Slot corner Nickell Robey-Coleman had a process for dealing with the loss in Super Bowl LIII.
“Coming home felt better, seeing the family, congratulating, just knowing how hard we fought and everything like that, but at first it was an empty feeling,” he said last Tuesday. “I know we sacrificed everything this year, coming in from OTAs to training camp, preseason football, just going through the season, just being around each other, just being around the guys and the coaches — just something I’m going to miss for a couple months.”
While the defense held quarterback Tom Brady and the Patriots offense to just 13 points, the game’s MVP was wide receiver Julian Edelman — who had 141 yards on 10 receptions during the contest. While Robey-Coleman was targeted just once when covering Edelman, he gave credit to the opposing offense and the MVP for the performance.
“My hat goes off to the New England Patriots, they played a great game, they did what they had to do to win. I feel like they put their players in position to win, created a couple mismatches within the passing scheme, and they made more pays than we made,” Robey-Coleman said. “But everyone on defense, we gave our effort, we did everything that we could possibly do to win that game, so hats go off to those guys. [Julian Edelman] had a great performance, he had a stellar game when he needed to have one.”
Still, Robey-Coleman felt holding an explosive Patriots offense to just three points through three quarters — and 13 points overall — signals something about L.A. and how effective it can be going forward.
“It says a lot about our defense, it says a lot about where the defense is going in the future — the near future,” Robey-Coleman said. “So we keep playing like that, we keep coming strong every Sunday in, Sunday out, every week in, week out, we’ll be fine, we’ll be OK. We will be back though, we will be back.”
That was a common theme from players in the locker room on Tuesday, a belief that the team would be able to reach the final game of the season in the near future. But Robey-Coleman also talked about how he knows it’s not going to be easy to do.
“Just coming to work and do what we did last year, just do it even better,” Robey-Coleman said, “be even crispier, try to keep everybody healthy — that’s always a challenge going through tough seasons in the NFL — staying on the screws and just working even harder, guys just working, everyone just working harder, working smarter, and just getting better, learning from the lessons that we went though.”
Still, Los Angeles’ status as a connected team should also help the club compete in 2019.
“We got to crank it back up in another month, couple of months, so I hope nothing don’t change too drastically up until that point,” Robey-Coleman said, “but I am real positive about the near future.”