Indianapolis linebacker Rob Morris and Chicago offensive tackle John Tait started while Chicago tight end Gabe Reid saw extensive playing time in Super Bowl XLI.
For the third year in a row the Brigham Young University football program found itself among the elite in terms of representation in the Super Bowl and for the third year in a row the former Cougars playing in the Super Bowl did not disappoint. BYU was represented by three former Cougars in this year's Super Bowl (more than any other college program but two), including two starters. Indianapolis linebacker Rob Morris and Chicago offensive tackle John Tait started while Chicago tight end Gabe Reid saw extensive playing time in Super Bowl XLI.
Morris was instrumental both in the Colts getting to the Super Bowl and in the Colts' 29-17 Super Bowl victory over the Bears. Morris started and recorded four solo tackles on football's grandest stage. His three solo tackles in the first half -- while Chicago still was running the football with regularity -- led the Colts.
Morris started all four Colts' playoff games and ranked sixth in the entire NFL in postseason tackles with 22. He recorded one solo tackle in the Colts' Wild Card win over Kansas City, 10 total tackles, including seven solo, and one quarterback hurry in the Colts' divisional playoff victory over Baltimore, and seven total tackles, including six solo, in the Colts' AFC Championship win over New England. Morris led the Colts in tackles against Baltimore and ranked second in the win over New England.
Despite the hype leading up to Super Bowl XLI, Morris said it felt like another game once the hype ended and the ball finally was kicked off. "The whole two weeks leading up to the Super Bowl was a zoo. I thought the game itself would be different, but once it started it felt like another football game," said Morris.
Morris found that the post-game celebration was far from another game, however. "The after-Super Bowl stuff was crazy. The win didn't really sink in until the next day at the parade in Indianapolis."
Morris, a veteran on the Colts' defensive unit, naturally was pleased with the play of the Colts' defense, which sparked the team's run to the Super Bowl. "It was nice. Nobody gave us much of a chance. Tony [Dungy] says it all the time -- it's about getting on a roll."
Morris, as much as anyone on the defensive side of the ball, was on a roll as the Colts made their Super Bowl run. The Colts' defense's increased production coincided with his insertion into the starting lineup. "It's nice to be a part of the winning, but I would have enjoyed it whether I was starting or not. It's just nice to contribute in whatever way I can."
Although the humble Morris deflected any credit for the Colts' success, he did point to BYU and the role his alma mater played in helping prepare him for the NFL. "Being around a program like BYU's that sends a lot of guys to the NFL -- seeing the Steve Youngs and Chad Lewises -- gives players confidence. And it's fun to be around other BYU players in the NFL; we get together and tell war stories."
Morris also noted the upward direction of BYU's program under head coach Bronco Mendenhall. "Bronco has done a great job reaching out to former players and he's really got the program going in the right direction. It's exciting."
Not surprisingly, the Colts moved quickly to re-sign Rob Morris after the Super Bowl. As for repeating as Super Bowl champions, Morris has not thought that far ahead. "The thought never crossed my mind. It would be great, but you first have to get into the playoffs, which is never easy in the NFL." It may not be easy to repeat as Super Bowl champions, but the Colts have to like their chances with former BYU standout Rob Morris returning to man the linebacker position.