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Asante Samuel implores Eagles fans to cheer him

  • By David Weiner NFL.com
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Telling Philadelphia sports fans they'd better cheer for you, an opposing player, or they're going to have a problem might not seem like something you'd want to do -- but you're not Asante Samuel, are you?

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"They better cheer for me," the now-Atlanta Falcons cornerback said Thursday about Eagles fans, referring to Sunday's game in Philadelphia. "They're going to cheer for me or we're going to have a problem right there in Lincoln Financial (Field). All you all fans, all I did for you all, you all better cheer for me. Deuce here. Got nothing but love for you all."

Samuel once had love from, and for, the fans in New England during his five years as a Patriots cornerback -- a stint that included three Super Bowl appearances and two trophies. Then came four years playing with a chip on his shoulder for the Eagles, where -- 23 interceptions later -- Samuel was maneuvered out of Philadelphia when the team acquired Nnamdi Asomugha and Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie.

The Eagles only received a seventh-round draft pick from the Falcons in exchange for Samuel, who has 46 career interceptions.

"Like I said in the beginning, it was a joint thing," Samuel said Thursday, according to Philly.com. "It was something we all had to agree on together. We had other choices that I was not going to pick. Atlanta was a place I wanted to come. They tried to not let me come to Atlanta, but we got it done."

Since then? Well, the Falcons are 6-0, while the 3-3 Eagles just fired defensive coordinator Juan Castillo. Samuel left no doubt where his loyalties lay.

"Juan's my guy. Shout out to you, Juan," Samuel said. "He had the 12th(-ranked) defense in the league. Doing a good job as I could see. It's just unfortunate he had to resign from his job or whatever."

Samuel, the Eagle-turned Falcon, looks forward to finally facing quarterback Michael Vick, the Falcon-turned-Eagle: "Every time I had to play against his team, he was always hurt or something. I know he's an explosive player. I know he's a competitor, so it's time to compete."

Should Vick throw an interception Samuel's way on Sunday, we're pretty certain that any sounds Samuel hears from Eagles fans will not sound like cheering.

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