Richard Sherman was his usual entertaining self on the podium. Always thoughtful, never at a loss for words, the all-pro cornerback had some interesting things to say, particularly about the rivalry with the Niners (video above).
“There’s no love lost, there’s no love found,” he said. “That’s how I’d characterize it. It’s going to be intense. It’s going to be physical. I don’t know if there’s going to be handshakes after this one.”
Sherman was asked about it being labeled ”passionate hate.”
“I don’t hate anybody, I don’t think hate would be a word, but passion definitely,” he said. “There will be some passion. There will be some dislike, some strong dislike. But there’ll be some intensity – it’s playoff football. So even if we weren’t two teams that were very familiar with each other, it’s playoff football. There’s going to be a lot of intensity and chippiness. It’s going to be a hardfought game.”
There won’t be added intensity to deal with. It’s always been there.
“We have championship opportunities every week, so it doesn’t change for us,” he said. “Our aggression and our intensity is the same as it’s ever been. Our practice is the same as they’ve been.”
After being asked about Pete Carroll’s coaching style, Sherman went into a lengthy explanation that Carroll allows them to be themselves within the framework of the team. It’s why Sherman can dance at practice and Earl Thomas can trash talk to receivers and Russell Wilson can be, well, like a robot QB leader sent from year 2259 to lead the Seahawks.
Could he do that under Jim Harbaugh at Stanford?
“A lot less so,” he said with a laugh.
So what was it like under Harbaugh trying keep his personality bottled up?
“You just don’t say as much,” he said. “You keep it simple. You are asked, ‘Do you think you guys are going to win?’ You say, ‘I think it’s going to be a tough battle.’ You shorten the answers and make sure that it doesn’t get too elongated.”
Sherman was asked if it was mind boggling that he wasn’t drafted till the fifth round.
“It’s incredibly mind boggling,” he said. “It’s with me every single day. I still look at the write-ups people wrote. They say, ‘He’s stiff. He has not ball skills. He doesn’t have the instincts, to play corner.’ I think about them every day. I look at the clippings. A lot of people tell you not to read your news clippings, I read them every day. Anything negative someone says about me, I find it. I use it as fuel. I used to make that chip a little bigger so that things like all-pros, and pro bowls don’t mean as much. You stay focused on the chip.”
The Carolina Panthers got caught up in the machinations and talk of the Niners’ receivers, particularly Anquan Boldin. Sherman doesn’t think his teammates will lose their cool.
“We won’t get caught up in the moment,” Sherman said. “I think we have disciplined football team who understands those moments and the intensity of playoff football. We’ll deal with it well. You go out there and compete. If that’s how he competes, and he wants to yak, then we’ll deal with him. But you don’t have to head butt him and do all this crazy stuff to react him. You stop him. If you don’t want him in your face every play, then you shut him down.”
And here’s one more video of Sherman talking about refs not calling as many penalties in the postseason.