- The former Rams quarterback remained tight-lipped about whether or not he thinks the Patriots taped their practices during Super Bowl XXXVI, something his teammate Marshall Faulk insists happened. Also, an advertising deal for C.J. Anderson, Rob Gronkowski enjoys being tickled and more from Super Bowl week.
ATLANTA — Wednesday of Super Bowl week is an interesting day for players because they can feel an end to the insanity coming. One Patriot noted that he’s seen reporters more often than his own family, and looks forward to correcting that.
Organizations go to great lengths to balance the creature comforts of home with the knowledge that this could be a once-in-a-lifetime experience (unless you’re Tom Brady). But after a few days, the awe-inducing parts of the pre-Super Bowl week simply become another speed bump on the road to things they would like to get done.
Still, there was plenty to learn from a jam-packed Wednesday. Here’s what we got (and here’s Tuesday’s post to get you caught up).
1. Kurt Warner wasn’t going there
Ask Marshall Faulk about the first Patriots-Rams Super Bowl, and he’s still quite adamant about the Patriots taping one of their practices before the game. It is a position he does not waver on. He was undoubtedly a centerpiece of Bill Belichick’s game plan, which shifted dramatically from a finesse matchup in the regular season to a pounding, physical strategy that they utilized in the big game. During a media personality up-front on Wednesday, Warner was asked about his former teammate’s position and tried to approach it with a little more diplomacy.
“I mean, all I know is that for those 60 minutes they outplayed us. We had opportunities. We made mistakes. I made mistakes. I think that’s the most disappointing part—when you get to this stage and you play those 60 minutes, you want to play your best football. You want the best football team to win and that’s the disappointing part is that, you know, our talent, we were probably the better football team top to bottom but we didn’t play better on Sunday afternoon. That, to me, is the most disappointing part.
“All that other stuff, it is what it is. I go back and look at what I could have done differently, and there’s plenty of things I could do to change the outcome.”
While it’s a fun Super Bowl to look back on, don’t be surprised if this festers a little bit as more retired stars flood radio row and start talking to soundbite-hungry radio hosts looking to poke the bear.
2. C.J. Anderson is setting himself up for one hell of an advertising deal
From Rams correspondent Kalyn Kahler: Running back C.J. Anderson is often described as a “bowling ball” for his playing style and body type, and on Wednesday he took some time to discuss his favorite hobby: fittingly, bowling. Anderson grew up in a bowling family. His grandmother was a professional bowler who frequently took him to the lanes. Anderson says he averages 225 and he stills bowls that grandma, now 75, still bowls a 205 average. He said he might go pro after his professional football career ends.
3. If Rob Gronkowski is going out…he’s going out in style
I’ve read people make the case (and Belichick has backed this up to some degree in interviews over the years) that Gronkowski is one of the smartest people in the league—it’s his sense of humor and the persona that he curates which makes people believe otherwise. While some of the bits are certainly tired (and over the line to some), I think his comedic timing is actually pretty good. Our Tim Rohan wrote an excellent piece about Gronkowski’s Hollywood future, and he displayed a little bit of his absurdist flare on Wednesday when asked to tell us something we don’t know about him (h/t Mike Reiss): “You put in a lot of dedication to your body and everything, but there’s one thing I love, is just getting tickled. You what I mean? If you’re saying you don’t like it, you’re crazy. ... it just feels good.”
4. Speaking of spying…
This, from our own Jenny Vrentas, who is doing New England’s pool report for the Super Bowl: Belichick seemed pleased with the Patriots’ set-up in Atlanta, noting “there is not a lot of travel time” between their hotel and Georgia Tech’s campus. The Patriots practiced indoors all last week while they were still in Foxborough, and will conduct all their work indoors this week as well. “There are 20-story skyscrapers surrounding the field,” Belichick said. “I don’t think we can have a public practice out there.”
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