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Tim Benz: Robey-Coleman’s Patriots yap brings back bad Steelers memories | TribLIVE.com
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Tim Benz: Robey-Coleman’s Patriots yap brings back bad Steelers memories

Tim Benz
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Los Angeles Rams defensive back Nickell Robey-Coleman celebrates in the locker room after the NFC Championship Game against the New Orleans Saints on Sunday, Jan. 20, 2019, in New Orleans.

If you think you’ve heard the name Nickell Robey-Coleman before, you have. He’s the Los Angeles Rams defensive back who was deemed to have had perfectly legal coverage on this play in the NFC Championship Game.

Like I said. Perfectly legal. Not a hint of pass interference. Good, solid defense.

After getting away with murder last week, Robey-Coleman is trying to get away with something else this week leading up to the Super Bowl.

Blasphemy. The 27-year-old slot corner says New England quarterback Tom Brady is slipping.

Among other highlights in an extended interview with Tyler Dunne of Bleacher Report, Robey-Coleman suggests that “age has taken a toll” on Brady.

On Brady: “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. 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.”

On his “hate” toward the Patriots: Robey-Coleman says it goes back to his previous playing days in Buffalo when he saw the Pats rub an opponent’s nose in defeat with “arrogance.” As he describes it in the link, it’s “a-hole stuff” like going for it up 17 points on 4th and 3.

On how the Super Bowl will go: Dunne writes that Robey-Coleman described the bar fight scene in “A Bronx Tale” when the Italian mobsters beat up a biker gang.

“We kick ’em out of the bar, beat ’em up — and the one thing he said, he looked down at a guy and said, ‘I did this to you.’ That’s how I want to feel: I did this to you. I did this to you.”

Oh. So, I guess the Rams are the mobsters in this analogy and Robey-Coleman is Chazz Palminteri?

Fitting. Except I don’t think “Sonny” hit any of those bikers as egregiously as Robey-Coleman hit Tommylee Lewis on that non-call in New Orleans.

Read the rest of Dunne’s story. Particularly Robey-Coleman’s vivid description of wanting to “stick a dagger” in New England and wanting to watch them “leak out.”

That alone is worth the click.

Kudos to Robey-Coleman for giving us in the media some low-hanging fruit to kickoff Super Bowl week. The wisdom of his decision is another matter, though.

As we well know in Pittsburgh, yapping about the Patriots in advance of a New England game is usually a poor idea. Perhaps Robey-Coleman should do a search on Anthony Smith.

During New England’s unbeaten 2007 season, the Steelers safety predicted a win over the Patriots.

“People keep asking me if we’re ready for the Patriots,” Smith said. “They should be asking if they’re ready for us.

“We’re going to win. Yeah, I can guarantee a win.”

Predictably, the Patriots went on to a 34-13 beatdown of the Steelers, with Brady throwing for 399 yards along the way. Smith got benched the next week as the Patriots seemed to intentionally attack him. This trick play over Smith comes to mind.

“We’ve played against a lot better safeties than him, I’ll tell you,” head coach Bill Belichick famously deadpanned after the game.

Of course, we can also recall Antonio Brown’s infamous Facebook Live streaming session from the Steelers locker room in Kansas City after a playoff win. Mike Tomlin was caught on tape referring to the Pats as “a-holes,” in advance of the AFC Championship Game the next week in Foxborough, Mass. .

My guess is Robey-Coleman is doing this on purpose, with a theory in mind to use against the Patriots. Antagonize them. Get them off their game. Make them get off focus.

For as much as I liked the “Bronx Tale” homage from Robey-Coleman earlier, let me offer him another film analogy in return. It’s from the renowned American cinema classic, “Dodgeball.”

“Bold strategy, Nickell, let’s see if that pays off for you”

.

Those of us in Pittsburgh will tell you, it usually doesn’t.