ATLANTA – Austin Proehl has a unique existence this week.
The former University of North Carolina is not even on the list of Rams listed and lives as a practice player. But that does not mean that it does not matter.
"Yes, I'm Edelman," said Proehl during the Super Bowl Opening Night on Monday.
While he admitted to being shaved for the media frenzy – Eliminating this part of the Julian Edelman simulation – Proehl was commissioned by the Rams to simulate the Patriots' slot receiver in the days leading up to the big game.
"I enjoyed seeing what he does," said Proehl with the smile. "It was a cool opportunity."
But that's just part of this story. These cuts could be a bit more difficult in practice. The routes a bit cleaner. Why? Not only because it's the Super Bowl, but because it's THIS Super Bowl.
"Absolutely," said Proehl when asked if it was satisfactory that the Patriots were the opponents of the Rams in this Super Bowl. "At the end of the day, you want to play against the best of the best, Brady is the best of the best, Belichick is the best of the best, the patriots are the best of the best, it's a blessing to be here, but we're here to to win in Atlanta.
"It's an opportunity to regain what happened. The last time we were and how it ended. "
The last time the Rams were in the Super Bowl, of course, resulted in the unlikely victory of the Patriots, and Proehl remembers it like yesterday, and with good reason, for a good reason, Ricky Proehl wore it on the other side Blue and yellow of younger Bill Belichick and a very young Tom Brady.
"I remember being just tough," said Proehl, "At that age (6 years old) I did not do it I do not know exactly what this game means. I knew we lost and I knew it was a big game. I knew what he was preparing and how hard he worked every day. So I knew what it meant. I cried back from the Superdome to the hotel. My mother did not let me see her for a few hours. At that point I knew what was going on and I wanted to see him and wanted to be with him because I just thought it was the coolest thing to be able to watch him. He was my idol. I wanted to grow up like him and be in the situation as I am now. I just wanted to be with him. It was hard. I definitely took it hard.
Then came the Super Bowl two years later, when the Proehl family got another bang on the Patriots while playing with the Panthers ̵
Fifteen years later, the son is ready to go for the Father. "
" It was tough, "said Proehl," they have all the respect in the world for Tom and for Belichick and for everything else and everything they have. You can not count them every year at any time of the year. But it is difficult. To see what they did. They beat her this year and beat her with the Panthers. It is difficult.
"The first thing that (his dad) told me was," Hey, you have to go down and win this thing because I promise you, you do not want to jump off this field when the confetti is raining on you. " 39; I will remember that. "