It’s a tale as old as time, right? The New England Patriots are heading to a big game and someone on the other team takes a swing at...someone.
There was Philadelphia Eagles receiver Freddie Mitchell, who said that he only knew the jersey numbers and not the names of the New England secondary ahead of Super Bowl XXXIX. Mitchell finished the day with one catch for 11 yards.
There was Pittsburgh Steelers defensive back Anthony Smith, who guaranteed a victory over the then-12-0 Patriots back in 2007. The Patriots targeted Smith with deep pass after deep pass and after the game even Bill Belichick said, “We’ve played against a lot better safeties than him...the safety play at that position was pretty inviting.”
There are endless examples of players declaring their intention to beat the Patriots, or dismiss their abilities, and now Los Angeles Rams defensive back Nickell Robey-Coleman is adding his name to the list.
Let’s see how that’ll work out for him.
In an extensive interview with Bleacher Report, Robey-Coleman shared his passion for the game and his drive for success. He also took a handful of shots at the Patriots.
He says he “hates” the Patriots because he’s formerly of the Buffalo Bills. Robey-Coleman has a career 2-6 record against the Patriots, with one win coming in the season finale of 2014 when the Patriots rested their starters and then the other in 2016 against Jacoby Brissett.
He says there’s an “arrogance” around the Patriots and that New England loves “antagonizing” their opponents.
”S--t like that. Little s--t to look down upon a team,” he adds. “Little assh--e stuff like that. That’s what makes you not like New England.”
But probably the most regrettable statement from Robey-Coleman is about New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady. This surely won’t come back to haunt him.
“[Robey-Coleman] sees signs that the Rams can get to Brady “all over the place.”
“We have to stay connected,” he says. “And he will slowly start to reveal himself.”
Asked if there are signs that Brady isn’t the same Brady, he nods aggressively.
“Yes. Yes. Age has definitely taken a toll. For him to still be doing it, that’s a great compliment for him. But I think that he’s definitely not the same quarterback he was,” Robey-Coleman says. “Movement. Speed. Velocity. Arm strength. He still can sling it, but he’s not slinging it as much. Whatever he was doing—because of his age and all that—he’s not doing as much of that anymore. He’s still doing the same things; he’s just not doing as much of it. And sometimes, it’s not the sharpest. But it still gets done.”
Oh my. “Age has taken a toll”? “He’s definitely not the same quarterback”? These are famous last words of a defender before Brady and company sling the ball for a thousand yards and score 40 points.
Robey-Coleman is a good player, but he’s primarily in the slot where he’ll be covering Julian Edelman and potentially see some of Rob Gronkowski or James White. The Rams play a lot of zone defense and that means that Brady and the Patriots are going to focus a lot of their attention to the middle of the field. Robey-Coleman will be be given plenty of opportunities to back up his words.
Players shouldn’t come out an be scared of someone on the other team. They don’t have to heap effusive praise, like Belichick and the Patriots do at times. But, my goodness, poking the bear is an aggressive strategy.
Let’s see how that works out for him.