The war of words in the run-up to Sunday’s Super Bowl has started with Los Angeles Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman questioning whether age is starting to affect the 41-year-old Tom Brady.
Brady was at his vintage best as he led the New England Patriots on two late drives to beat the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC Championship game but Robey-Coleman believes there are definite signs of decline.
“Yes. Yes. Age has definitely taken a toll. 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 told Bleacher Report in an interview published on Monday. “Movement. Speed. Velocity. Arm strength. He still can sling it, but he’s not slinging it as much. Whatever he was doing – because of his age and all that – he’s not doing as much of that anymore. He’s still doing the same things; he’s just not doing as much of it. And sometimes, it’s not the sharpest. But it still gets done.”
Brady and his head coach, Bill Belichick, are aiming to win their sixth Super Bowl together, but Robey-Coleman says his team are confident ahead of Sunday. “Don’t fear, don’t fear, don’t fear beating the giant,” he said. “Don’t fear beating the GOAT. Don’t fear it. Embrace it. Embrace it. Take it in – while you’re doing it.”
Robey-Coleman admits some of his antipathy is personal. He started his career with the Patriots’ divisional rivals, the Buffalo Bills, and says he has grown tired of New England’s “arrogance” and the fact that they appear to enjoy “antagonizing” opponents. “I’ve got Buffalo blood running through my veins, so you know I hate these guys,” Robey-Coleman said. “I naturally hate them. I never liked New England.”