Alert! As part of their post-draft minicamp coverage, the Eagles have posted an oh-so-rare Asante Samuel interview video. We've long since been impressed by Asante's jedi skills in re: his media engagements, in that you would expect a dude who signed a $57-million to occasionally be held accountable to the press, and Asante's on-camera work with Eagles staffer Chris McPherson this weekend does not disappoint.
When we last heard from Asante Samuel, he was sending huffy text messages to Derrick Gunn in response to Andy Reid's suggestion that Samuel -- among other players -- had some things to work on this offseason, Specifically, Samuel texted D- Gunn to say that, "The whole team needs to improve from the front office to the head coach to the players."
The head coach, huh? Normally that sort of statement from a prominent player would be more than enough to get the headline writers rolling, but then something happened with some guy getting traded later that same day, and, um, like, the Asante Samuel story didn't seem like a big deal.
At this point in the offseason, it's accepted as pretty close to gospel truth among Eagles fans that Asante Samuel is neither a talented nor a willing tackler (thank you, Paul Domowitch!). It tends to be pretty difficult to get Eagles fans to agree on much (bless us, really), but you'd have a hard time finding folks to convincingly argue the case for Asante Samuel's tackling skills.
Thus does hilarity ensue as Chris McPherson asks Samuel more than once exactly what he thinks he needed to work on as he prepares for the 2010 campaign -- essentially, this is Asante's chance to tell us he's going to be more physical this year. Andy Reid has even hinted that Samuel has bulked up in the offseason to help himself along. Should be easy to just address the tackling thing and be done with it, right?
So, Asante, what do you think you need to improve?
"Maybe I dropped too many interceptions or something."
In terms of Andy Reid and post-McNabb-era code words and memes, Asante does dutifully makes a point of declaring his love of the game, and his love of competition on the practice field. That's excellent cliche discipline right there, son. Well done.
But then McPherson can't help himself and attempts to get Asante to fess up on the tackling question yet again, leading to this exchange:
"When you're someone who's been at a Pro Bowl level for years, what do you try to improve...?"
"If I don't win defensive player of the year, then I need to get better."
"Well what do you need to do that?"
"I don't know, man. It's politics and voting, so I guess I have to impress them."
RIGHT! Politics and voting! If we get those parts right, then we should have no problems at all stopping wide-receiver screens.
Or, for those of you who are more into a traditional SAT-style formulation:
JOE BANNER : "WE'RE REBUILDING" :: Asante Samuel : "I need to work on my tackling."
(More Asante Samuel, please.)