NFL-Rams QB Stafford says pressure to deliver Super Bowl to LA a ‘privilege’ – Metro US

NFL-Rams QB Stafford says pressure to deliver Super Bowl to LA a ‘privilege’

NFL: NFC Divisional Round-Los Angeles Rams at Tampa Bay Buccaneers
NFL: NFC Divisional Round-Los Angeles Rams at Tampa Bay Buccaneers

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Los Angeles Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford put a positive spin on the pressure he is under to deliver a Super Bowl victory on Sunday in front of a hometown crowd and to a city that welcomed back football six years ago.

The Rams made a trade for Stafford last year with the hope that he would give the team a better chance of winning their first championship since returning to Los Angeles from St. Louis in 2016. This year’s game against the Cincinnati Bengals will be played at the Rams’ home field of SoFi Stadium, a site chosen years ago.

Asked about the high expectations, Stafford said on Monday that a common refrain among his teammates is that “pressure is a privilege.”

“That means something is expected of you, and we expect that in ourselves anyway,” Stafford told reporters at a news conference on Zoom.

“These opportunities are what you play the game for,” he added. “I’m so lucky to be in this situation and being able to go out and battle one more time with this great group of guys that I have as teammates and coaches.”

The NFL picks Super Bowl sites years in advance. Last season the Tampa Bay Buccaneers became the first team to win a Super Bowl on their home turf.

Los Angeles had been without a National Football League team for two decades until the Rams relocated there in 2016. The Chargers moved to Los Angeles a year later.

Stafford said he wants his Rams teammates to have fun on football’s biggest stage and enjoy the experience, though they realize the high stakes.

“I think we all understand the magnitude and the importance of it,” Stafford said. “At the same time, once the ball snaps, that’s going to be another football game. We’ve got to go out there and execute. We’ve got to play to the best of our ability, trust each other, trust ourselves.”

He also noted the level of competition the Rams face from the Bengals, who are led by Joe Burrow, a quarterback known for appearing confident under tough circumstances. Watching film of them playing helps Stafford stay focused on the upcoming challenge, he said.

“I’ll put the tape on and watch the Bengals, and that’ll keep you in the moment real quick,” Stafford said. “I mean, they’re a really talented football team. They do a great job on defense. That’s the side of the ball I’m looking at.”

Stafford turned 34 on Monday and said he will spend the evening “just hanging out with the family at the house.”

“There’s going to be plenty of time to celebrate my birthday after this week,” he said.

(Reporting by Lisa Richwine; Editing by Christian Schmollinger)

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