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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
Belichick, McVay More Alike Than You Think; Interview with Kansas City Chiefs Q.B. Patrick Mahomes; Matt Bryant on How Hard Is It to Kick a Field Goal; Cowboys Hall of Fame Q.B. Troy Aikman Wasn't Always Calm and Cool. Aired 5:30-6p ET
Aired February 2, 2019 - 17:30 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
[17:30:23] DAVE BRIGGS, CNN ANCHOR: Welcome to our special coverage of Super Bowl LIII. We're in the center of the action in downtown Atlanta.
I'm Dave Briggs, joined by Super Bowl MVP, former Bills and Falcons captain, Coy Wire.
Boys, we have a star-studded show.
BRIGGS (voice-over): Super Bowl LIII, the greatest of all time back on the biggest stage.
TOM BRADY, QUARTERBACK, NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: Forty-one. I mean, no one ever imagines these things. I try to go out there and try to win a championship.
BRIGGS: Tom Brady and the experienced New England Patriots facing the young Los Angeles Rams.
SEAN MCVAY, QUARTERBACK, LOS ANGELES RAMS: At this point, I'm comfortable with who I am. If we keep winning games, call me whatever you want.
BRIGGS: The NFL's brightest starts are with us. On defense, J.J. Watt, of the Houston Texas, on offense, Kansas City Chiefs Quarterback Patrick Mahomes, the favorite to win this year's MVP award.
This game could come down to a field goal. How hard could it be? We put our NFLers to the test.
BRIGGS (on camera): Looks easy.
(LAUGHTER) BRIGGS (voice-over): KICKOFF IN ATLANTA, a CNN "BLEACHER REPORT" special.
BRIGGS: Hines still has hands.
Welcome inside our CNN Super Bowl studio. The ATL not just CNN's backyard, but your town, Hines. What's your experience been like?
HINES WARD, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: It's been amazing. It's been 19 years since the last time Atlanta has hosted a Super Bowl. Dave, we're giving them that southern hospitality. There's nothing like it, being here in Atlanta.
COY WIRE, CNN SPORTS CORRESPONDENT: What a great matchup on the field. We get to witness history in the making. His story in the making. Tom Brady going for a record sixth Super Bowl title. February 3rd, 2002 against the Rams when he won his first. The young quarterback he'll face this time around, the young Rams quarterback. Jared Goff was seven years old at the time. An incredible dichotomy and fascinating match up in this game.
BRIGGS: Hard to believe Brady's still doing it at 41. We will get into who wins and why as we close the show. But arguably, the most intriguing matchup on Sunday is on the sideline, as Andy Scholes tells us, the chess match between Sean McVay and Bill Belichick perfectly encapsulates this game's youth versus experienced dynamic -- Andy?
ANDY SCHOLES, CNN SPORT CORRESPONDENT: Yes, Dave, Super Bowl 53 is going to make history for the largest age gap every between the two coaches. Rams coach, Sean McVay is 33 years old, the youngest coach to ever lead a team to the Super Bowl. Bill Belichick is twice his age. He's 66.
But don't let the age gap fool you. These two coaches are much more alike than they are different. Both grew up around the game of football. Belichick spending much time with his dad, who was a scout for Navy. McVay got to be around the San Francisco 49ers. His grandfather was a front office executive for the team. And both saying, those childhood experiences taught them a lot about being a leader.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
BILL BELICHICK, COACH, NEW ENGLAND PATRIOTS: Through those experiences, I think I learned things. And again, I was very fortunate to be around a great Navy program at a time when it was one of the top programs in the country. In the end, my dad taught me it's about being unselfish. That's why you play the game. I'm fortunate I had those.
SEAN MCVAY, COACH, LOS ANGELES RAMS: The things that wouldn't occur without his influence this week, what you appreciate is, it's such a small network, I'm not naive to think you wouldn't get these opportunities if it wasn't for the legacy my grandfather was able to establish by working hard, treating people the right way, and always considering people first.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
SCHOLES: These two coaches, despite the age difference, have a clear mutual admiration for each other. They met at the scouting combine a year ago. And this season, they exchanged texts after almost every game. Dave, on Sunday, they're going to be shaking hands after Super Bowl 53.
BRIGGS: Thanks, Andy.
Joining us now, on behalf of Gatorade, the three-time defensive player of the year, J.J. Watt, of the Houston Texans.
BRIGGS: Good to have you back, J.J.
BRIGGS: All the conversation all week, like it is seemingly all year, about Tom Brady and the Patriots. What's being overlooked about this L.A. Rams team?
J.J. WATT, QUARTERBACK, HOUSTON TEXANS: That's a good question. I mean, I think Goff a little bit. And the offensive line of the Rams does a good job. Andrew Weber does a great job up front. And obviously they have Todd Gurley and C.J. Anderson behind them. They can do a lot of damage on the ground if they are successful.
WIRE: That running game takes pressure off Goff. Gives him time to throw.
WARD: Your whole defensive coordinator, Wade Phillips, has a huge task to get after Tom Brady. What does Wade Phillips need to do to be successful in this game?
[17:35:09] WATT: Wade's the man. First, I got to play for Wade my couple of years in the league. He's obviously had success before against the Patriots in the Super Bowl. He plays really good man coverage behind. And then he has pass rushers up front. Which he obviously has with this team. He's going to do what he does. He may mix up a few things here and there. The reason he's been successful for so long, is because he stuck to what works. If was simple. You have to trust your players.
BRIGGS: We're going to get into that. But forgive me first for pointing out, you are zero-six against Tom Brady, don't hurt me. And of your 92 career sacks, only one half of one comes against the goat. He's 41. He's slow.
BRIGGS: Why is he hard to sack? He's 41 and slow. Why is he hard to sack?
WATT: He's smart, very smart. He knows what can beat him. And that's getting hit and getting pressure up in his face. What is he going to do? He's getting the ball out quick. He knows where his guys are going to be. He knows who's going to be open, he knows the coverage, and he figures it all out. He doesn't want to take a hit, like he said, he's 41 years old. He didn't make it there by not being smart.
WIRE: He doesn't just get it out of his hands. It's lightning-fast, 2.5 seconds, that ball is gone. That's not a lot of time.
WATT: And 90 attempts, zero sacks in the playoffs.
WARD: It's crazy.
WIRE: There's one man, though, in the NFL, who had more sacks than you this year. Aaron Donald, he plays for the Rams. What does he need to do to try to get pressure on Brady?
WATT: He's great. An unbelievable player. I think what Aaron needs to do. We can show him.
WIRE: I'm going to be Tom.
BRIGGS: You're going to be Tom?
WATT: We're the edge, biggest thing with tom is that he knows. Edge rushers are coming hot around the edge. He knows where he's safe.
The thing that Aaron can do on the inside, push that pocket, make him feel unsafe. Come out the backside for the edge rushers or get the ball on his hands.
WARD: Let's hear it for Aaron Donald, baby.
WATT: You come up the middle.
WATT: Tom's in the back.
WIRE: That's what we did right there.
BRIGGS: Do you have to sack Tom Brady?
BRIGGS: Or do you have to pressure him? Move him off of a spot. WATT: Sacks are the best. That's where the Rams have a good
advantage. They have Donald and Suh (ph) coming up the middle. You can get pressure on the middle of the pocket, he knows how to handle the edge rushers. If you're going to have success, your best bet is hard pressure up the gut.
BRIGGS: Easier said than done.
WATT: Much easier said than done.
BRIGGS: Can they do it? Will they do it? Who wins this game and why?
WATT: I have no idea. Tom is the best of all time. With his success and these games, and their experience in this game, it's tough to go against them. The way Phillips has done it before, the defense is very good. They have a smart offensive coach. I don't know. That was my answer.
BRIGGS: I'm not going to pick one.
WARD: I appreciate the insights. But you guys, you personally, have done it all. The face of the league, defensive player of the year, you do great community work.
WATT: Thank you.
WARD: Next year, we want to see J.J. Watt and the Super Bowl. Giving us great insight.
WIRE: Who else wants to see J.J. Watt in the Super Bowl next year?
BRIGGS: We have to get them one of those rings.
WATT: I need that.
WATT: Appreciate that. Thank you, guys, very much. I appreciate you all.
Thank you very much. Thank you.
BRIGGS: He's the league's breakout star of the year and came so close to playing in this Super Bowl. Kansas City Chiefs Q.B. and the likely MVP, Patrick Mahomes, here. He'll join us next.
(COMMERCIAL BREAK) [17:43:44] BRIGGS: Welcome back to KICKOFF IN ATLANTA. It's Brady v. Goff on Sunday. When the story of 2018 is written, it will focus on the video game like exploits of Chiefs Quarterback Patrick Mahomes, the first-year starter, the second player ever to throw for 5,000 yards and 50-plus touchdowns. He joins us now on set.
What do you think of Patrick Mahomes here?
BRIGGS: Is it MVP or bust for you? And what would that honor mean?
PATRICK MAHOMES, QUARTERBACK, KANSAS CITY CHIEFS: Not necessarily. It would be an amazing honor, when you look at the people that have won it, it would be an amazing group to be in. At the same time, that's not what you're looking at, at the beginning of the season. It could be something you could look back on in your career.
BRIGGS: Tony Romo is saying you're the future of the position in the sport. You have every sportswriter in the country saying, this was one of the greatest seasons in the history of the position. How do you block that out and improve on that?
MAHOMES: You have to focus on getting better. I mean, you watch the great ones. You see Tom Brady every year. He's getting better. You focus on the fundamentals, the stuff you are good at, you want to emphasize that stuff, so -- I want to make sure I get my body in the best shape possible and go in the film room again and figure out how to get better.
[17:45:06] WIRE: Patrick, something that stood out to me and Hines and Dave, your creativity on the field. In a game, you've thrown a ball with your left hand for a completion. You're right handed. Where does that come from, do you practice these things?
MAHOMES: That's backyard ball.
I think that's growing up playing all the sports. I was a big baseball player, basketball player. Football was the last sport I got into. So when you're playing baseball at shortstop, you don't get to set your feet and be the perfect throwing motion. I think just having that, going to the backyard football. I can throw from a lot of different platforms, and not a lot of guys have thrown before me.
HINES: How does it feel to be the hottest thing in the NFL? The kids want to be like you. I see the kids with that haircut.
HINES: I wish I had hair like that. How does that feel? Is it more added pressure, is it fun being you're so young, and you're the newest thing in football? MAHOMES: I think it's a lot of fun. We have a great team that has a
lot of fun that we go out there and we enjoy playing this game. We really do love it, we love playing with each other and going out there and just wing football together.
BRIGGS: Not only have you played the Patriots, you've played the Rams as well. Against the Rams, one of the great games in the history of the NFL, almost 500 yards passing and six touchdowns. Does that suggest this game goes the Patriots way and that's an easier defense to pick apart?
MAHOMES: No, not at all. The Rams are hitting their stride rite now, so are the Patriots. I think it's going to be a great game. Whoever gets it at the end is going to be the team that wins it, if I had to pick one, I would pick the Patriots. I think it's going to be a great game either way.
WIRES: One of the greatest tokens you can receive is respect from another player. Tom Brady came to your locker room. Has it sunk in yet, that the goat took the time and pay his respects to you?
MAHOMES: It has a little bit now. It's cool for him to do that. He's in the middle of getting ready to go to the Super Bowl, excitement, trying to enjoy with his teammates, it was something that's cool, and we looked back on it. I was still upset, coming off that loss. It was a great game where we're really close. You look back at it, it's cool to have that respect for him especially with everything he's accomplished.
BRIGGS: Patrick Mahomes, the likely NFL MVP tonight at the NFL honors.
Congratulations on an outstanding season and thanks for being here.
BRIGGS: Get those headphones on, because everybody's talking about it.
HINES: Q.C. 35.
Give me a no-look pass for the touchdown. And the crowd goes wild. Bring it. Oh.
BRIGGS: The kickers in this Super Bowl have one job to do. How hard can it be to hit a field goal? Atlanta Falcons kicker, Matt Bryant, puts these two guys to the test.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MATT BRYANT, ATLANTA FALCONS KICKER: I look over there, and I see kickers playing around on the sidelines. I don't know, you all play a little kicking game.
WIRE: Little kicking games.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
[17:51:33] BRIGGS: Welcome back to Atlanta. Three of the Patriots' eight prior Super Bowls were decided by three points and five of the last 17 overall. Sunday could come down to the kickers.
Our NFLers found out how hard a seemingly simple job can be.
WARD: Hines Ward, two-time Super Bowl champion, and I've kick zero field goals.
WIRE: Coy Wire, nine years in the NFL. Zero field goals attempted.
BRYANT: Hi, Matt Bryant. I'm kicker for the Atlanta Falcons, and I've made 388 field goals in the NFL.
WIRE: Look at him. Here comes the Super Bowl champ! Here comes the MVP. Here comes the "Dancing with the Stars" camp. It's serious business now.
Oh, oh, ooh! What did I do wrong?
BRYANT: OK. You missed it. That's the one thing you did wrong. Number two.
WIRE: Oh, oh. Woo!
BRYANT: All right. We are losing daylight, my brother. You've got to make one of these things.
WARD: This is going in.
BRYANT: The toe. Look, you are hitting everything here. You want to hit it right there.
WIRE: Oh, man!
BRYANT: You are zero for five right now.
WIRE: There it is! Ooh!
BRYANT: You ain't got the Elvis hip. You got it get it through.
WIRE: Feeling humble. Talking trash about me.
WARD: Yes, baby?
WIRE: Did you see what I did those first six kicks?
WIRE: Don't do that. Come on. Find your target.
BRYANT: Right at this finger.
No, your target is still there. You don't want to kick his finger. You are going to kick the ball.
WARD: Yes, baby! Woo! Woo! Yes! Yes!
WIRE: He is tired out.
How did that feel?
WARD: That felt darn good.
BRYANT; Basically, it was a 20-yard field goal.
Now, the extra is back here. This is your extra point now.
Give it a try. This is a real NFL distance right here.
WIRE: Get it!
BRYANT: It's OK.
WARD: That's it, kickers. No more excuses. You have one job, and that is to make the field goal on the extra points. You've got to do it.
WIRE: Clearly, it's an easy job.
Thanks to Matt Bryant for coaching us up and our friends at Georgia State for allowing us to use their beautiful facilities right here in downtown Atlanta.
[17:54:25] BRIGGS: Let us not forget the Rams are here courtesy a no-call and a 57-yard line field goal from Greg Zirline (ph) would have been good from 70.
Nobody knows Super Bowls quite like Troy Aikman. The Cowboys Hall of Famer has won three and broadcasted five. The Q.B. wasn't all calm and cool. His super nerves coming up.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
TROY AIKMAN, COWBOYS HALL OF FAME QUARTERBACK: The way that I approach the Super Bowls that I played in, I would get locked in during the week and study like I had during the week. It is different. You are on the road . So you have to get accustomed to that. On game day I was as relaxed as I had ever been. In the locker room prior to the game I remember sitting there thinking, man, in just a few hours this is either going to be the greatest day of my life or it's going to be the most disappointing day of my life. Yet I was very calm about it and very much at ease about it. Pregame warmups the same way. It wasn't until they introduced my name and I came running out of the tunnel, and then you experience the pageantry and the electricity in the air and all that comes with that. The moment really hit me.
When we started the game, I was hyperventilating a little bit and just trying to get the plays called. We had a third down call and it was a simple corner route by Michael Irvin, and I have thrown that ball a thousand times during the season, and I threw it over his head by 10 yards. Once you get through that initial wave of emotion, I think you settle in, and then you're not focused on what's at stake as much as you are just playing the game the way that you always have. And that's how it turned out for me.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
BRIGGS: So given that, keep an eye on Jared Goff's first-quarter nerves.
How nervous were you in your first Super Bowl?
WARD: Nervous, anxiety. I wore myself out in the pregame. I came in the locker room. It was the only time I have ever thrown up before a game.
BRIGGS: And because the Patriots are not going to be all that nervous, we are all picking the Pats to win this game. But, Cory, what will you be watching for?
WIRE: I will be watching the Rams' run game. C.J. Anderson was a late addition. He has been a spark. Three straight 100-year-old games. Todd Gurley, from the University of Georgia, has been resting and healing. He will want to show out.
WARD: I'm looking for the playmakers, the wide receivers. For the Rams, contain Julian Edelman (ph). He has proven himself time and time again to rise to the occasion in the Super Bowl.
BRIGGS: Cory mentioned the Georgia Bulldogs. I think it's another Bulldog, MVP in this game. Sony Michel (ph), a year ago, lost the national title game on the same field. All Patriots backs factor into this game. Even the fullback, James Develin. So we all say, Patriots win, huh?
[17:59:51] BRIGGS: All right. That does it for us, everybody. It's almost game time.
For Hines, Coy, and Andy, thanks for watching, everybody. Enjoy the Super Bowl.