USC’s Nickell Robey-Coleman Shining in the Bright Lights

Super Bowl week is upon us and, as usual, there are more story lines than a reporter can cover.  None of those stories are more interesting then the emergence of Nickell Robey-Coleman as the mouth piece for the Los Angeles Rams.

Just in case you have been under a rock, Robey-Coleman was the beneficiary of the greatest “blown call” in NFL history when the officials failed to call him for targeting and pass interference late in the NFC Championship game.  The no-call propelled L.A. to the Super Bowl, where Robey-Coleman is preparing to try to bring a Super Bowl ring home to the Rams.

To say the former USC star has enjoyed the limelight would be an understatement.

Immediately following the game in New Orleans, he readily admitted the play was definitely interference.

“Hey, they didn’t call it so it’s all good,” said Robey-Coleman.  “There are a lot of plays like that in football.  The refs just missed it.”

Robey-Coleman isn’t afraid to speak his mind.  It has been the same way ever since he was a star across town at USC.  This week, he weighed in on Ton Brady and the New England Patriots.

“Age has definitely taken a toll on him,” said Robey-Coleman.  “For him to still be doing it, that is a great compliment to him.  But, he isn’t the same quarterback he once was.”

Back at USC, Robey-Coleman is remembered as, well, Robey-Coleman.

“He isn’t afraid to run his mouth, that is for sure,” said Brian Odle, who covered the Trojans when Robey-Coleman was on campus. “He is a dynamic player and can be, at times, equally dynamic as a person.”

Interpretation?  The guy’s mouth can sometimes get him in trouble.

But, here he is in a Super Bowl, representing his alma mater, and doing it with some flair.

“When he was in college, he could dominate opponents with his athletic ability,” remembers Odle.  “Now, while he is still athletic, he is a lot smarter player.  You can see it in his everyday actions on the field.  He has really matured.”

The Pac-12 is well represented in the Super Bowl.  New England has eight players suiting up for the Big Dance from the Conference of Champions, while Los Angeles has 12.  In addition to Robey-Coleman, USC is represented by runningback Justin Davis and wide receiver Robert Woods.  None, though, will be as high profile as Robey-Coleman.

“He is just a guy who will bring a lot of attention to himself by the things he says,” said Odle.  “Hopefully, he can back up his boasting with the type of game that will be memorable for L.A.”


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