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Dublin: 5 °C Wednesday 11 December, 2019

'Age has definitely taken a toll. He's not the same quarterback he was' - Rams ace taunts Brady

LA Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman has risked the wrath of the 41-year-old Patriots quarter-back.

LOS ANGELES CORNERBACK Nickell Robey-Coleman has risked the wrath of Tom Brady after claiming age had finally caught up with the New England Patriots quarterback.

Patriots Rams Super Bowl Football Tom Brady answers a question during Opening Night for the NFL Super Bowl 53. Source: Matt Rourke

Brady, 41, will overtake Peyton Manning as the oldest quarterback to win a Super Bowl on Sunday if he guides the Patriots to victory over the Rams in Atlanta.

Brady has looked in superb form during the NFL playoffs, leading the Patriots to a lopsided win over the Los Angeles Chargers before a thrilling overtime victory against the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC title game.

Robey-Coleman, whose unpunished pass interference in the Rams win over New Orleans sparked uproar, is adamant that Brady is on the wane.

“Age has definitely taken a toll,” Robey-Coleman told Bleacher Report. “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 said he had pinpointed Brady’s throwing as a possible area of decline.

“He still can sling it, but he’s not slinging it as much,” he said. 

But speaking at the Super Bowl’s Opening Night in Atlanta on Monday, Robey-Coleman sought to downplay his remarks, suggesting his words had been “taken out of context.”

“Everybody just made a big deal out of the situation. Tom Brady’s a great quarterback. I wasn’t trying to say nothing bad about him,” Robey-Coleman said. 

“I respect him as the G.O.A.T. (greatest of all time) He is the legend. And I think words got misconstrued, and they got spinned out of context,” he said.

Robey-Coleman’s words are nevertheless likely to be motivational manna from heaven for Brady and the Patriots, who have been eager to cast themselves as underdogs despite another successful season, which has ended with a ninth Super Bowl appearance since the 2001-2002 campaign.

NFL: Super Bowl LIII-Opening Night Los Angeles Rams defensive back Nickell Robey-Coleman. Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

Asked for his response to Robey-Coleman’s comments on Monday, Brady paused before telling reporters: “Yeah I don’t have much to add.”

Brady will be appearing in a record ninth Super Bowl this weekend, chasing a record-breaking sixth championship.

Unsurprisingly, Brady looked at ease on Monday as he surveyed a throng of hundreds of journalists which included the usual array of comedians, celebrities and bizarre costumes. One credentialed media member arrived dressed as a clown.

“I think the most important thing is to keep the week as normal as possible, try to limit the distractions,” Brady said when asked for the key to his Super Bowl preparations.

Brady and Rams counterpart Jared Goff, 24, had earlier shared a friendly exchange after being introduced on stage by a moderator.

NFL: Super Bowl LIII-Opening Night Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff shakes hands with New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady during Opening Night for Super Bowl LIII at State Farm Arena. Source: SIPA USA/PA Images

Asked what advice Brady would give to Goff as the young Rams signal caller prepared for his first Super Bowl, Brady laughed: “I’m not giving him advice.”

Goff, who would replace Brady as the second-youngest quarterback to win a Super Bowl with a victory on Sunday, meanwhile underscored the generational gap between the two players.

Asked what memories he had of Brady’s first Super Bowl appearance — way back in 2002 — Goff replied: “None. I was seven, I think.”

Brady by contrast said the memories of the win, against the then St.Louis Rams, remained etched on his mind. 

“The most important memory is that ball going through the uprights at the end and us winning,” he said. “So to do it 17 years later with a new bunch of guys means as much as ever.”

© – AFP, 2019   

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