HOUSTON – Tom Brady has won four Super Bowls and is widely considered to be the best NFL quarterback of his generation.
Brian Poole is playing in his first Super Bowl, completing a season that started without any team selecting him in the NFL draft.
But while Poole respects Brady, he’s not taking the media-offered bait that suggests that the Patriots quarterback is destined to win his fifth Super Bowl.
“I know he’s a great quarterback,” Poole said Thursday. “I’m not taking anything from him or his team, but at the end of the day, it’s about us.
“As long as we do what we’re supposed to do, we’ll be fine.”
Poole was peppered by a series of questions at his media session Thursday morning in Houston about the Patriots, their legacy, and their quarterback. While the rookie remained patient and respectful, he also remained firm that he and his teammates are not fawning over New England.
“I haven’t really even thought about it yet,” said Poole. “I’m really approaching it like it’s another week. Here, we really don’t pay much attention to our opponents. It’s more just us.”
The confident rookie from Florida proved his doubters incorrect almost from the outset of the season, when he advanced from training camp standout to one of the key defensive backs on a quickly improving defense. Sunday, he will be part of the group that will try to deny Brady another ring.
“There’s not just one thing in particular,” said Poole of stopping Brady. “It’s just staying in our process. Don’t make anything up and just have fun.”
But Poole says they won’t do anything different as a group, just because they are facing Brady.
“Tom Brady is a great quarterback, but we’ve played against a lot of great quarterbacks,” said Poole. “This is not our first test, we’ve been tested before.”
Even as the Falcons defense has dramatically improved over the last six weeks, Poole says they can still hit a higher ceiling on Sunday.
“We definitely have more stuff to work on,” said Poole. “I wouldn’t say were complete yet. But we’re definitely going in the right direction.”