Q&A with NFL Star Asante Samuel: A Quarterback’s Worst Nightmare
The Atlanta Falcons cornerback talks workout routines, Super Bowl victories and the toughest QB/WR tandem he’s ever faced.
For your next-season Fantasy Football roster, you better put Asante Samuel on your team. The Falcons cornerback has reached the playoffs in eight of his first nine NFL seasons — including three Super Bowls (two wins). Samuel’s speed, athleticism and adept ability on the defensive end have also helped him set a few records in the playoff months. In 2009, as a member of the Eagles, he set a postseason mark with his fourth interception returned for a touchdown. He also holds the record for most postseason picks among active players with seven. Please learn from your mistakes, quarterbacks. Don’t throw Samuel’s way.
The four-time Pro Bowler, two-time Super Bowl champ and music aficionado recently sat down with MensFitness.com to talk about his stellar career. Here’s what he had to say:
Men’s Fitness: What do you focus on during your in-season workouts?
Asante Samuel: Because a lot of my position has to do with running, I try to do a ton of cardio in the morning. I also work on my explosiveness by running with weights. On alternating days, I’ll jump rope, do push presses and develop upper-body strength.
How about the offseason?
My offseason routine is much more lenient. The offseason is the offseason for a reason. But I will continue to run, work on cardio and eat lots of carbs early in the a.m. I’ll also work on my legs, do a ton of sprinting and practice ball-catching drills on the field. Gotta keep those hands in shape.
What was it like winning the Super Bowl with the Patriots in ’03 and ’04? Which was the sweeter victory?
Both were awesome accomplishments. I’d have to say ’04 was more rewarding because I was a bigger part of the team. I was a full-time starter and key contributor. In 2003, I was still just a rookie and not playing as often.
Very true. And as far as playoffs/regular season, what’s the toughest quarterback/ wide receiver tandem you’ve ever had to face?
Hands down, Peyton Manning and Marvin Harrison. The Colts always gave me some great competition*. I had to face them in significant regular season games and clutch playoff situations.
*FYI: In 12 games against Manning, Samuel has 11 pass breakups and three interceptions; one returned for a touchdown.
So besides football, what do you do in your spare time?
I mostly hang out in my home in Fort Lauderdale during the offseason. I run a record label there and help manage the songs, artists — all of that stuff. Music is something I’m really passionate about during the offseason. I have lots of friends in the industry and it’s a good way to give back.