The madness of Super Bowl week began on Monday. The Rams took the mic to address the media. We spoke with six of the NFC champions. Let’s hear what they had to say in the lead up to the Super Bowl.
Creating pressure and managing pressure
Although he grew up as a lazy kid, Aaron Donald started training with his dad when he was 12 and got into shape. After dominating at Pitt, Donald became arguably the best player in the league. He had doubts about the Rams. It was when they were struggling under Jeff Fisher. Since the arrival of Sean McVay, he no longer wants to leave.
Donald was ready to renew his contract and considered his options, looking for a team to win. But, after meeting Sean McVay during the Rams hiring process, he was hooked. As long as McVay is there, Donald will dominate in Los Angeles.
Aaron Donald also told us how he beats the all-important attention he gets from the offensive lines, he’s always looking for the advantage no matter which direction the line moves to limit his ability. The considerable star power around him in the front seven also helps him find opportunities to get into the backfield.
Donald and teammate Von Miller both have Super Bowl experience, but Miller has a ring to show. Miller told his teammates to embrace the emotions. He doesn’t want them to peak mentally or physically too soon to prevent the big game from affecting performance.
Four weeks ago, Matt Stafford hadn’t won a playoff game. Three victories later, he is preparing for a first Super Bowl. Despite last week’s week off, he says it’s not like other weeks off. No one was taking off from the city, everyone did everything they could.
There are clear comparisons between Stafford’s trade to the Rams and Tom Brady’s move to Tampa Bay, the Rams QB didn’t think about the GOAT before the trade. Brady was in a very different situation after winning six Super Bowls, while the Lions haven’t won a playoff game in 30 years.
Although he said the Rams didn’t feel like a superstar team inside the building, Stafford was full of praise for his receivers. Cooper Kupp – who enjoyed playing with so many superstars – was “tremendous,” approaching 2,000 yards in the regular season as the driving force behind the offense. Meanwhile, Odell Beckham Jr has done well to learn offense without an OTA or pre-season to find a rhythm with Stafford or the other receivers.
Cooper Kupp added motivation to perform on Sunday. He missed the Super Bowl three years ago due to injury. As the team improved and progressed through the playoffs, it became harder and harder to watch, although he was happy for his teammates.
Kupp went into great detail about how he disguises his routes, though he doesn’t want to reveal his secrets. In the end, it all comes back to basics, making every route a starting route. Beyond that is the nuance to maneuvering the defender’s hips and leverage, depending on how the corner lines up. Training against the best against the best, like Jalen Ramsey, has helped each player on the team improve individually.
The Rams become the second team to play the Super Bowl at home. It’s an advantage Cam Akers is looking forward to when preparing for the game. Akers knew from day one that the Rams would be competing for the Super Bowl this season, even with his injury.
Akers enjoyed earning snaps from Sony Michel, who brings additional Super Bowl experience from New England. Ball carriers contribute together, eliminate each other’s mistakes and reinforce each other.
For others, it’s a bit strange working with coach Sean McVay. Andrew Whitworth likes the coach but finds it weird with a younger coach. The worst part is that McVay can beat Whitworth, but the Tackle can’t fight back!
Keep an eye on our website for more Super Bowl coverage and media events leading up to the big game.