Patriots’ OC Josh McDaniels: Don’t ‘overthink’ preparation for Super Bowl

ATLANTA — With five Super Bowl rings he has won as a member of the New England Patriots’ coaching staff, offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels has accumulated plenty of wisdom that he has tried to apply in preparation for the big game.

The biggest piece of advice McDaniels has for himself as the Patriots get ready to face the Los Angeles Rams in Super Bowl LIII Sunday is to “not overthink it” and recognize that less can be more.

‘Just because we have extra time doesn’t mean we have to make it any harder’

“I think with the amount of time you have for this game, the tendency is to continue to add things and change things and tweak things,” McDaniels told SiriusXM NFL Radio’s Kirk Morrison. “And at some point, you have to just say, ‘We have enough to win the game if we do it well.’ And so our players feel comfortable with what we have in and you’ve got to just continue to remind yourself as a coach, just because we have extra time doesn’t mean we have to make it any harder.”

“Something’s going to happen early in this game that we didn’t expect or anticipate, but nothing we’re going to do between now and Sunday is going to change that.”

The Patriots did the bulk of their game-plan installation at their headquarters in Foxborough, Mass., before traveling here on Sunday.

‘From right now until we go to the game Sunday, it’s just really fine-tuning things’

“And that’s a good thing because we don’t have to do as much here and just to try to keep the focus on letting them play fast and making sure they know what to do and don’t make it more complicated than it has to be,” McDaniels said. “Something’s going to happen early in this game that we didn’t expect or anticipate, but nothing we’re going to do between now and Sunday is going to change that. So, when we hit that, we’ll deal with it on the sideline and make some adjustments.

“But from right now until we until we go to the game Sunday, it’s just really fine-tuning things, making sure that the players are confident and comfortable with what they’re doing so they can go out there and play fast.”

‘There’s always something that somebody’s going to do to you that kind of forces you to adjust’

Having been together for nearly 20 years, there is, McDaniels acknowledged, probably nothing that he and quarterback Tom Brady haven’t seen from an opposing defense. Of course, Sunday they will be facing a mastermind in veteran Rams defensive coordinator Wade Phillips, who has highly talented players at most spots.

“I mean, look, there’s always something that somebody’s going to do to you that kind of forces you to adjust,” McDaniels said. “But we’ve seen a lot of different things together and we’ve seen a lot of different things as we study film for this game. Both of us have seen every game they’ve played, we’ve seen last season’s games and so there’s nothing we really haven’t watched.

‘You can’t wait until halftime to go in there and talk about making adjustments’

“I think the thing that you really try to focus on is what our game plan is and how we’re going to try to attack them. And then how they might change to attack us so those are the things, really, that are going to come into focus on Sunday is when we have to make an adjustment, did we make the right one? And we’ve got to make it quick. You can’t wait until halftime to go in there and talk about making adjustments. In a game like this, as soon as you feel like you got to make it, you got to do it.”

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