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Ex-Patriots cornerback Asante Samuel ready to renew rivalry with Tom Brady

09.27.13 at 6:30 am ET
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Asante Samuel has some history in New England.

The cornerback, who was drafted by the Patriots in 2003 and played five seasons in Foxboro, made his mark on the franchise: From his 22 picks while with the Patriots to a pair of Super Bowl titles to his near-interception that would have ended Super Bowl XLII to his messy divorce and charges he was misused while with New England, he was never boring.

After departing as a free agent after the 2007 season, the 5-foot-10, 185-pounder spent four seasons in Philly. He’s now in his second season with the Falcons, will go up against quarterback Tom Brady and the Patriots when New England travels to Georgia for Sunday night football. He relishes the challenge of facing his old teammate, who he calls “one of the best” in the game.

“We had a lot of battles,” Samuel told reporters Thursday. “He loves to try to be perfect as possible, and the way he prepares every day is true professionalism. He has the total package.

“He reads coverages, he makes the right plays, he positions the balls correctly, he throws the deep ball,” Samuel said. “You just got to prepare, be ready for a guy ‘€¦ you’re going to play against one of the best, and the execution and tempo is going to be unbelievable so don’t be shocked.”

On a conference call with Atlanta media on Wednesday, Brady returned the compliment.

“He’s a dynamic playmaker. You still see it now,” Brady said. “He looks as good as he’s ever looked. He’s impressive, he’s quick, he’s fast. He’s so instinctive. He’s exactly what you look for in a cover corner.”

“I’ve thrown more interceptions to Asante than probably anybody,” Brady added. “He lets you know when he intercepts it, too. It usually doesn’t last just a day. It’s a week, two weeks.”

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