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Darrell Green brushes off Asante Samuel criticism: 'I don't know his face if he walked up'

Darrell Green brushes off Asante Samuel criticism: 'I don't know his face if he walked up'

Former Eagles and Patriots corner Asante Samuel sparked a rather unnecessary debate on Twitter a few weeks back by uttering the words, "With all [due] respect can someone explain to me why Darrell Green is considered a great?"

Considering Darrell Green's resume, which consists of two Super Bowls, seven Pro-Bowl selections and a bust at the Hall of Fame in Canton, you can probably guess what kind of reaction Samuel got. 

The Washington football legend responded to Samuel himself on Sunday, and instead of firing back at Samuel for his shortcomings as a tackler or how he used to blow coverages to hunt interceptions, Green brushed off the criticism in a way reserved for Hall of Famers. 

"If Asante Samuel walked up right now, I wouldn't know his face," Green told TMZ Sports. "[Samuel] said he didn't know me either, so why would I be mad if he don't know me I if I said I don't know him?"

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Green was enshrined in Canton 12 years ago, so why would he still be worried about what players like Samuel, who clearly don't know what they're talking about, thinks of him?

He's got people out there playing defense for him, like how Tony Dungy fact-checked Samuel on the spot after the former Eagle said Green only played in the slot.

"I appreciate Tony Dungy for responding to that, but there was no need for Tony Dungy to respond to that," Green said. "There's enough information if [Samuel] really wanted to know that he could have found."

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In the end, Green wasn't interested in taking shots at Samuel to solidify his standing amongst his peers because it has been for a long time. All he could do was offer a small bit of advice to the former four-time Pro Bowl corner. 

"You don't have to step on somebody else to try and get yours," he said. 

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Fred Smoot laughs at Asante Samuel's dig at Darrell Green: 'Darrell will always be cornerback royalty'

Fred Smoot laughs at Asante Samuel's dig at Darrell Green: 'Darrell will always be cornerback royalty'

On July 4, former NFL cornerback Asante Samuel got the Twitter-sphere and Redskins nation fired up when he sent out a tweet questioning what was so special about former Washington defensive back Darrell Green, who is a Hall-of-Famer.

Though Tony Dungy and others chimed in to show Samuel what he was missing, the 11-year veteran couldn't quite grasp why his statement was so surprising. Samuel's argument was based on the fact that in a career that spanned two decades, Green "only" had 54 interceptions to show for it.

RELATED: ASANTE SAMUEL QUESTIONS DARRELL GREEN'S GREATNESS

For former Redskins defensive back Fred Smoot, Samuel's claim that the numbers dictated who Green was as a player is just wrong. Smoot, who played two seasons alongside Green, believes Samuel was a victim of not understanding how football has changed over the years.

In modern times, a pass-heavy league not only makes interceptions more common but makes the stat a way to grade defensive backs. When Green dominated the field, the league didn't play out the same way.

“First of all, Darrell played in a league that ran the ball most of the time," Smoot said on NBC Sports Washington's Redskins Talk and Friends. "Second of all, he took on the number one receiver all the time. They never threw balls his way."

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Because the NFL wasn't as pass-heavy back in the 80s and 90s, Green didn't have a wild number of interceptions to show for his success. But, that didn't mean he wasn't making an impact and performing as one of the best at the position. As Smoot explains, Green would excel in numerous categories that sometimes don't show up on paper.

“Darrell did more than just intercept the ball, he shut down one side of the field, actually return a lot of punts, scored a lot on defense. And he tackles well, all-around defensive back," Smoot said. 

Another stellar trait of Green's was his speed. Though there are no official measures of his 40-yard times back when he played, there are reports that it hovered in the 4.1-area, giving him a reputation as one of the fastest players in football. Even at age 50, he casually ran a 4.43. That speed was valuable on the field, as he could stick with any receiver and chase down players from behind.

Smoot saw the speed first-hand, even when Green was getting toward the end of his career at the age of 41. He recalled racing Green during practice, and even though Smoot was nearly 20 years younger, he couldn't keep up.

“I raced that old man and lost to that old man," Smoot said. "Right then I was about to retire from football. I was about to throw my cleats away.”

Green may not have averaged a large interception total, but that stat is only a small part of his NFL career. As Smoot showed, there was so much more brilliance to him as a player. That's why, to Smoot, Green's name always comes up when discussing the best at the position.

“You want to talk about one of the best cornerbacks of all time? That’s how the list starts out. Deon Sanders, Darrell Green, so and so," Smoot said. "Darrell will always be, how should I say, cornerback royalty.”

Green also has a bust in Canton to show for his work.

“I don’t have to say anything about Darrell Green, he’s a Hall-of-Famer for a reason," Smoot said. 

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Former Patriot and Eagle Pro Bowler Asante Samuel takes shot at Darrell Green

Former Patriot and Eagle Pro Bowler Asante Samuel takes shot at Darrell Green

Asante Samuel got hit Fourth of July fireworks started early Saturday morning with a negative tweet about NFL Hall-of-Famer Darrell Green.

The former Pro Bowler with the Patriots and the Eagles had a fine 11-year NFL career. He is a Super Bowl champion himself. But his out-of-nowhere tweets about Green, one of the NFL’s all-time great corners, were just…weird. 

Green was a dominant player on two Super Bowl champions, a seven-time Pro Bowler and an All-Pro in 1991. He was one of the fastest players in the league, a fearsome punt returner when necessary in playoff games and an all-around great player. Even other players from Samuel’s era were confused, including former Redskins safety Will Blackmon.

That's a pretty accurate description of the differences between Samuel's era and the way the game was played when Green was at his peak. Maybe he stuck around too long and maybe he wasn't close to the player he'd once been by the late 90s and early 2000s.

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But peak Darrell Green was an unquestioned Hall-of-Fame player. Teams didn't throw at him for a reason. When they did, they paid for it. Samuel got a little aggressive for a guy who might have cost the Pats an extra Super Bowl. 

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Tony Dungy, himself a great player and a Super Bowl champion as a player AND a coach, clapped back at Samuel for his ignorance of NFL history. 

That about says it all. 

For his part, Samuel doubled down responding to some tweets but by the afternoon he was starting to see the light. Sort of. 

 

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