Asante Samuel Q&A, 8/28

Posted on August 28, 2007 
Filed Under Uncategorized

Thanks to the Patriots’ PR staff, here’s the transcript of Asante Samuel’s session with the media this morning at Gillette Stadium:

Q: Looking back on the whole process, what did you learn?
AS: I just learned to be patient and pray about it and put it in God’s hands and let him take care of everything.

Q: Did you miss two-a-days?
AS: You know, as much as you guys probably think being home and not being in that sun, I really did miss the guys and joking around in the locker room.

Q: Was there a winner and a loser to signing this contract?
AS: Like I said, both sides had to agree to it. There’s no winner and no loser. We got it done and I’m here.

Q: Did you feel it was important to get a week of work under your belt before the season started?
AS: I just thought it would be good to get in as soon as possible, not a week. As soon as I get in, I’m ready to work and I’m ready to get back into my normal playing form.

Q: Were you worried that you would be out for 10 weeks or so?
AS: You know I’m not going to get into that. I already made my statement in the past. That’s the past. I’m ready to go, I’m here and I’m happy.

Q: You said that you’re happy now, but what was the difference between now and four weeks ago?
AS: I’m here. Both sides made an agreement and both sides are happy. So if I’m here, I’m obviously happy.

Q: Yes, but you could have gotten the same agreement weeks ago.
AS: How do you know? I’m not going to go answer that. You can go and find that out through somebody else.

Q: How did the thought of possibly playing on a Super Bowl contender play into your decision making process?
AS: I love my team. It’s always been a great organization. It’s always had great fans, great players, great coaches. We’ve been doing well since I’ve been here so I’m glad to be here and I’d love to be here for the rest of my career.

Q: How many of your teammates did you stay in contact with?
AS: I talked to a lot of guys. I’m not going to name all of them, but I talked to Rodney [Harrison] Rosie [Colvin], Jarvis [Green]. I talked to a lot of guys. We talked about how much fun they were having and how coach was taking it easy on them in Training Camp, things like that. We kept in touch.

Q: With your current deal, do you worry about being in the same situation next year?
AS: It is what it is, you know. I’m happy that we came to an agreement and I’m ready to play ball.

Q: What do you think of this team and its acquisitions heading into this season?
AS: I don’t know. I haven’t been out there with those guys and seen what they can do and what they’re working on. The fact that we’ve kept the main guys here and the offseason moves, obviously they’re here to help the team. Hopefully, we can get it done.

Q: When did you get into town?
AS: I got in Sunday night. Who ratted me out? (Laughs.)

Q: Did Lance Briggs situation at all change the way you looked at your situation?
AS: His situation is his own situation and mine is mine. I don’t look at different situations. I know what makes me happy and we got it done.

Q: When the July 16th deadline passed, what were you thinking?
AS: I can’t worry about that any more, that’s in the past. I have a contract, I’m happy, I’m here to play football.

Q: Is there anything you need to work out as far as field drills or anything like that?
AS: I just went through my normal routine. It’s worked for me at the beginning of training camp so now I hope it works for me at the end of training camp. I didn’t change anything. I just worked harder.

Q: Have you ever been in a situation that you had to come in during the middle of training camp because of an injury or go without the first couple weeks of the season?
AS: No, I’ve never been in a situation like that. It’s new for me and I’m ready for the challenge. Hopefully, I’ll overcome it and do my best.

Q: Do you have any regrets about the way things played out?
AS: No, I don’t have any regrets. It is what it is. I did what I felt I needed to do and I’m ready to play football.

Q: Will you be practicing today?
AS: I don’t know yet. You’ll have to ask coach about that.

Q: Did you take the conditioning test?
AS: You’ll have to talk to coach about that.

Q: I know last year you said you felt more comfortable playing on the left side, do you still feel that way?
AS: Nah, I’m not going to get into details. Wherever they need me, I’m here to help the team. I’m here to play football like Asante Samuel knows how to play football.

Q: You had a breakout season last year and because of that the perception by some was that you were trying to cash in and get the big deal. Was there any truth to that?
AS: I’m not going to get into any contract talk and things like that. You know, fourth year, fifth year are your prime years. I’m in those years and hopefully I can keep things going. Hopefully I can lead and do what I did last year and that would be great for all of us.

Q: What was your reaction to Ty Warren’s deal?
AS: I’m happy for him. If that makes him happy and that makes the organization happy, I’m happy for them. I’m happy for him. That has nothing to do with me.

Q: Do you feel, yourself, that you’re ready to play opening day?
AS: Like I said, I’m not going to get into that. I haven’t even been on the field yet. You all can ask Coach Belichick tomorrow about how it went and I’m sure he’ll give you an answer.

Q: I know some people might see this as a money thing, tell us about your drive to be a great player in this league.
AS: No doubt about it. I’m a competitor. I’ve been a competitor since I was born. Everything I do I want to be the best at. I want to leave a legacy. I want Asante Samuel to be a stone in the NFL when I leave this game. I’m going to work hard and leave it out on the line and make plays like I know how to make plays.

Q: You hear names like Champ Bailey when people talk about the best corners of this era. Is there anybody in this game that you feel like you’re still chasing?
AS: I mean you guys in the media or whoever ranks cornerbacks, I feel how I feel about myself and that’s all that really matters at the end of the day. I feel that I’m one of the best in the NFL and I’ve just got to play and keep proving it. I’m a fourth-rounder, I come from the bottom of this league. I made my name all on my own. Nothing was given to me, so I’m happy. I’ll let you guys that hold the microphone [decide]. Am I the best?

Q: Technically it wasn’t a holdout, you just didn’t sign a contract, but by not being in camp you were sort of branded. How do you feel about that?
AS: Well yeah, that comes with the territory. A lot people go through these situations where sides don’t agree on things and they hold out for whatever reason. I mean my name was thrown out here and there in a negative way. That doesn’t really matter to me.

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