What was once just another slow Friday afternoon in the middle of August has now been taken over by Asante Samuel's comments that Bill Belichick had a personal vendetta against him, and that the Pro Bowl cornerback never earned the proper recognition he deserved. So, yeah, it's still just another slow Friday afternoon in the middle of August.
Samuel, who played for the Patriots from 2003-07 before signing with the Eagles as a free agent, sat down with The News Journal in Delaware to talk about his career, his "maverick" style ... and the time New England apparently planned to bench him for no reasons in a game against the Bears in 2006. Well, it wasn't completely without cause -- Samuel says Belichick "had something against me."
"I ain't never said it, but Belichick, I just felt like he had a thing for me," Samuel said. "He had something against me. I have no idea why. He was going to start Troy Brown , a receiver, at nickel [corner] and I'm over here sitting healthy and he don't want to even play me."
But Samuel wasn't done.
"Ty Law in New England, he's making all these picks. Oh, he's a great corner, this and that," Samuel said. "But I all of a sudden go and do it [and it's], 'Oh, he's in a Cover 2 defense, that's why he isn't as good and this and that.' But when Ty Law does it, it's all gravy."
When reached for comment, the Patriots surprisingly addressed Samuel's claims, denying his claims, going so far as to cite injury reports from 2006 which show Samuel missed practice before the Bears game and was inactive for the Packers game the week prior. Me thinks though doth protest too much ...
Anyways, the whole interview with Samuel is worth your time, as is the collection of a man who plays with a chip on his shoulder derived from a lack of respect, whether real or imagined.
"I know in my heart ain't nobody out there doing what I'm doing," he said. "If you can't respect that, you're hatin'."