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Meteorologist turned Super Bowl champion weighs in on playing in elements

Who's better to talk about the weather's impact on games than a meteorologist who played in the NFL and won a Super Bowl?

BUFFALO, N.Y. — Before Owen Daniels played with Peyton Manning and helped the Broncos win Super Bowl 50, he earned his Bachelors of Science in Atmospheric Science from the University of Wisconsin in Madison.

Earlier this week Storm Team 2's Elyse Smith talked remotely with Owen about his time in the NFL and, of course, the weather. 

Looking ahead to Sunday’s AFC Championship game, the forecast is, again, another element to consider. Conditions at kickoff include temperatures in the upper 30s with scattered light rain and drizzle lingering through the game. Owen admittedly said that cold and rainy are, "just about the worst conditions as a player you want to play in.” 

In his experience, he said that adjustments are made when facing a game that will be played in an open-air stadium, especially so when rain, snow or wind is in the forecast. 

One example Daniels gave was a team is preparing for a game with heavy rain. A day or two before, coaches and staff would dunk footballs in bucket or spray them with water so that the offense could get some practice handling a wet football. 

Furthermore, he noted that the coaches usually don't like to give away how they adjust their game plan for the weather. "But it is a real thing ... and sometimes adjusting is the right move. Whatever it takes to get the win," he said. 

As far as his advice for the AFC championship game Sunday: “Don’t let the potential for sloppy conditions get in your head." 

He said he would love to see a Bills-Packers Super Bowl, and as a former tight end, he'll specifically will be watching Dawson Knox. He said that there’s always a guy on championship weekend who steps up with some big plays, and he thinks Knox could be that guy this time around.

That was his experience in the 2015 season's AFC championship game, where he scored two touchdowns against the Patriots, helping the team clinch clinch a berth in Super Bowl 50. 

Growing up in the Chicagloand area, Owen Daniels was, at first, afraid of storms and high winds. But his curiosity for the weather lead him to pursue a degree in science while playing football in college.

Upon graduation, he would be chosen in the fourth round as the 98th pick in the 2006 NFL Draft by the Houston Texans. He then retired as a Denver Bronco after becoming a Super Bowl champion in Super Bowl 50.