cheer for me. You know what I mean? Deuce here, got nothing but love for you." In a session that proved more performance art than interview, Samuel pulled on a helmet in the Falcons locker room to address the media. A carnival atmosphere reigned as teammates watched in amusement and hooted him on. The four-time Pro-Bowler said the helmet was to help him tone down his notoriously over-the-top personality. "Got a little personality issue, so that's how I got to do the interviews," Samuel said in response to why he wore the helmet. "I'm just trying to humble myself down. Make sure I don't expand too much. My personality issues are kicking in." In the weeks leading up to the game, Samuel went to Twitter to tweak Eagles coach Andy Reid over firing defensive coordinator Juan Castillo last week, though Samuel denied that was the case on Thursday. After Philadelphia traded him to Atlanta in April for a seventh-round pick, Samuel later took exception to comments that were attributed to Reid that he was "in steep decline." When Reid fired Castillo, Samuel, on Twitter, asked rhetorically who was in decline now. Evidently, word got back to Samuel that in a conference call with Atlanta media on Wednesday, Reid denied that he believed Samuel was in decline. "No decline in 22, right?" Samuel said, referring, as he often does, to himself by his number. "So we're just going to clear that up." Of the tweets, he said, "Y'all assume that was about Andy. I didn't say this is about Andy. I just made a quote and then another quote and then everybody said it was for Andy, so y'all did that." Samuel seemed to take special satisfaction in the idea that the Eagles are struggling at 3-3 and that Reid's move to fire Castillo was somewhat quizzical as Castillo has the league's 12-ranked defense. "Man, Juan's my guy," Samuel said. "Shout out to you, Juan. Had the 12th defense in the league. Doing a good job, man, as I could see. Just unfortunate he had to resign from his job or whatever. Great guy, man. Work hard. Any coaches out there need another coach, he definitely get the job done." He added of the Eagles' struggles: "It's kind of hard when 22's not there. You know, 22 keep things going for you. Just got to deal with it. Make your bed, you've got to lie in it. The Falcons are generally a low-key team and that's how head coach Mike Smith likes it. Samuel has spiced that up a bit. Tight end Tony Gonzalez said the approach works for Samuel. "That's his way," Gonzalez said. "Now is that my way? No, I wouldn't do that. You know, but that's his way and I've seen that works for him. I've been around a long time. I've seen players that have that swag and they're going to let you know what's on their mind but the thing about him is as long as you back it up and he goes out there and backs it up, then I have no problem. You can say whatever you want to say. Just go out there and be competitive." In the Falcons' previous game, Samuel had a 79-yard interception return for a touchdown that was critical in a 23-20 win over Oakland. During his media scrum, Samuel also elaborated somewhat on the circumstances surrounding his trade to the Falcons and how he had some input in his destination. "Yeah, like I said in the beginning, it was a joint thing, something we all had to agree on together," he said. "I had other choices that I was not going to pick, so Atlanta was a place I wanted to come. They tried not to let me come to Atlanta, of course, but we got it done." Samuel hails from Florida and he said being in closer proximity has helped him to attend to an issue of a personal nature relating to his mother. He did not want to expound on what that issue was, only saying that she was "sick." Samuel was raised by a single mother and has created a foundation to help other single mothers. "Very important," he said of being in Atlanta. "Going through a situation in the family. Family is very important, family's No. 1 to me so I got to do what I got to do to help out the best I can...." "She's doing good," he said of his mother. "She's doing good. She's fighting hard every day. Spirits up, doing good."
THE BACKYARD
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
RELATED ARTICLES

Asante Samuel aiming for big day in Philadelphia

Asante Samuel can't wait to return to Philadelphia with his unbeaten Atlanta Falcons. The brash cornerback says he still has ''nothing but love'' for Eagles fans despite getting traded to Atlanta six months ago for a seventh-round draft pick. It was an unceremonious departure for a four-time Pro Bowl pick who lost his starting job when Philadelphia acquired...

Will the Falcons finish undefeated? A look at their remaining schedule and the NFC South

The Falcons are undefeated and at the top of the league.  Matt Ryan has had a lot of success in the regular season, but it has not translated into the post season.  The Falcons offense has not been in question, now is their defense good enough to win it all? Here's a look at their remaining schedule, predictions and the rest of their division. @ Philadelphia - The...

Asante Samuel expects Eagles fans to cheer for him

While talking to the media on Thursday, Falcons cornerback Asante Samuel pretty much demanded that Eagles fans cheer for him when he returns to Philly on Sunday. “They better cheer … Continue reading »

Eagles Must Avoid Short Throws To Asante Samuel’s Side

Read more...)

Undefeated Atlanta Falcons Could Be In For Free Fall

Generally the last remaining undefeated team in an NFL season is recognized as the best of the best. Other teams around the league see them as a target. Fans expect to see them making a long playoff run. And the media throws more hype behind them than the next teen singing sensation. Well, the Atlanta Falcons currently stand alone atop the National Football League with a sparkling...

Brandon Graham issues harsh critique of Juan Castillo, shows confidence in Todd Bowles

Linebacker Casey Matthews hinted at what he thought of Juan Castillo’s coaching when he summed up the first meeting of the Philadelphia Eagle defense in the Todd Bowles era on Monday: “We’re not going to be predictable anymore.” Brandon Graham took those comments further on Wednesday by blaming Castillo for the Eagles defensive woes in the games of which he presided. Graham...

Atlanta Falcons: Week 8 NFL Power Rankings (#3)

Last week: 3 (+0) Record: 6-0 On bye.

NFL Week 8: Atlanta Falcons Among Five Teams Guaranteed To Lose

Up to this point in the season, the NFL has produced several surprises, ranging from under performing teams like the Detroit Lions and San Diego Chargers, to overachievers such as the Minnesota Vikings and Arizona Cardinals.Each week there are several upsets, and Week 8 in the NFL will be no different.As we enter the second half of the season, teams will continue to deal with key...

Fantasy Football Week 8 Preview: Falcons at Eagles

Atlanta Falcons @ Philadelphia EaglesAtlanta:  Coming off their bye week, the Falcons sort of slept walked through their week 7 game at home against the Raiders, and it took a last minute score to avoid overtime and squeak out the win.  This week, expect the Falcons to be more prepared in playing against a dangerous Eagles team.Matt Ryan has been very good this season, although...

Atlanta Falcons at Philadelphia Eagles: Three Bold Predictions

It's been a story of two seasons between the Falcons and the Eagles.While the Falcons have reached new heights and claim the NFL's only undefeated record left this season, the Eagles are once again sputtering to find a rhythm and make their Superbowl dreams a reality.Come Sunday though, we will truly find out if the Eagles will finally get it together and if the Falcons are...

Atlanta Falcons at Philadelphia Eagles Preview`

Coming off their week 7 bye, the upcoming home game against the Atlanta Falcons hopefully marks the turning point for the Philadelphia Eagles. In the wake of their collapse at home against the Detroit Lions in week 6, Head Coach Andy Reid terminated defensive coordinator Juan Castillo and replaced him with secondary coach Todd Bowles, formerly the Dolphins’ interim head coach....
Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.