On Thursday, mercurial Falcons cornerback Asante Samuel broke a self-imposed silence with the media that had been going since the early stages of training camp.
Samuel had good reason for speaking his mind. On Sunday, he faces the team the New England Patriots, the club that drafted him, developed him and put the veteran cornerback in position to win Super Bowls.
By all accounts, Samuel doesn't hold any ill will against his old team.
"Were pretty cool," Samuel said of his former teammates, as he stood calmly before the cameras and held his hands behind his back. "It's my first home. I was born into the New England system as a rookie and as an NFL player. So, I'm always going to have some love, and a lot of people I know from around there, so that's what it is.
Those respectful words contrast sharply with last season when Samuel unleashed his acerbic wit upon the Eagles, another former team, when they were struggling in a non-playoff season and Andy Reid's last as head coach.