Denver's John Fox and Seattle's Pete Carroll, sitting on either
side of the Lombardi Trophy in their final media appearance before
Sunday's game, said the hotly anticipated cold-weather game could
hinge on unsung players.
"At the end of the day, it's a team game," Fox said. "I remind
everybody that there's three phases of the game and my experience,
in whether it's been one of these games or any big spot, is who
executes the best and who performs the best."
Fox wanted to make sure he was including his defense and specials
teams that cover punts and kickoffs, return them, and kick field
goals as potential difference makers in the title game at MetLife
Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey.
"There always seems to be the unknown guy that makes a critical
play, whether it's in the kicking game, Lord knows where it's going
to come from," the Denver coach said.
"My experience has been that there's (always) been one of those
events. I think you express that to your team ... I think it's going
to be a total team effort, at least in my view."
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Said Carroll: "I really couldn't agree more. It's obvious that
there's an attraction to the defense and the offense, a logical
matchup to look for, but this game is going to be involving so many
different aspects of it.
"It will be interesting to see if that is the story. Is it our
defense versus their offense? I really don't believe that's what
it's going to be."
All that said, when each coach was asked what he envied about the
other team, the conversation swung back to the Seattle defense and
their shut-down secondary led by Richard Sherman, and the prolific
Denver offense orchestrated by quarterback Peyton Manning.
"Being a defensive coach, I have a little preference to the
defense," said Fox, a former defensive coordinator. "They have very
good speed. They really have a stable of rushers that do an
outstanding job, they cause havoc. On the back end, they probably
have the most talented secondary in the league.
"They have great length, great speed. I think probably the length
and athleticism of their defense is what I look at and it sticks out
Carroll, also a former defensive coordinator, thought wistfully
about the record-setting scoring numbers put up by Manning and his
outstanding crew of receivers.
"We'd like to have their points," he said.
(Editing by Gene Cherry)
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