Asante Samuel was brought into the Falcons organization just over a month ago, but he’s already making a good impression out on the field. In Atlanta’s first session of Organized Team Activities (OTA’s), Samuel came way with two interceptions. The Falcons seem to have plenty of faith in him already.
The 31-year-old cornerback is used to playing on the left side of the ball, but he certainly isn’t opposed to moving around. “I have a preference,” Samuel said. “I want to be on the left side. I’m a left corner but I’ll do anything I can to help the team. This is a right-handed league and I want to be where the ball is coming.”
Head coach Mike Smith seems to like his versatility, hinting at the fact that Samuel will be lining up on both sides.
“I think you guys saw that he lined up on the left side and he lined up on the right side,” Smith said. “The thing that Asante allows us to do is it gives us a lot of flexibility in terms of how we want to line up our players. That’s something that coach [new defensive coordinator Mike] Nolan and the staff have spent a lot of time discussing and something we’ll look at very strongly, very closely through these next nine OTA’s.”
Brian VanGorder ran things a little differently last year. Brent Grimes and Dunta Robinson had a specific side of the field they stuck to. Nolan, however, will probably not be following this trend.
With Samuel being put on both sides, this could indicate the Falcons intention of matching him up against opponent’s No. 1 receivers. Wherever they go, Samuel will follow.
There are still months of practices and training camp to go through before anything is set in stone, but for now it looks like Samuel is in for a huge role in the Falcons secondary for 2012.