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January 26, 2014 at 9:17 PM

Richard Sherman: “I’m just a guy trying to be the best”

And here’s some of what Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman had to say when he met the media today:

On Denver WR Demaryius Thomas: “I definitely think he’s in the top five. He’s put together a heck of a year and done everything in his power to put himself in that conversation. He’s made the big catches. He’s made a lot of runs after the catch and turned small plays into huge plays. I think that he’s a great receiver, and he’s a great competitor. It’s going to be a fun matchup between both of us, because we’re both intense competitors and good friends.”

On Denver having more cold weather playing experience: “I’m not sure how much it’ll help. They have a little more experience in it than we do. I think we’ll just approach the situation as we always do. You go out there, you play hard, you play disciplined, you play sound, and you try not to worry about the difficulties of the weather or whatever else happens out there.”

On Seattle being a young, inexperienced team: “I’ve never seen experience playing a game. We don’t worry about things like that. We didn’t have any experience in the NFC Championship either, and we did fine there. I think us treating every week like a championship experience, like a championship game has helped us kind of look at every game the same, and every game has a tremendous impact and is of tremendous importance to us. I don’t think anything changes this week for us in that regard.”

On his sound bites potentially being used in Denver’s locker room: “I think you’re always cognizant of it as a football player, especially in today’s world where everybody’s looking for a story, everybody’s trying to get their name in a paper. Everybody’s looking to get the quickest headline they can. Everybody else is just going to jump on. I think everyone’s cognizant of it, and everyone’s aware of what could happen if they gave potential sound bites, but it’s all going to come down to who plays the best football, so none of that is going to be relevant.”

On disrupting QB Peyton Manning and Denver’s offense: “I think the only way you can do that is to focus on yourself and focus on what you have to do, playing disciplined, sound football, being where you’re supposed to be when you’re supposed to be there and not really worrying about what they have to do. You can study the film; you can do everything and prepare yourself as best you can, but after that it really comes down to the execution. If you’re worrying about them executing and you’re not executing, then you don’t have a chance anyway.”

On Denver CB Champ Bailey: “I think Champ Bailey is a fantastic person and player, and I think he’s going to be a Hall of Famer once his career’s done. He’s kind of laid out the base work to be a lock-down corner in this league. He did it for a long time, and he’s still doing it. For him to get to a Super Bowl is a great accomplishment for him, especially at 15 years in the game. That’s not easy to do. I think you’ve got to tip your hat off to him.”

On being cautious of what he says: “It’s not that much different than your regular…you can’t say crazy stuff on a regular basis so I don’t think being at the Super Bowl makes it any different. It’ll just be a huge stage that you made a mistake on instead of a smaller stage. In the NFL with social media and everything, all the technology nowadays, anytime you say anything it’s going to spread quick.”

On preparing for the Super Bowl: “We have to continue to do what we’ve been doing. We have to continue to work hard, we have to continue to prepare, continue to watch film and not be distracted by the elements, not be distracted by the stage and the media and everything else that takes away from your normal routine as a football player. I think if guys can get back to their routines, we’ll be fine.”

On if his life has changed in the last week: “Not too much. I’ve made it to the Super Bowl, so it’s changed in that regard. I’ve gotten a few more phone calls, congratulatory phone calls, but it hasn’t changed much. We have one more game to play, and we’ve been preparing like it’s another game, and that’s status quo.”

On his comments after the NFC Championship: “I still enjoy that because you’re learning, constantly learning and constantly growing as a person. You’re constantly figuring out how the world works, how you can affect the world and how your words affect kids. I really want to affect kids and influence and inspire kids to really reach their full potential and live their life goals and go out there and make the world a better place, so if I can do that on this stage, it’s a great blessing.”

On this Super Bowl matchup: “I think we have a team full of competitors who want to go against the best team, the best offense, the number one offense, the number one quarterback, who has thrown the most touchdowns. We have a tremendous amount of respect for them because we know their resume and their reputation. We’re going to go out there and try to execute, and it’s going to be a battle of wills. It’s going to be a fun game for us.”

On his comments after the NFC Championship overshadowing his play: “I think in some people’s eyes, the comments overshadow the play because that’s what they were focusing on, but some people actually focused on the game and they noticed the play and understood what kind of play it was.”

On being referred to as a thug: “I think it did have some effect on opening up the channels of communication and conversation and dialogue. I think I had some impact on it, and I want to have a positive impact. I want people to understand that everybody should be judged by their character and who they are as a person and not by the color of their skin. I think that’s something we’ve worked to get past as a nation, as a country and we’re continuing to work on it. It’s healthy. Everything that happened, all the people who sent the messages, who tweeted what they tweeted, it ends up turning around to be a positive because it opens back up the discussion and people begin to get more educated. Anytime you get more knowledge, you’re more powerful as a person.”

On the LOB nickname: “L-O-B, Legion of Boom, it’s brought us together as a secondary and really brought us together as a family and a brotherhood. It gave us something to fall back on, something that we really could tip our hat on, that we could really say, ‘We’ve made it. We made this. This is who we are. This is what we are. This is our personality. This is our group.’ I think it also shows the depth. Legion is a vast army. It shows the depth and incorporates everything into it. We boom. You’ve got Kam Chancellor out there who’s probably the most physical safety in the league. He booms. He’s the enforcer in the Legion of Boom. Earl Thomas is a speed demon. Byron Maxwell makes plays every game. I think all that comes together, all the guys are together a great group. For the team, we try to be the spark plug. We’ve tried to be the energy. When a play needs to be made, we try to be the guys to make the play. I think our team accepts and appreciates our role.”

On Super Bowl experience: “I don’t think Super Bowl experience really counts for that much in a game like this. At the end of the day, I don’t know how much the Baltimore Ravens and (Joe) Flacco had, but they didn’t seem to do too bad. Both teams last year didn’t have very much Super Bowl experience, and it was still a great game at the end of the day. It’s still a football game…we’ll go out there and play.”

On who he really is: “I’m just a guy trying to be the best, a guy that wants to help his team win and is a fiery competitor who goes out there and puts his life into his work and puts his everything and his passion into his work, a guy that’s come from humble beginnings and came from a place not a lot people make it out of. I’m just trying to affect the world in a positive way.”

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