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Former Patriots Star Reveals 'Fun Fact' About Bill Belichick

Asante Samuel celebrates a play for the Patriots in the Super Bowl.

GLENDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 03: Cornerback Asante Samuel #22 of the New England Patriots celebrates after breaking-up a pass thrown to wide receiver Plaxico Burress #17 of the New York Giants (not pictured) in the third quarter during Super Bowl XLII on February 3, 2008 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)

Asante Samuel was a fourth round pick by Bill Belichick in 2003. He spent his first five NFL seasons with the New England Patriots.

During that final 2007 season with the Pats, Samuel picked off six passes, returning one for a touchdown, earning a spot as a First-Team All-Pro. The pass he didn't corral might be the most impactful of the year for that legendary Super Bowl runner-up squad. Up 14-10 with 1:20 left in the fourth quarter against the New York Giants, Eli Manning threw a very errant pass intended for David Tyree, right to a leaping Samuel, who had the ball bounce off of his hands and out of bounds.

The interception likely would have wrapped up another Super Bowl championship for the Pats. Instead, on the very next play, Manning found Tyree over the middle for what became the legendary helmet catch. The Giants would win the game, and Samuel would walk away in the offseason, signing for a big six-year, $56 million deal with the Philadelphia Eagles. He believes he had a lasting impact on Belichick as as a teacher of defensive backs.

There was plenty to like in Samuel's stint with the Patriots. He won a pair of Super Bowls with the team, and was named a First-Team All-Pro for the only time of his career in 07. He was also a Pro Bowler that year. To hear Samuel tell it, he and Belichick didn't have the best coach-player relationship though and he recently admitted that he did not enjoy playing for him. At the same time, he believes he rubbed off on the legendary coach with his aggressive ball-hawking style. Last year, Stephon Gilmore had one of the best seasons for a cornerback in recent memory. He was named a First-Team All-Pro for the second straight season, and won the NFL's Defensive Player of the Year award for what was a dominant New England defense in the regular season. It sounds like Asante Samuel may think he's receives at least a bit of credit in changing how Belichick coaches the position. [

Fun Fact: I made Belichick understand the cornerback position better and how to make plays in any coverage. He never agreed with the way I played but now he teaches it. #pick6#hof

— Asante Samuel (@pick_six22) June 23, 2020

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