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Falcons vs. Redskins: Asante Samuel tries to stay awake in pass defense

Despite teams avoiding his side of the field through the first four games of the season, Atlanta Falcons cornerback Asante Samuel said he is just trying to stay awake and ready to make a play.

Scott Cunningham - Getty Images

Atlanta Falcons cornerback Asante Samuel is expecting a challenge from Washington Redskins rookie quarterback Robert Griffin III. Samuel hasn't been tested much this season, mostly a bystander as the Falcons' defense has compiled 12 turnovers on the way to a 4-0 record.

Teams have avoided Samuel's side of the field this season, and with 45 career interceptions, he's hungry for more.

"I always say in my head, they are coming at you soon," Samuel said, courtesy of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. "I just try to stay awake, stay alive and try to do whatever I can do to help my team, whether if it's run support, communication or putting other people in places to make plays; whatever I can do to help."

Not only is the veteran cornerback hungry, but he's not exactly impressed with the Falcons' defense so far.

Samuel told the AJC that the unit has a long way to go. When asked to rate the defense on a scale of 1 to 10, Samuel gave the Falcons a five. But a strong performance against an RG3-led Redskins squad could up the grade. Washington features the league's top rushing attack at 175.5 yards per game, starring Griffin and running back Alfred Morris.

The Redskins are having success with their zone running schemes, which will test the Falcons' discipline to stay in their gaps and maintain assignments when all the Washington backs are looking for is a hole or breakdown in the defense.

Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.