Patriots

Patriots

Whatever Bill Belichick said to Sean McVay on those postgame texts this season, it seems the two head coaches never got around to exchanging ideas on pregame chirping.

Rams’ corner Nickell Robey-Coleman’s interview with Bleacher Report’s Tyler Dunne is loaded with so much Patriot-directed vitriol that even Freddie Mitchell would say, “That’s kind of a lot.”

The Tom Brady disparagement will get most of the attention this week. But to me, the twisted video-game imagery of how the Rams will “do” the Patriots is the most bizarre.

"I know the art of war," Robey-Coleman says. "I know when to sink my teeth in. And when it's time to take advantage, when somebody's on their heels . . . you've got to come at them.

A LOOK BACK

“Stick a dagger in them. They're not a team that you want to play around with. Stick the dagger in them and don't leave it in them! Take it out!" says Robey-Coleman, then pulling out his knife. "And let them leak. Let them leak slow. Put the dagger in them, pull it out, and let them leak slow. Just kill 'em slowly. That's how you do them."

Easy there, Sun-Tzu.

The 5-foot-8, 181-pound Robey-Coleman is a decent slot-corner. Undrafted out of USC, he spent four seasons with the Bills before being released and landing with the Rams.

 

Prior to his interview with Dunne, his football epitaph promised to begin with his hit on Saints receiver Tommylee Lewis in the NFC Championship that went unflagged. Now? He’s written some sizable checks.

On his feelings about the Patriots:

"I've got Buffalo blood running through my veins, so you know I hate these guys. I naturally hate them. I never liked New England."

On the Patriots’ blowout etiquette:

Writes Dunne: “It's the little things, he explains. The ‘arrogance.’ The fact that Bill Belichick is going to go for it on 4th-and-3 when he's leading 17-0 in the fourth quarter. The Patriots love 'antagonizing' teams, Robey-Coleman says.

" ‘S--t like that. Little s--t to look down upon a team,’ he adds. ‘Little assh--e stuff like that. That's what makes you not like New England.’ ”

Dunne saved the Brady stuff for late in his article. Here’s what Robey-Coleman had to say about a Brady decline.

"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 assessed. "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."

That’s far from disrespectful. But even an honest assessment that’s not 100 percent complimentary is pennies from heaven for a Patriots team that loves to have its fire stoked.

Can Robey-Coleman or any individual’s verbal sniping be the difference between winning and losing? There’s no way to definitively measure that. But anecdotal evidence amassed over the years certainly shows it can get a rise out of New England.

For a team that’s been at it as long as the Patriots have, Robey-Coleman’s commentary could serve as a little blue pill.

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