“Asante Samuel backed up his talk.
During non-contact 7-on-7 drills, the loquacious – at least on the field – Eagles cornerback yelled to running back Eldra Buckley after he danced out of bounds.
“Hey, Buck, don’t worry, we ain’t gonna hit ya,” Samuel said.
Buckley endured two big hits last week from middle linebacker Stewart Bradley, so Samuel could have been referencing those tackles. But when the second-team offense faced off against the first-team defense in full-contact 11-on-11 drills, Buckley broke loose up the middle and met the lean cornerback head on.
Samuel doesn’t exactly have a reputation for physicality, so when he dove in and cracked Buckley it raised a few eyebrows. The running back, as is his nature, kept his feet churning and stayed upright and forged ahead a few more yards.
For “his size and stature, he’s a very physical guy,” Buckley said. “He came up and laid a lick, which I felt.”
Samuel, a three-time Pro Bowl selection, dealt with his share of criticism last season when his soft coverage and spotty tackling contributed to several losses – especially to Dallas in the final two games.
In June, both he and coach Andy Reid said that his off-season was, in part, dedicated to bulking up and getting stronger. Samuel, who has answered only a fleeting question here and there this camp, appeared to have a different take Sunday.
“I’ve been dedicated every off-season in getting into shape,” Samuel said. “Nothing changed this year.””
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