Super Bowl notebook: Gronk unsure about retirement
New England Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski said Monday he doesn't know if Super Bowl LIII will be his last NFL game. Asked at Super Bowl media night if he's considering retirement after this season, Gronkowski responded, "Oh ... I don't know. I don't know."
He then reiterated that he's not thinking about the possibility one way or another yet, with his focus remaining on the Super Bowl. He plan to ponder the "tricky question" two weeks after Sunday's game. --Meanwhile, one of Gronkowski's 2010 draft classmates spoke openly about possibly considering retirement.
Patriots safety Devin McCourty suggested that a victory on Sunday -- which would give him his third ring and give his twin brother, Patriots cornerback Jason McCourty, his first -- could lead him to walk off into the sunset. "I don't know for sure, man, but I do look at it -- if we can win this game, win it with my brother, I don't know what else I can do that'll top that," Devin McCourty said. "So I'm just trying to make sure I enjoy this season and enjoy these last couple days with these guys."
--Los Angeles Rams cornerback Nickell Robey-Coleman said his perceived insult of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was not that at all. "I was asked a question about when I was in Buffalo," Robey-Coleman said. "The only thing I said (was different about him) was his age. I never said anything about he's too old. ... His age is the only thing that's changed from there to here. His skills, his arm is still strong. He's still the GOAT. He's still a legend."
Robey-Coleman was quoted as telling Bleacher Report of Brady, "Age has definitely taken a toll. For him to still be doing it, that's a great compliment for him. But I think that he's definitely not the same quarterback he was." --Rams running back Todd Gurley said he is healthy and ready to do whatever head coach Sean McVay needs Sunday, despite concerns about his knee after a quiet NFC Championship Game.
"I'm going to do whatever I can do to help this team win," Gurley said. "I'm here at the Super Bowl. That's all that matters." McVay said Gurley will be "more involved" this week, repeating that he didn't do a good job of getting Gurley comfortable and in the flow of the game against the New Orleans Saints.
--Los Angeles Rams kicker Greg Zuerlein expects to play Sunday despite a sprain of his left (non-kicking) foot. NFL Network reported that Zuerlein, the only known noteworthy injury on either team, made progress during the idle week since making the game-winning 57-yard field goal to help Los Angeles beat the Saints for the NFC championship.
Zuerlein nailed that overtime kick with the injury to his plant foot, which was incurred during halftime warmups in the Rams' win at New Orleans. --Within 10 days, Patriots linebackers coach/de facto defensive coordinator Brian Flores is expected to be named the head coach of the Miami Dolphins, but he declined to acknowledge the pending hiring.
Asked directly if he'll be the Dolphins' head coach, Flores replied, "Right now all my focus is on the Rams." He added, "I really feel like I'm doing a disservice to the players if my mind is anywhere else but on this week, this game, and that's kind of where I'm at."
--After losing last year's Super Bowl with the Patriots and being traded to the Rams this offseason, wideout Brandin Cooks doesn't harbor any ill will toward his old team even if facing New England on Sunday adds "fuel to the fire." "There's not one negative thing that I can say coming out of there," Cooks said of the Patriots. "(Getting traded was) unfortunate, but at the same time, I'm beyond blessed. (Patriots coach Bill Belichick) sent me somewhere that's so special. All I can do is be thankful for that fact."
--Brady is appearing in his ninth Super Bowl, but Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald doesn't see Sunday's game against him as anything other than a normal contest. "He's a great quarterback," Donald said. "But just like anyone else, you put pressure on him, and just like anybody else, it will be a tough day for him."
--The overnight weather forecast in Atlanta included a winter storm warning expected to blanket the city and surrounding areas with snow. Georgia leaders met downtown and announced the closure of the majority of schools, public offices and city hall.
However, neither team has any concern about the weather. --Field Level Media