Here is a sampling of Asante Samuel's comments as the cornerback spoke for the first time since returning to the Patriots after missing a month of training camp. Samuel reported yesterday and signed today.
On the signing:
"Both sides are happy. We reached an agreement. It worked out fine. Everybody is happy, that's what it all comes down."
What's the biggest challenge of catching up?
"Just getting back in football shape and you know working hard to catch back up to these guys who have been working hard for a long time and I haven't been on the same page. I'm just trying to catch up with them."
How long till you're ready to play?
"I have no idea man. I'm just working day to day."
On whether he signed his franchise tender:
"Of course I signed it. I'm here. We worked it out and both sides are happy."
Did you gain anything by holding out?
"I'm not going to get into that but you know it is what it is. Both sides are happy and I'm here and I'm ready to play football, so it doesn't really matter who gained as long as both sides are happy."
Work back to starter?
"I haven't been told anything. I'm just going back out there and working hard and just get in where I fit it. Those guys have been working hard all though camp and I'm just getting here."
Feel like you have to earn your spot back?
"Yeah, you always have to earn your spot; earn my keep and I'm here to do that and I have no problem with that."
Will you be ready against the Jets?
"I don't know. I'll go out there and work hard and see where I'm at."
Did you miss two-a-days?
"As much as you think being home and not being in that sun is...I really did miss it. I missed joking around with the guys in the locker room and cutting a fool and going out and working hard. I really did miss it."
"No, I don't have no regrets. It is what it is, and I did what I felt I needed to do and we're happy and I'm here to play football."
Are there guys you feel like you're still chasing to be the best?
"I feel how I feel about myself and that's all that really matters at the end of the day. I feel I'm one of the best in the NFL and you know I just got to go out and keep proving it. I'm a fourth rounder. I come from the bottom. I made my name all on my own; nothing was given to me, so I'm happy."
Looking back on the whole process, what did you learn?
"I just learned to be patient and pray about it and put it in God's hands and let him take care of everything."
Was there a winner and a loser to signing this contract?
"Like I said, both sides had to agree to it. There's no winner and no loser. We got it done and I'm here."
Did you feel it was important to get a week of work under your belt before the season started?
"I just thought it would be good to get in as soon as possible, not a week. As soon as I get in, I'm ready to work and I'm ready to get back into my normal playing form."
Were you worried that you would be out for 10 weeks or so?
"You know I'm not going to get into that. I already made my statement in the past. That's the past. I'm ready to go, I'm here and I'm happy."
You said that you're happy now, but what was the difference between now and four weeks ago?
"I'm here. Both sides made an agreement and both sides are happy. So if I'm here, I'm obviously happy."
Yes, but you could have gotten the same agreement weeks ago.
"How do you know? I'm not going to go answer that. You can go and find that out through somebody else."
How did the thought of possibly playing on a Super Bowl contender play into your decision making process?
"I love my team. It's always been a great organization. It's always had great fans, great players, great coaches. We've been doing well since I've been here so I'm glad to be here and I'd love to be here for the rest of my career."
How many of your teammates did you stay in contact with?
"I talked to a lot of guys. I'm not going to name all of them, but I talked to Rodney [Harrison] Rosie [Colvin], Jarvis [Green]. I talked to a lot of guys. We talked about how much fun they were having and how coach was taking it easy on them in training camp, things like that. We kept in touch."
With your current deal, do you worry about being in the same situation next year?
"It is what it is, you know. I'm happy that we came to an agreement and I'm ready to play ball."
What do you think of this team and its acquisitions heading into this season?
"I don't know. I haven't been out there with those guys and seen what they can do and what they're working on. The fact that we've kept the main guys here and the offseason moves, obviously they're here to help the team. Hopefully, we can get it done."
When did you get into town?
"I got in Sunday night. Who ratted me out? (Laughs.)"
Did Lance Briggs situation at all change the way you looked at your situation?
"His situation is his own situation and mine is mine. I don't look at different situations. I know what makes me happy and we got it done."
When the July 16th deadline passed, what were you thinking?
"I can't worry about that any more, that's in the past. I have a contract, I'm happy, I'm here to play football."
Is there anything you need to work out as far as field drills or anything like that?
"I just went through my normal routine. It's worked for me at the beginning of training camp so now I hope it works for me at the end of training camp. I didn't change anything. I just worked harder."
Have you ever been in a situation that you had to come in during the middle of training camp because of an injury or go without the first couple weeks of the season?
"No, I've never been in a situation like that. It's new for me and I'm ready for the challenge. Hopefully, I'll overcome it and do my best."
Did you take the conditioning test?
"You'll have to talk to coach about that."
I know last year you said you felt more comfortable playing on the left side, do you still feel that way?
"Nah, I'm not going to get into details. Wherever they need me, I'm here to help the team. I'm here to play football like Asante Samuel knows how to play football."
You had a breakout season last year and because of that the perception by some was that you were trying to cash in and get the big deal. Was there any truth to that?
"I'm not going to get into any contract talk and things like that. You know, fourth year, fifth year are your prime years. I'm in those years and hopefully I can keep things going. Hopefully I can lead and do what I did last year and that would be great for all of us."
What was your reaction to Ty Warren's deal?
"I'm happy for him. If that makes him happy and that makes the organization happy, I'm happy for them. I'm happy for him. That has nothing to do with me."
I know some people might see this as a money thing, tell us about your drive to be a great player in this league.
"No doubt about it. I'm a competitor. I've been a competitor since I was born. Everything I do I want to be the best at. I want to leave a legacy. I want Asante Samuel to be a stone in the NFL when I leave this game. I'm going to work hard and leave it out on the line and make plays like I know how to make plays."
Technically it wasn't a holdout, you just didn't sign a contract, but by not being in camp you were sort of branded. How do you feel about that?
"Well yeah, that comes with the territory. A lot people go through these situations where sides don't agree on things and they hold out for whatever reason. I mean my name was thrown out here and there in a negative way. That doesn't really matter to me."