ATLANTA — Players and coaches aren’t the only Super Bowl participants tasked with media obligations during the lead-up to the big game. Broadcasters are, as well.
Members of CBS’s broadcast team, which will air Super Bowl LIII on Sunday from Mercedes-Benz Stadium, met with reporters Tuesday at the Super Bowl media center.
Naturally, Tony Romo was the center of attention.
The quarterback-turned-color man has marveled viewers with his ability to predict plays before the snap, at which he was especially adept during overtime of the New England Patriots’ AFC Championship win over the Kansas City Chiefs.
It’s clear Romo already is tiring of his reputation as a football fortune-teller — he referred to his ability as a “novelty act” and chalked it up to luck — he was willing to offer a prediction for Sunday’s matchup between the Patriots and Los Angeles Rams.
“I’m going to go 28-24,” the former Dallas Cowboys star said. “And I think the team who has 24 has the ball at the end, and they don’t score.”
Romo generally shied away from predictions during his meeting with the media — he wouldn’t even say which team he expects to win — but he was happy to discuss several game-related matters, including why he believes Patriots quarterback Tom Brady tends to succeed in late-game situations.
“It’s a combination,” Romo said. “There’s no one specific thing. His ability to get to the right play, his ability to throw the football at a very high level, his calmness, his poise, his understanding of just situational and time management. And then just having all the years of experience under his belt now, it’s just — if he had 10 chances, he’s going to do it eight or nine of them. Maybe he’ll miss one just because the ball bounces weird and funny sometimes, but he’s very hard to beat when he knows.
“To me, when I got older, you basically see the whole game. Now it’s the fourth quarter, and you kind of know what you can and can’t do, so you’ve kind of figured out a little bit of their plan, so you know how to beat it schematically. So you kind of get into the plays that give them trouble, and it’s really hard to get Tom, because he sees the whole game, and now he has that advantage. And then the pass rush is usually just a little bit not quite as fast as they were early in the game. So you tie all that in, and it’s like, good luck stopping him. He’s been doing that his whole career, really.”
On the Rams, Romo believes LA’s frequent use of tight formations (wide receivers lined up closer to the end of the offensive line than usual) could present some issues for New England’s defense.
“The Rams are very unique,” Romo said. “They run a very condensed offense, which means all 11 guys would be near the tight end position, if that makes sense, and they’ll motion from there quickly. There’s a lot of very quick motion that you have to defend the field horizontally and vertically.
“It’s a little different style of football. You can block from there very easily. You can get up on the safeties. You can get an extra hat on defenders. Instead of spreading everybody out like a lot of teams do in the league, and then you motion the guy out, they start in a very tight formation. It’s just different.”
Thumbnail photo via Mark J. Rebilas/USA TODAY Sports Images