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Pats' McCourty says team unaffected by Super Bowl hoopla

Reuters

(Reuters) - New England Patriots defensive back Devin McCourty has played on the NFL's biggest stage before and said on Friday his team will not get caught up in the hoopla ahead of their Super Bowl clash with the Atlanta Falcons.

McCourty, who won a Super Bowl with the Patriots in 2015, said his team quickly moved on from Sunday's AFC Championship win and are focused solely on their clash with the NFL's most potent offense on Feb. 5 in Houston.

"The environment that we have going on right now really kind of forces you to be on the football side of things," McCourty said during a news conference at Gillette Stadium.

"Guys are starting to feel like we're just preparing for another game and that's a key feeling, to have that mentality of just digging in and preparing to play in another game."

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The two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl are anything but normal given the magnitude of fanfare, parties, seemingly endless media requests and other events that have the potential to knock even the best of teams off their routine.

The Patriots arrive in Houston on Monday, 24 hours after the Falcons touch down, and will promptly head to Super Bowl Opening Night where a sea of media, many dressed in wacky outfits asking even wackier questions, await for a primetime event attended by fans.

But McCourty is confident his Patriots are not vulnerable to distractions and will treat the lead-up to the Super Bowl like every other game they've played this season.

"Once you get there you start with (Opening Night). You'll get to enjoy that, do what you need to do there and then I think we do a good job here of flipping the page and getting right back onto our daily routine," said McCourty.

McCourty also said he does not expect to have a 'wow' moment at any point during the game that will be broadcast in 170 countries and territories.

"Once you get playing it's just football," said McCourty. "You're so locked in on what you studied during the week and preparations, what's going on in the game ... you're just trying to win a football game."

(Reporting by Frank Pingue in Toronto; Editing by Andrew Both)

 
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