As Super Bowl LVI looms near, Rams linebacker Von Miller has been explaining to his teammates how it feels to prepare for and win a Super Bowl. He called it “football heaven,” reminding them that this is the pinnacle of their sport.
“It doesn’t get any bigger than his game and to go out there and have success and go into the offseason with this accomplishment, it’s nothing like it,” Miller said. “If we pull this thing off and get the win, it’s football heaven.”
Miller made 2.5 sacks and three quarterback hits during Super Bowl 50, clinching MVP honors that year. He did not intend to win MVP, he just wanted to make plays for his teammates. He carries that same mindset into this Sunday.
“I’m planning to win the game with my brothers,” Miller said. “I plan to put my best foot forward, to do my role to do everything I possibly can do for us to come out victorious come Sunday night.”
Defensive tackle Aaron Donald was one of the several players that were with the Rams during their Super Bowl LIII loss to the New England Patriots. Since his first trip to the Super Bowl, Donald has gained a new perspective on the effort it takes to make it there.
“You get to that and then you lose, it’s like ‘we’ll be back next year’ and you just think [you are] gonna be able to get back that easy and it’s not that easy,” he said. “Having the opportunity to be here this time, a second time, I just appreciate it that much more … being in year eight, you don’t know how much time you got to play this game left.”
Committing the rare feat of making the Super Bowl a home game has its advantages that the Rams can enjoy.
“Being able to obviously have the home crowd … Rams Nation will be there,” said running back Cam Akers. “Being able to stay with our regular routine, not having to travel … just being able to be here in L.A., be comfortable.”
Rams head coach Sean McVay explained how being local for the Super Bowl allotted the team time for treatments and preparation.
“We got three or four extra days last week where [we] got guys bodies turned over, got them refreshed, rejuvenated,” he said. “We did get a jump on preparation, got a lot of good stuff in … if you were to put a percentage on it probably 80 percent of the gameplan in.”
Defensive lineman Sebastian Joseph-Day and running back Darrell Henderson will be healthy enough to compete Sunday, but offensive tackle Joe Noteboom and tight end Tyler Higbee will not be competing.
Reaching the Super Bowl is a big statement for quarterback Matthew Stafford in his first season with the Rams. He noted how his years with the Detroit Lions taught him the importance of overcoming adversity.
“There were plenty of times in Detroit where we were having a tough stretch of games … just being able to trust yourself, trust your preparation and go to work,” Stafford said. “We had a tough stretch in our season this year … where we didn’t win a football game … but we just continued to work.”