Two Seahawks standouts have put themselves solidly in the discussion for NFL Defensive Player of the Year: safety Earl Thomas and cornerback Richard Sherman.
Sherman held his weekly news conference Thursday and was asked about who gets his vote:
“I would have to give it to Earl,” he said. “I think if there’s anywhere the Defensive Player of the Year should be, it should be in Seattle, whether it’s myself or Earl. But I think Earl is having a fantastic year. … He’s flying around, tackling everywhere, forcing fumbles, getting interceptions — I don’t think there’s anybody out there playing better defense.”
“Our defense is No. 1 in the league, so usually with the quarterback with the best record and the best receivers isn’t punished for that, so don’t punish one of the best players on the best defense. I think he should get it.”
Overall, Sherman said the Seahawks defense still has room for improvement, specifically mentioning explosive plays. Holding two of the last three opponents to under 200 yards, however, shows the group has been getting standout play recently at all three levels: defensive line, linebacker and secondary.
“I think we’re finally getting close to playing up to our potential in every phrase,” Sherman said.
“All of that together helps to create a very sound and stout defense.”
Here are some other highlights:
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On the Brandon Browner news: “I’ll let the legal system figure that out. He’s got all my support, and everything with us, we’re with him.”
On the Seahawks being able to find productive defensive backs in later rounds of the draft: “It helps when you don’t listen to the idiots in the draft room. When you don’t listen to the idiots, you find players like Jeremy Lane and Byron Maxwell and myself and Kam Chancellor. The list goes on — Russell Wilson — but if you sit there and listen to the idiots like Mel Kiper and Todd McShay and things like that, you miss a lot of good players.”
On if there has been any reaction from the league to his column on playing the Super Bowl in the snow, and if the road game in New York was the impetus behind it: “I haven’t gotten any yet. I’d love to hear what they have to say. … It kind of crystallized after watching the beginning of the (Detroit-Philadelphia) game and the guys playing in mounds of snow, mountains of snow, and not being able to run, not being able to cut, fumbling the snap over and over, dropping easy passes because I doubt they could even feel the ball. After you watch that, you see how tough it is to play in the snow.”
On actually being thrown at and tested last game: “It’s exciting, man. It’s fun when you’re actually a part of the game and you get to make some plays, or you get a chance to make a play on the ball and your teammates get involved. Earl got a pick; I’m sure he was happy about that. Just being able to see the ball come your way is exciting. I think it’s good to see your teammates like Byron Maxwell and Jeremy Lane play as well as they did, to showcase their talents and do everything they were able to do in that game in creating turnovers and just playing a good sound football game. It’s exciting. It was fun, and hopefully games will continue to be that way.”
On winning Defensive Player of the Week: “That was fun. It’s a tremendous honor. It’s humbling when you have great teammates like Earl Thomas and Byron Maxwell also having fantastic games, guys like (Carolina’s) Captain Munnerlyn, who had a fanstastic game. To win that award in Seattle is awesome.”
On facing Larry Fitzgerald: “Well, he’s one of the best receivers to ever play in this league. I think his résumé speaks for itself. You give him tremendous amount of respect and you also give the guy on the other side (Michael Floyd) a tremendous amount of respect for the things they’ve been able to do this season with the explosive plays, the big plays, the big catches. They’re both really close to 1,000 yards. That isn’t easy to do in this league.”
On his dance moves last game: “During the timeouts … you get bored out there. They play some pretty cool tunes, and if the rhythm gets in your body and it gets to your feet, then that’s the result.”
On Stanford, a six-time NCAA volleyball champion, not being in the final four: “Because they can’t win it every year, guys. They can’t win it every year.”
Here is some video of Sherman today: