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The Atlanta Falcons don't have a lot of Super Bowl experience.
So Dwight Freeney will play a very important role in the lead-up to the big game.
The 36-year-old Freeney, who played on both winning and losing Super Bowl teams at Indianapolis, has already been advising his Atlanta teammates on all the distractions they'll have to deal with before facing the New England Patriots.
(Margaret Bowles via AP)
More important, perhaps, he's talked them about the emotions they'll have to deal with as well.
"You're going to try to suppress it, but's going to be hard," Freeney said. "Throughout your whole entire career and life, this has been your goal: to be in the Super Bowl. It's hard to bring that stuff down, but you're going to have to."
The defensive end says there are two moments that still stand out for him.
"Running through the tunnel (just before the game), it's amazing," he said. "And kickoff, seeing all the lights flash. Two moments prior to the Super Bowl actually starting are absolutely mind-blowing to be part of."
(AP Photo/Scott Boehm)
Does the game ever seem normal?
"Yeah, after the first play," Freeney said with a chuckle. "After someone hits you, you hit them and all of a sudden you're like, 'Wait a minute, let me snap back into this thing. This is football. We're here to play football.'"
Freeney is one of four Falcons who have played in a Super Bowl. The others are defensive tackle Courtney Upshaw, linebacker Philip Wheeler and safety Dashon Goldson.
Defensive tackle Joe Vellano was on the Patriots' Super Bowl-winning team two years ago but wasn't active for the title game.