ATLANTA — Nickell Robey-Coleman delivered the hit that changed the NFC Championship Game, and some more that could have a big impact on the Super Bowl.
Robey-Coleman took some shots at Tom Brady and the Patriots in an interview with Bleacher Report that could give the quarterback and his teammates even more motivation than they already had for Super Bowl LIII on Sunday.
The Rams cornerback said “age has definitely taken a toll” on the 41-year-old Brady. He added that Brady is “definitely not the same quarterback he was. Movement. Speed. Velocity. Arm strength.”
He also said he hates the Patriots and their “arrogance.”
Robey-Coleman backtracked a little on his comments about Brady during Super Bowl Opening Night. He said they were taken “out of context” and that he was complimentary of Brady.
“I think everybody is just making a big deal about the situation,” Robey-Coleman said. “Tom Brady’s a great quarterback. I wasn’t trying to say nothing bad about him. I respect him as the G.O.A.T. My words got misconstrued and taken out of context.
“I’m not taking nothing away from his game. I can’t take nothing away from his game. This is my first appearance. He’s been in this position many times. Words were taken out of context. I respect him. We’re going to go out Sunday and play football. I’m going to move on from the situation.”
Robey-Coleman was a part of the biggest and most-talked-about play during championship weekend. To prevent a possible touchdown, he made the premature and intentional hit on Saints receiver Tommylee Lewis late in the fourth quarter of the NFC title game that wasn’t penalized for pass interference or helmet-to-helmet contact, although he later was fined $26,739 by the NFL. It wound up being a pivotal non-call as the Rams went on to win in overtime.
Robey-Coleman said his passion toward the Patriots comes from his time playing for the Buffalo Bills. He also said he was asked about the difference in Brady from when he was with the Bills to now and that he mentioned his age.
“I don’t got to apologize or go back on words that I said,” Robey-Coleman said. “I addressed his age, but it wasn’t nothing about his lack of performance or lack of skills.”
Robey-Coleman wouldn’t venture to guess what kind of impact his words might have on Brady. He acknowledged that Brady might target him, but he isn’t worried.
“I assume he will,” he said. “Let’s do it . . . I’m going to come play my best game. There’s no backing down. You’re going to see on Sunday.
“At the end of the day, I still got to play football. I’m not going to make the situation bigger than what it is. I’m not scared of Tom Brady.”