HOUSTON (CBS) –Falcons players may lack Super Bowl experience as a whole heading into Sunday’s game. But one Atlanta coach is doing his best to make sure the team treats Super Bowl Sunday like another other game, thanks to his experience with the Patriots.
Former New England linebacker and current Atlanta defensive line coach Bryan Cox will be among those tasked with slowing down Tom Brady and the Patriots offense in Super Bowl LI this weekend.
Cox, who helped the Patriots to a win in Super Bowl XXXVI against the St. Louis Rams, spoke to Marc Bertrand and Rob “Hardy” Poole at Super Bowl Opening Night.
“So much noise has been made about the experience factor. But I remember being in the locker room in 2001 when the Rams had all the experience. It doesn’t matter,” Cox said, recalling the advice he gave to the players on his current team.
“Keep your same routine, enjoy the same things. If you are in a situation where on Monday you go out and have a drink, have a drink. On Wednesday, Thursday, Friday I’m going to smoke a cigar. That’s what I do.”
In total, the Falcons active roster has only five Super Bowls of experience, as ProFootballTalk pointed out last week. Dwight Freeney played in two Super Bowls, while Philip Wheeler, Dashon Goldson and Courtney Upshaw suited up in one Super Bowl apiece.
“We have a sharp head coach, we have a sharp staff. We didn’t get here by mistake,” Cox said. “We have a challenge in front of us, but at the end of the day we’re going to play ball.”
Cox added that “the more normal you can make it, the better off you’re going to be.”
Tuesday on Zolak and Bertrand, 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Scott Zolak disagreed with Cox’s sentiment that Super Bowl week can be treated like any other week or preparation.
“This isn’t just another game,” Zolak said. “It’s hard to internalize everything and ignore all the stuff on the outside. It’s the biggest stage.”
Cox told Hardy and Bertrand that Atlanta’s defense has improved throughout the season.
“It’s not about what they do, it’s about what we do. We know who they are. But at the end of the day, it’s about preparation and what we do,” Cox said.
“New England isn’t going to beat themselves. You know that. So you can’t beat yourself, and the best team will win.”
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