Antrel Rolle: Falcons Will Have To Confuse Tom

Antrel Rolle knows what it’s like to beat Tom Brady in a Super Bowl. He did as a member of the 2011 New York Giants, helping the G-Men to a 21-17 win in Super Bowl XLVI. 

If the Atlanta Falcons want some advice on how to slow down Brady and the Patriots, they might want to talk to Rolle, a three-time Pro Bowler. Luckily, CBS Sports Radio did that for them. 

“Well, first of all, you better have a ferocious game plan in store,” Rolle said on CBS Sports Radio’s Gio and Jones. “You have to have calls, you have to checks, adjustments, based off the looks that the New England Patriots give you. Now keep in mind this New England Patriots team right now is a different team than when we faced them in 2011. I think they’re very much more well-balanced, I think Tom Brady is at the epitome of his game right now, and I feel like they have more weapons. And also, their defense right now is second to none. So they’re a different team right now. That team right now is on fire, I must admit.”

The Patriots have won nine straight games and have averaged 36.5 points per game over their last four games. They haven’t had a game decided by single digits since a 30-23 Monday Night Football win over the Ravens on Dec. 12.

New England has won 14 of the last 16 AFC East titles and played in 11 AFC Championships and seven Super Bowls during the Tom Brady era.  How does Brady do it?

“I think what sets Tom away from the rest of the quarterbacks in this league is he’s extremely confident in his throwing, in his throws,” Rolle said. “He’s extremely confident in his ball placement. He’s a lot more accurate than I initially thought. I remember one time I just knew I had an interception. I jumped the route, I knew he didn’t see me coming from the front side, but he actually threw the ball to the receiver’s back-hand side, so I wasn’t even able to get the ball. The most I could do was make a big hit. I was pissed off, but at the same time, it let me realize just how good and how quick of a thinker this guy really is. And right now, he has multiple weapons. Tom Brady is a guy – he doesn’t need the best of the best receivers. He’s going to create the best of the best receivers. Atlanta has their hands full this week coming up for sure.”

To beat the Patriots, Rolle said, you cant just take away one receiver; you have to take away every receiver. 

“You have to play great team ball,” Rolle said. “I don’t think you can focus or key on one particular guy, because if you stop one guy, he’s going to find another. Your best bet is to play collective as a team. (The Falcons) have to have versatility. You must be able to disguise your coverage to the fullest potential. You have to have guys that’s going to be able to show playing free safety but end up playing nickel. You have to have someone that’s going to show corner but end up dropping back to the free safety. So you have to confuse Tom as much as you possibly can. The one thing that I did notice about Tom is he watches so much film and he has such a good eye on what the defense is going to do ahead of time that his throw is already projected in his head. So if happen to be successful in throwing him off, you’re going to have a chance at creating interceptions.”

Super Bowl LI is this Sunday at 6:30 p.m. ET.

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