Seattle cornerback Richard Sherman gave one of his more entertaining press conferences today, lobbying for teammates to get to the Pro Bowl, promising that turnovers will come for the defense soon and saying the team is far from satisfied with how it is playing.
Sherman also was asked whether Dez Bryant matters in the NFL, a reference to his statement about Pierre Garcon after the win over Washington Monday.
“He does,” Sherman said with a smile. “He matters a great deal.”
Sherman had been peeved that Garcon tried to pull his hair during the game. Asked what he thought happened, Sherman said: “you saw it. I don’t know what he was thinking” and then said everything that happened with Garcon in the game was just “a lot of things that don’t matter.”
You can see some video of what else Sherman had to say today as well as some transcribed quotes below:
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(On WR Dez Bryant) He’s up there. Dez is an incredible talent. Obviously his resume speaks for itself, but he does a great job getting open, playing the ball in the air. He made fantastic play for them last week which is indicative of what he can do when the ball is in the air.
(On WR Dez Bryant’s strength) He’s definitely physical throughout the route, especially in the red zone; they use him a lot on those fade balls and he does a great job of creating separation and catching the ball with his hands.
(On countering WR Dez Bryant’s strength) There’s numerous ways; I’ll show you better than I can tell you.
(On his thoughts about the interception total being down) Not really; people are playing a little bit more conservative. Obviously, they’d rather check the ball down and do things like that than to give us a chance at it which is fine; we’re winning ball games.
(On campaigning for teammates for the Pro Bowl) Yes, thank you very much. Bobby Wagner is having an incredible year. Obviously, the last couple years, our linebackers have been a little bit over shadowed; K.J. Wright also. Bobby Wagner was up there, I think maybe a few tackles above Luke Kuechly last year, and nobody gave him even a pro bowl nod. So voters, everybody out there, Bobby Wagner is a pro bowl player. He should be in the Defensive Player of the Year race as well.
(On does he feel guilty for linebackers being overlooked) No; not at all. We’re not the ones overlooking them. I feel like they deserve a lot more credit than they’ve been given. I felt like Bobby had a pro bowl season last year with the turnovers he created, the sacks, and the tackles. There are other guys in the pro bowl with similar or less stats than he had and for him not to get the nod was kind of weird. We had three guys on the number one defense go to the pro bowl and you got six guys here, seven guys here from this team, from this defense whose defense wasn’t playing as good as ours; those are the kinds of things you get frustrated with when you got a guy like Bobby Wagner and K.J. Wright who should be in the pro bowl, who should be on the All-Pro teams getting overlooked on a great defense.
(On it being an elevation of LB Bobby Wagner’s play or continuation) It’s a continuation. I think he was among the leaders in tackles last year for the league and he missed two games. I think he was three or four tackles away from being the league leader and he missed two full games of the season. I think that’s an incredible stat; he played very well in the playoffs. Obviously, Malcolm Smith also played well down the stretch as evidenced by his Super Bowl MVP, but K.J. [Wright] is always consistent, he’s always been consistent since we got here and he’s stepped in the role early on in his career as a Sam linebacker; he’s played Sam, Mike, Will, and I think all of that should be considered.
(On him helping LB Bobby Wagner on interceptions) You know he usually catches those. I think his hands might have been too rough from getting the three TFLs [Tackle for Losses] and the sack.
(On suggestions for nicknaming the linebackers) That’s interesting. I got nothing for you right now. They’re a great group, they’re just under-rated right now; they’re the over-looked guys right now and I think that should change. Hopefully, this helps change it cause people should start watching them a little more they do a great job.
(On DT Brandon Mebane) C’mon. This is probably a three years running pro bowl snub. Brandon Mebane is like the engine that helps our defense go. Last game, he, Tony McDaniel, Kevin Williams in the middle, they did it — Michael Bennett — they all did a fantastic job stuffing the run. We’re the number one run defense for a reason but those guys are a huge part of it. Those guys are doing a great job; Brandon Mebane does not move, he’s an immovable object out there and he does a fantastic job with his hands. He’s an incredibly technical player in his movements and everything he does; he’s rarely out of position, he’s rarely out of the play and he does a great job running to the ball. You rarely see a defensive tackle running making tackles on the sideline or a tackle on screen plays and he does all that, but once again, he’s overlooked because I guess his stats aren’t there, he’s not a big sack total guy, he’s just a guy that does his job incredibly well week in and week out.
(On how motivated is the locker room about league achievements) Not at all actually; a lot of guys just motivated by a win. Guys just want to win, whatever it takes to win. They can care less about pro bowls, all-pros, etc. They just want to win ball games and I think that’s what sets us apart; it’s a very unselfish locker room. I think guys play that way; a guy is not going to sacrifice the integrity of the defense or the offense to make a big play for him selfishly. He’s going to do what’s in the scheme and if it allows him to make a play then he’s going to make it.
(On speaking of the scheme of things within the safety play and deep middle) Yeah, yeah I don’t think they’re going to put me back deep very often anymore. That was interesting. It was actually cover two when they had me at safety. They send two seams at you and you have to pick one and you pick your poison with that play. But I think we’re effectively going to throw that one out.
(On what he feels is still lacking within the defense) We’ve stopped the run very well. I think we improved on third down this week that’s something we’ve been working on, a few of them got away from us that we could have stopped. We’ve been doing a great job of being disciplined and sound. You know obviously we gave a few plays last week and those are fixable plays. Like you said it was under unique circumstances that the plays were given up. I think we’re playing sound overall obviously we’re the kind of team where we’re 3-1 and if you were in the locker room right night you’d feel like you were going in the locker room of a 1-3 team the way guys are still hungry and after it. Guys are far from content and actually kind of frustrated with how close games have been and how things have gone.
(On evaluating QB Russell Wilson’s TV accomplishments as a pitch man) I think he does a great job. He’s done some unique commercials. My favorite is where he played a football player, he played a quarterback and I was like whoa that’s unique for him. Nah I’m just messing with you. I think the one where he is getting his hair cut is my favorite. I think it’s for Microsoft or something and he’s getting his hair cut and he’s walking around drawing up plays. I thought that was pretty funny.
(On if he thinks QB Russell Wilson should be marketable to the entire league) I would think so. He is a great player in this league. For some reason they keep calling him not elite and he keeps on winning. So I don’t know how that goes but he’s a great player in this league and when you play as well as he’s played and consistent as he has been he’s going to get an opportunity to sponsor some brands and be an ambassador for some other brands.
(On facing more passing games that are more conservative and if anything is changing based on the quick passing game) Truthfully it’s not changing much that we do. We’re just rallying to it and tackling just like we’ve always done. Because you can’t get caught up on the short passing game because then you have guys running up and a guy running in behind you so we are just continuing to do what we do. Obviously it’s worked for us before and it’ll continue to work for us again.
(On if he feels that as a pass defense are dictating what offenses do) Somewhat. I think we have an influence on it. I think Earl Thomas back there in the middle field having a great influence. I think Kam Chancellor is having a great impact and I think schematically we know where we want to get the ball. We know where the weaknesses of the defense are. We know where the strengths of the defenses are. We try to play accordingly.
(On the kinds of stress that is put on the cornerback when zigging and zagging and facing quarterbacks like Russell Wilson) I mean it’s tough. Just like playing Aaron (Rodgers), A-Rod, he finds a way to create space, create time, for his receivers to get open and it puts a lot of stress on the defense because you have to trust that everybody plasters to the receiver that is nearest to him because when he scrambles out it creates more time and defenses aren’t built to last five, six, seven, seconds down the field so guys have to find whatever guys are in their zone and stick to them. Sometimes that’s difficult because some guys aren’t in a zone or some guys are right behind them and you’re chasing them down anyways. So it creates a lot of stress in the defense in an incredibly tough situation.
(On if he’s noticed the point of emphasis the league has made about abusive language on the field and what’s being said currently) No. I have not. Not in our games. I don’t think we’ve seen it called once against us or for us. I haven’t noticed it. I have seen a couple people get fined for etc etc… and a couple other guys get called for it. But I haven’t heard what they said or been part of. So I haven’t seen it much.
(On how anxious he is for an interception and how much it matters to him) No, no it doesn’t matter. You get anxious for them and then you let your defense down, you start gambling, you start doing things like that. You know, it’ll come within the scheme. Obviously if we win in ball games, interceptions totals and things like that don’t matter because you’re winning. If the opportunity presents itself, we’ll capitalize.