What we learned on Super Bowl Media Day

On the second full day of Super Bowl week, the attention turned away from deflated footballs. Media Day is an annual exercise in trying to pack as much insanity, questions and people into a small space for three insane hours.

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With the big game less than a week away, Around The NFL's Dan Hanzus brings you the best of Super Bowl week in Arizona. READ

After a Monday that felt anything but normal, this felt like the usual fare. There was Marshawn Lynchliving up to expectations. There was Michael Bennett's uncommon commitment to insanity, giving more great quotes in three minutes than most players give an hour. There was a notably relaxed Patriots group, from Bill Belichick's flip flops and Joe Pesci movie rankings to Tom Brady's misshapen hair.

There was the typical trash talk from the usual suspects: LeGarrette Blount, Doug Baldwin and Richard Sherman. There was even some honesty: Patriots cornerback Brandon Browner admitting that going after the opponent's injuries is just part of the game. In short: It was a normal Media Day rather than one dominated by press releases from investigators and surprise press conferences by owners.

Here's what we else we learned:

Patriots

  1. On the heels of Monday night's pressure-cooker of a press conference, Patriots coach Bill Belichick continued to deep-six questions over deflated footballs with one simple war cry: "We're just focused on Seattle." Swarmed by the media, Belichick patiently brushed off a laundry list of dunderheaded moments. When one gentleman offered to murder someone for the coach, Belichick wouldn't play, saying: "Right now, I'm just thinking about Seattle." When another scribe asked him to wax poetic on Katy Perry's halftime gig, Bill wouldn't utter a word about the minx stress. Belichick is more than willing to talk at length about the game, but we can't imagine he enjoyed this much.

My favorite moment? When he was asked what advice he'd give to young coaches, Belichick paused before saying: "I'm just trying to coach my team. I'm not trying to run anybody else's life."

  1. Tom Brady will set a record by starting his sixth Super Bowl, but it hasn't gone to his head. New England's quarterback drew praise from backup Jimmy Garoppolo as a "very down-to-earth guy, a regular guy," who went out of his way to befriend the rookie. Brady seemed relaxed on Tuesday after a week flush with controversy, almost reflective. "I never imagined this in my wildest dreams," Brady told NFL Media's Kurt Warner. "I loved playing sports growing up ... To get a chance to play in the Super Bowl, I never thought I'd get to play in one. So it's pretty unbelievable to play in six."
  1. Offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels made it clear that he would like another head-coaching job after an 11-17 mark in less than two seasons with the Broncos. "I think one of the things I really learned in Denver was the value of being a good listener," McDaniels said. "Sometimes when you do something like that for the first time, you run through everything and try and be in charge of too many things. And sometimes, that's a significant negative. I've tried really hard in St. Louis and here in New England to really gather some ideas." McDaniels was impressive on Tuesday.
  1. Running back LeGarrette Blount was one of the more outspoken Patriots, refusing to bow down to the Legion of Boom. "I don't care about them being a top defense, they don't bother me," Blount said. "They were good enough to get here, just like we were good enough to get here. They're not immortal, they can be beat." You don't often hear a Belichick charge speaking this freely about an upcoming opponent.
  1. Rob Gronkowski struggled to further the conversation on deflated footballs, telling scribes he doesn't know anything about what does or doesn't happen to the balls before kickoff. "Deflategate has nothing to do with me except maybe my spikes," Gronk told the mob. "We want to prove our doubters wrong."
  1. Patriots second-year linebacker Jamie Collins has yet to gain the household-name status enjoyed by the Seattle secondary, but the under-the-radar defender likes it that way. "I just stay in my lane," Collins said. "I'm not big on hype. That's not me. They can have it. I'm cool."
  1. The room was dense with media types, triggering an unforgiving wellspring of human odors. Media Day can feel like a painfully over-crowded college bash minus the booze and extracurricular perks. Both surreal, beautiful and horrific all at once.

-- Marc Sessler

Seahawks

  1. Super Bowl Media Day is football's zoo, featuring a menagerie of self-promoting bozos and overzealous sportswriters exhibiting all the manners of barnyard animals. In that absurdist setting, Marshawn Lynch dropped a stock line of "I'm just here so I won't be fined" as the response to 29 different questions. "And with that," wrote Gregg Rosenthal, "he won Media Day by treating it with all the self-seriousness it deserves."
  1. If Lynch's appearance was a predictable non-starter, defensive end Michael Bennett stood out as the comic relief. Time wasted by prying into Lynch's inner thoughts is better spent soaking up Bennett's zingers.
  1. Seahawks defensive players believe the Falcons are getting a "mastermind" in Dan Quinn, a great player's coach who inspires fierce loyalty.
  1. Doug Baldwin put his epic ranting aside to pay tribute to Darrelle Revis as one of the NFL's most cerebral cornerbacks. The Seahawks wide receiver then poked the bear, quipping, "I'm going to bring my sunblock, my shades, and a hat and I'm going to go to Revis Island and see what I can do."
  1. Richard Sherman offered his own message to the starter opposite Revis. After former teammate Brandon Browner proposed the idea of targeting the injured Seahawks players on Sunday, Sherman vowed to make the Patriots receivers pay for Browner's offense.
  • -- Chris Wesseling *

Everything else ...

» Big congratulations are in order for Barrel Boy, who topped our power rankings of people who dressed up for Media Day. This a man who gives no f-words.

»Rob Gronkowski was his typical jovial self, giving his #hottake on the latest Patriots scandal: "Deflategate has nothing to do with me except maybe my spikes." He did confirm -- and I do believe this is an exclusive -- that the Gronk Party Bus is currently making its journey from Foxborough to Arizona for the big game.

» And finally, here's a thing that exists ...

Your insides will never be the same.

  • -- Dan Hanzus *

The latest Around The NFL Podcast reacts to Super Bowl Media Day and breaks down the storylines nobody is talking about. Find more Around The NFL content on NFL NOW.

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