Never one to shy away from verbal jousting, Falcons cornerback Asante Samuel on Tuesday spiced up the subplot for the Falcons’ meeting at Philadelphia, his former team, on Oct. 21, with Twitter posts in response to the Eagles’ firing of defensive coordinator Juan Castillo.
After the Eagles traded the four-time Pro-Bowler in the offseason for a seventh-round pick, Samuel took exception to comments written in a blog post on the website of The Philadelphia Inquirer that said Eagles coach Andy Reid believed Samuel’s skills were “in steep decline.”
Perhaps emboldened by an interception that he returned 79 yards for a touchdown in the Falcons’ 23-20 win over Oakland Sunday, Samuel used his verified Twitter account (pick_six22) to point a few zingers in Reid’s direction: “I’m just saying… Aint no decline over here” and “Sometimes you have to blame yourself. You can’t try and always point the figure [sic] at someone else”.
This will be the fourth meeting in four seasons between the two NFC opponents with the Eagles winning handily in 2009 and ’10 and the Falcons earning a wild victory last season in which they knocked Philadelphia quarterback Michael Vick from the game.
Ever since Vick, the former Falcons star whose 04-05 Atlanta team lost in the NFC Championship game at Philadelphia, went to play for Philadelphia in 2009 following his release from federal prison on dogfighting charges, the matchup has taken on the feeling of a rivalry.
After Sunday’s win over the Raiders, Samuel began to ratchet up the talk for the Eagles game, which will come after both teams finish their bye weeks.
“Philly, they love me,” he said. “They’re going to scream when I come out that tunnel. Philly, y’all better scream when I come out that tunnel.”
The Eagles (3-3) are badly in need of a win against the NFL-leading Falcons (6-0).
This week, Reid fired his defensive coordinator Juan Castillo and has continued to evaluate the quarterback position. Vick has struggled throwing eight interceptions to eight touchdowns and nine fumbles, including five lost.
Including the regular season and playoffs, Samuel has 10 interceptions returned for a touchdown, the most in the NFL since he entered the league in 2003. He has 46 career interceptions, including the one this season.