Samuel: Falcons Will Grow in Offseason

Samuel: Falcons Will Grow in Offseason

Jay Adams

Published February 11, 2013 at 7:55 PM

Falcons cornerback Asante Samuel joined 790 The Zone’s Dave Archer and Mike Bell on Monday afternoon and discussed a wide array of topics in his few minutes on air, including his thoughts on what the Falcons need to do this offseason and how much his injured shoulder affected his 2012 season.

On offseason moves, Samuel was hesitant to put his general manager hat on, but did express a lot of faith in Falcons GM Thomas Dimitroff and head coach Mike Smith to make the changes necessary to get the Falcons over the top.

But added that the biggest thing that he thinks will help the Falcons in 2013 is simply the extra year everyone has been together.

“We definitely need to get better on offense, defense and special teams, but I think more than anything, the time that we’re gonna have together is going to be more essential than anything,” Samuel said Monday. “It was my first year here. We had a new defensive coordinator (Mike Nolan), it being his first year here. Just all of us being able to click together and have camaraderie is going to (make us) a lot better next year.”

Samuel was a crucial addition to the Falcons in the 2012 offseason, especially after losing cornerback Brent Grimes to a season-ending Achilles injury at the start of the year. From the left cornerback position, Samuel chipped in with five interceptions to help boost a secondary that, overall, saw a lot of success because of the attitude and swagger that Samuel brought to the group.

The veteran cornerback was slowed a bit in 2012 by a nagging shoulder injury that never quite could seem to get back to 100 percent. He told Archer and Bell that it’s currently “perfectly OK,” but said it was a tough injury to play through.

“It affected me… just with the shoulder being hurt, you can’t be as strong as you want and do some of the things you want to,” Samuel said. “You just have to compensate, but you’ve got to go out there and make sure you’re helping your team more than you’re hurting the team, so I went out there and did my thing.”

He certainly did that as he put together some gutsy performances down the stretch, perhaps the most notable at Tampa Bay, helping the Falcons secure a one-point win over the Bucs during a game where he looked to be in a lot of pain.

What’s your take on Samuel’s addition to the team?

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