As evident by the increased media presence at Flowery Branch, the spotlight on the Falcons is brighter now than it's been all year. And it will only get brighter next week when the team flies to Houston and takes part in the annual Super Bowl festivities that attract thousands of fans and journalists from around the world.
This will be head coach Dan Quinn's third Super Bowl in four years, so he's well-aware of what it takes to remained focused while receiving so much attention. To ensure the players don't get caught up in the frenzy, Quinn and his staff gave them three keys to fall back on as they get ready for SB LI.
"One is that brotherhood. That's them relying on one another to get ready, and that's their responsibility to each other," Quinn said. "The second thing, the key that I gave was, 'Do what we do.' The reason we're having this opportunity now is we didn't make stuff up along the way in the process to get going. And the third thing I said was, 'Celebrating is for post-games, not before.' And so those three things are probably good keys to stay and get ready."
Dwight Freeney, who won Super Bowl XLI with the Indianapolis Colts, understands how important these keys will be over the next two weeks.
"I think coach Quinn has done a great job and he's continued to preach this: Stick to the process," Freeney said. "Stick to the process, OK? So that means, this is Wednesday, right? We're not playing the game today. So don't worry about the game today. Worry about what Wednesday's focus is today. … Bury yourself in that process, and then when you look up, it's going to be next week, and when you look up again, it's going to be Super Bowl Sunday."