Kansas City rookie cornerback L’Jarius Sneed is envisioning what it would be like to pick off Tom Brady in Sunday’s Super Bowl, and he likes that visual.
"It would be lovely," Sneed said. "I let him get away with one the first time. I dropped it. It would be amazing for me to pick off a guy like Tom and also to get a strip sack from him, that would be lovely."
Sneed was referring to a drop in Kansas City’s 27-24 win at Tampa in Week 12. That was Sneed’s second game back after suffering a broken collarbone in Week 3.
The fourth-round pick from Louisiana Tech has gone through some physical and growing pains in his first NFL season. Now Sneed could play a huge role if Kansas City wins a second straight Super Bowl.
Sneed, cleared from a concussion he suffered in the AFC Championship game against Buffalo, is Kansas City’s nickelback. He will line up on Tampa Bay’s Chris Godwin in the slot, but Sneed also will be used in some blitz packages. He registered sacks in each of Kansas City’s last four games, including both playoff contests.
After the AFC Championship game, Kansas City general manager Brett Veach said if the re-did the draft, Sneed would be a first-round pick.
"I feel like that myself, that I was a first-round draft pick," Sneed said. "The underdogs - we always win at the end."
Sneed began the season as a starting cornerback due to injuries. He had interceptions in his first two games, and then he got hurt in Week 3. When Sneed returned, defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo wanted to find a way to keep Sneed on the field with cornerbacks Bashaud Breeland and Charvarius Ward lining up on the outside. So Spagnulo moved Sneed to nickel corner.
It was an adjustment, especially since Sneed hadn’t taken many snaps at nickel. But he’s growing into the position and has made an impact.
"I didn’t shock me because I’m still growing," Sneed said. "I’m just getting better and better and better. I know God has a plan for my life and my career. I’m very excited."