Super Bowl wins with New England Patriots 'greatest ever feeling', says Rob Ryan
"When that game is over, the confetti is flying and it's you it's falling on top of... that's an amazing feeling," says Rob Ryan; watch Super Bowl LIII live on Sky Sports on Sunday night
By Rob Ryan
Last Updated: 03/02/19 11:11pm
Former NFL defensive coach Rob Ryan reflects on his two Super Bowl wins with the New England Patriots, including his very first against the then St Louis Rams as the two franchises prepare to meet again in Sunday's Super Bowl LIII...
Coaching in a Super Bowl; it's awesome.
It's the biggest game and the biggest stage possible - the elite of the elite going at it - and so to be a part of it, man you feel great!
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It's a once in a lifetime type thing. If you're lucky. And I was fortunate enough to experience it twice and win both times; the greatest feeling I've ever had on a football field. A type of euphoria that is hard to put into words.
It was, as fate would have it, the Rams who we beat to win my first, taking down the 'Greatest Show on Turf' in 2002.
We faced was a record-breaking offense. They didn't just have a great offensive scheme, they had great players, Hall of Famers. Kurt Warner, Isaac Bruce, Tory Holt, Marshall Faulk.
Is the current Rams offense comparable? Maybe statistically, but I think the 'Greatest Show on Turf' was one of the top two or three offenses in the history of the game.
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I had seen my father, Buddy Ryan, win Super Bowls, and my brother Rex won the year before with the Baltimore Ravens.
Rex - I know it's hard to believe - was giving me noise after winning, saying you can't come to the dinner table in this family until you've won a Super Bowl. So I told our guys that. And then when we won, Willie McGinest went straight for Rex.
I'm there thinking, please don't kill him. He is still my twin brother.
But, for real, I remember exactly what happened when I won that first Super Bowl.
We're going down for the drive to try and win it. J.R. Redmond makes two great plays, Troy Brown - the great Troy Brown - catches a key crossing route, makes a defender miss and gets out of bounds to stop the clock. That's when I first thought "we're going to do this".
Tom Brady then hits Jermaine Wiggins to set up the game-winning kick for Adam Vinatieri, and so I'm packing all of my stuff up ready for it to be over.
Then the great Ernie Adams - football research director at the Patriots, essentially Bill Belichick's brain - is yelling at me, saying "What are you doing? We could be going to overtime?"
But I was convinced. No, this game's over, and I was literally walking out to celebrate almost as Vinatieri nailed the kick.
And believe me, when that game is over, the confetti is flying and it's you it's falling on top of, man that's an amazing feeling!
Then, later on that night, I remember crossing Belichick on the escalator - working for Bill is like another world, you're just grinding and grinding, constantly - and I think, in fact, that was the first time he met my wife, even though I'd already been there three years. The guy is a pure worker.
But he then invites us to come with him. So we turn around on the escalator and we end up in a pitch-black bar in New Orleans with just me, Bill, Brian Daboll - then wide receivers coach - and our respective partners. Nobody else. We never went to the actual after party, and just stayed there together for the rest of the evening. It was a great celebration.
It just put a ribbon on everything we'd done. It's a long season, made even longer with the playoffs, and it's amazing how much energy you can put into one game.
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Believe me, when the game itself is finally over, you are so mentally exhausted! You almost collapse, because you've been so focused for so long, doing everything you can to prepare like you've never prepared before.
Every minute detail; in this game the extra work counts. You don't want to leave that film room during the week without making sure you've got everything in check. You want to be able to call upon everything in your arsenal and give your players to have the best chance to be successful.
The fewer distractions, the better. So to see 'Media Week' in the run-up to the Super Bowl grow to such a level now, it's crazy.
That said, everybody will be doing the same thing this week, still giving their players the same message. "Don't make any headlines here. Boring is good."
It might not set you up for a media career after football, but boring is all you want for this week. You don't want any player making headlines.
As a coach, or certainly as an assistant coach like myself, it was easier. No-one would be putting a microphone in front of your face, so you'd be sat there bored sometimes, making up mock interviews with your buddy. Clowning around.
And, having been to 10 Super Bowls already, this really isn't anything new for the Patriots, though they'll have a tough task ahead of them Sunday against a Rams team that talent-wise have the edge over them. Belichick really respects this young guy Sean McVay. He is a special coach.
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This is McVay's first Super Bowl, but he is well capable of reaching several of them, just like Belichick.
That said, I promise you, the Patriots are still going to scheme up a way to get at this Rams offense. Bring pressure to the quarterback, make Jared Goff post-snap read the defense, get him off his spot and make him uncomfortable in the pocket. That will happen. It's just a case of how it happens.
Every game there is a different plan. You're not going to get the same plan as to when we beat the 'Greatest Show on Turf'.
That's the part of the game Belichick manages so well. He's going to be in Goff's head, and in McVay's head.
Belichick will have a special plan ready to go, and I simply can't bet against Brady. He won me the two Super Bowl rings on my fingers, so I'll take his guys to win a sixth Vince Lombardi trophy.
@SkySportsNFL are in Atlanta all week - follow us for live videos and a flavour of the madness.
For 90 minutes of Super Bowl LIII build-up from Mercedes-Benz Stadium in Atlanta with Rob Ryan and Bucky Brooks, join us on Sky Sports USA, Main Event and Mix from 10pm on Sunday, February 3.