Super Bowl 53: Rams still reflecting on the loss to Patriots
Rams coaches Sean McVay and Wade Phillips, along with cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman, all expounded on what went right and wrong in Super Bowl 53.
It’s been a full three months since the Los Angeles Rams fell to the New England Patriots in Super Bowl 53. Many of the members from both squads – winners and losers – now play on different teams. Some no longer play football at all.
With the gift of hindsight, several current members of the losing team – most notably head coach Sean McVay, defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, and outspoken cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman – spoke out in a recent Sports Illustrated article about their lasting impressions and takeaways from Super Bowl 53.
And while you might expect any one of them to still be salty or stinging from the defeat, most of the sentiments shared were relatively free of emotion and rather insightful actually… even for fans of the winning team.
“Brady is comfortable dinking and dunking you 80 yards,” Robey-Coleman shared. “So when we’re in pure zone, we really have to push [fast] to get out to the landmark. We call it ‘super-buzz.’ You can’t just wait on Brady.”
This analysis has become more and more widespread in today’s NFL. As Brady has gotten older, the Patriots’ offense has morphed and shifted to better suit his abilities, which at this point in his career are more mental than physical, most would agree. So New England tailors its offense around a power running game and a play-action passing game that takes advantages of holes in short-to-intermediate defensive coverage; Brady is then allowed to focus more on making the best reads and throwing the most accurate ball, rather than the longest or the hardest.
“Brady’s so good it’s scary,” Phillips said. He ought to know – he’s played against Brady countless times during his long and prolific career as a veteran defensive coordinator.
"“He knows what you’re in most of the time, knows where the matchup is, man or zone. We tried to switch it up, and that’s about the only chance you have. You know, I’m still disappointed [about the Super Bowl defeat]. It’s hard for me to say we played great, we didn’t play great enough to win.”"
Head coach Sean McVay claimed that he moved on quickly after the Super Bowl loss, but also still admitted that he feels a similar degree of frustration as Phillips.
“I was ready to talk a couple of hours after the game,” McVay told SI’s Andy Benoit. “It would be spurts where [I would] be OK and then [suddenly] it was like, ‘I can’t flippin’ believe that we lost that game!’ Or you suddenly think, ‘I was so bad in that moment!” Then when you think you are past that, something comes up and again you’re like, ‘I can’t flippin’ believe that!’ But I really was over it in 48 hours… but you have to give the Patriots credit, they were their best when their best was demanded. And personally, I wasn’t good enough. I have to do a better job.”
The Rams, like 30 other teams in the NFL, will have their chance soon enough to unseat the Patriots atop the professional football hierarchy: the first Sunday of the new 2019/2020 season is exactly four months away.