You know, one thing I’ve noticed especially tonight, but a bit in the first game too, is that the team is not playing with the tension that it has in the past few years. The guys are playing with intensity, but just not with tension. You can see it in their faces and in their collective demeanor. I know it’s just preseason but they appear loose – a healthy kind of loose. So often in the last few years, the players and coaches seemed insecure – like they were playing a bit concerned about getting ripped in the press afterwards. In the march to the Super Bowl, I noticed that this tension seemed to fade some – again the intensity was there but the tension had diminished.
Winning a Super Bowl does that. Perhaps that’s obvious. But it just makes the tension melt away and lets players play freely. A lot of it is confidence to be sure. The coaches and players have all received a jolt of confidence after taking down some seriously good teams last year en route to the Super Bowl. They trust each other and perhaps most importantly, they trust themselves. This is going to help this team execute in tight situations.