ATLANTA — At N.F.L. media nights, the largest stars communicate at podiums, and this yr was no totally different. When the Los Angeles Rams took the ground, quarterback Jared Goff, working again Todd Gurley II and Coach Sean McVay drew large crowds.
However cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman drew equally giant crowds. Per week in the past, Robey-Coleman was a former undrafted free agent ending his sixth season. Now, he wanted media minders to maintain reporters from digging too deeply right into a play which will have altered the Tremendous Bowl.
That got here within the N.F.C. Championship Recreation in New Orleans, the place he drilled Saints extensive receiver Tommylee Lewis earlier than he might get in place to catch a move from Drew Brees.
No flag was thrown for move interference or helmet-to-helmet contact. The Saints went on to kick a area purpose, however left sufficient time on the clock for the Rams to tie the sport and ship it into time beyond regulation, after they ultimately received, 26-23.
The sport-changing play has been a recreation changer for Robey-Coleman. He stated he had acquired quite a few demise threats, and his social media accounts have been overwhelmed with hate mail from indignant Saints followers.
“Proper now, my telephone is loopy,” Robey-Coleman stated. “Like my brother stated, lots of people most likely had cash on the sport.”
Robey-Coleman stated he’s acquired greater than three,000 direct messages on Instagram, greater than 1,000 messages on Fb and 500 messages on Snapchat.
“I obtained threats right here and there, however nothing to dwell on,” he stated. “All sorts of threats, demise threats.”
The non-call led Saints proprietor Gayle Benson to say the group had been “unfairly disadvantaged” of an opportunity to achieve the Tremendous Bowl. Louisiana Senator Invoice Cassidy criticized the N.F.L. on the Senate ground throughout a authorities shutdown.
Apart from the pinnacle official chatting with a pool reporter after the sport, the N.F.L. has stated nothing in regards to the non-call on the play, or the occasions which have adopted.
The league, although, all however admitted a penalty ought to have been referred to as when, on Friday, it fined Robey-Coleman $26,739 for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Lewis.
Robey-Coleman stated, ”We moved on from it as a group, and I moved on personally.” Certainly, his fellow defensive again Marcus Peters on Monday evening refused to reply questions on officiating or the non-call.
However Robey-Coleman hasn’t made it simpler on himself, or his teammates. He stated Saturday that the ball Brees threw to Lewis was tipped, suggesting that Lewis couldn’t have caught the move no matter what Robey-Coleman did.
To compound issues, he stated that Patriots quarterback Tom Brady had slowed with age, feedback which will give the Patriots further motivation.
“No matter he was doing – due to his age and all that – he’s not doing as a lot of that anymore,” he instructed Bleacher Report. “He’s nonetheless doing the identical issues; he’s simply not doing as a lot of it.”
On Monday, Robey-Coleman stated the feedback about Brady’s age have been taken out of context, and that he has quite a lot of respect for him. Brady declined to remark.