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Asante Samuel could be sliding out of the starting lineup

A.J. Green, Asante Samuel

Cincinnati Bengals wide receiver A.J. Green (18) scores a touchdown as Atlanta Falcons defensive back Asante Samuel (22) defends during the first half of an NFL preseason football game, Thursday, Aug. 16, 2012, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)


Asante Samuel likes to talk. This year, he could be doing plenty of it from the sidelines.

Samuel currently is stuck behind Dunta Robinson on the official depth chart, second string on the right side. Making the status even less desirable for Samuel is that he prefers the left side.

But Brent Grimes is the starter on the left side. When the Falcons deploy three corners, Robinson plays the slot, and Grimes and Samuel alternate on the left and right sides.

“Of course, that is where I made my living,” Samuel said regarding the left side, according to D. Orlando Ledbetter of the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “All my production came from the left. It’s going good. It’s a new thing for me, switching back and forth, trying to get my mojo right. All is good. The coaches are going to do what they think is best.”

Coach Mike Smith is keeping his cards close to the vest. “As we move closer to the start of the regular season, we’ll be making that decision,” Samuel said. “Again, I think it’s to our advantage to keep that in-house in terms of how we want to deploy our corners.”

While Samuel prefers the left side, he was frozen by a stutter step and then burned for a 50-yard touchdown pass by Bengals receiver A.J. Green.

The Falcons have given no indication that Samuel could be in trouble of not making the team, but we’re getting closer to the day when there will be inevitable surprises as rosters get slashed from 90 to 53.