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January 14, 2015 at 3:07 PM

Video and transcript of Richard Sherman’s Wednesday press conference

1-14 — Richard Sherman press conference

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Richard Sherman met with the media on Wednesday. He discussed his feelings on the last game where the Packers didn’t throw to his side, the greatness of Aaron Rodgers, the improvement of Russell Wilson and other things.

Here’s the transcript: 

Q: What does it take to get your respect, and where does Aaron Rodgers fit into that?

RICHARD SHERMAN: I think consistency, playing at a high level in big games, and he’s done all that. He’s been playing at a high level for a long time. He’s played big in all the big games.

He played injured last week, had a phenomenal game. And I think all those things, you know, you garner the respect of a lot of people.

 

Q: When did you suspect in that first game that they just weren’t going to throw to you?

RICHARD SHERMAN: I never suspected that. I guess when it was over. But that’s not something you think about during the game or something you just play every play like the ball’s coming your way and at the end of the day you let the chips fall where they may and what happens happens.

 

Q: Were you surprised?

 RICHARD SHERMAN: No, I got in a few tackles that game. I was in on a few run game plays, I had a good time in that game.

 

Q: Were you surprised by that, do you expect them to come your way?

RICHARD SHERMAN: I wasn’t ‑‑ I mean, I’m not surprised either way. But I expect them to execute their game plan, whatever that may be. Not sure what they’re going to do.

 

Q: You bring like a magazine or book out there in case?

RICHARD SHERMAN: (Chuckling) I’ll have to work on that. Probably not the NFC Championship, but we’ll work on that another time.

 

Q: After the game there was video with you and Aaron Rodgers after the game, you had a short conversation. It appeared that you asked him if he avoided you. And he said, Yep. Is that how you remember the conversation after the game, did he acknowledge that he avoided you?

RICHARD SHERMAN: I honestly don’t remember. I don’t remember. Sorry about that.

 

Q: With these situations do you have to resist the urge to go outside of your realm of responsibility to try to make a play?

RICHARD SHERMAN: Definitely, definitely. You’ve got to resist the urge to gamble and to try to force things to happen, to try to force them over there.

I think when I was younger I used to do that a little more than I do now. Now I just do my job and let things happen that are going to happen.

But yeah, you gotta resist the urge to try to get involved elsewhere, because that’s how you get your team beat in kind of a selfish play.

 

Q: When Kam Chancellor is playing like he was last week, what does that do for the defense?

RICHARD SHERMAN: It brings us to another level. Brings us to another level of play. I think last year in the playoffs he played at an extraordinary level. And I don’t think he got the respect he deserved then for how he was playing.

I think he had an interception in Frisco. He played lights out against the Saints. Played lights out in the Super Bowl. Interception. I think a lot of people thought he was getting MVP of that game.

And it’s exciting to see him getting the respect he deserves. But when he’s playing like this, we’re a very, very difficult defense to play against and we appreciate him, because he’s an enforcer, big‑time playmaker and big‑time player.

 

Q: Whether they throw to you or not, what do you notice about Green Bay, the way they are using their personnel on offense and trying to keep defenses off balance?

RICHARD SHERMAN: I think they’re unique in how they use Randall Cobb. I think it’s a little bit ‑‑ it’s if the way Minnesota used to use Percy [Harvin], use him out wide, put him in slot, and put him at running back and they do the same things with Cobb.

 I think they also – [Davante] Adams, they’ve begun using a little more. Jordy [Nelson], they’re using the same way. Back shoulder, throw him a deep ball here and there and throw him slants. And they’re getting their tight ends involved a little more in the red zone.

 

Q: I know there’s a few games left this season, but how would you compare and contrast this defense over the last several years with the Bears in the ’80s and the Steelers in the ’70s?

RICHARD SHERMAN: I honestly don’t know if you can. Different set of rules that we’ve got to play under than they had to play under. I said it before, they could rough a quarterback pretty good throughout the game. 

Nowadays, if you blow on them too hard, probably you’ll get kicked out of the game. So it’s just a hard comparison to make.

I think the Steelers had a fantastic secondary and “D” line, and that intimidation factor of hitting the quarterback clotheslining him, picking him up and dropping him, stuff like that. They’re human, that wears on a quarterback.

I think nowadays there’s no way you can do things like that and get away with them if you watch us play now and watch a game from the ’70s you kind of wouldn’t recognize it as the same game.

 

Q: With how you play press coverage, in the last ‑‑ first round of the playoffs there’s been a lot more holding, defensive holdings and pass interference. You didn’t get a lot of them but are the playoffs being officiated any differently in that regard?

RICHARD SHERMAN: Not to us. These are the same questions I think over and over and over that we got throughout the whole year.

You asked us that at the beginning huge emphasis for Seattle, we’ll have so many problems. I think we’re bottom in the league in holding calls and pass interference. I mean, I got nothing for you.

 

Q: What does the calf injury take away from Aaron Rodgers?

RICHARD SHERMAN: Not much. Doesn’t take away much. That was evident the last game. In the last game, he puts that zip on the ball. He has quick wrist release anyway. He doesn’t always have to drive through his throws to get them where he wants them.

I think it takes away a little of his mobility. I think a few plays that aren’t there, he’s not able to just take them and get the ten yards and first down like he usually does when he’s healthy.

I think you saw that last week. There were a few opportunities he could have probably run for the first down. And he instead threw the ball, threw the football and still made a play out of it. But I think it takes a little bit of his mobility.

But he’s still just as tough a ball player to play against.

 

Q: Specific to Randall Cobb, when they line him up 12, 15, 18 plays in the backfield, what do you guys really have to be ready for?

RICHARD SHERMAN: Nothing different. Honestly. To us. I mean we treat him like a running back would be in the backfield if they run the football, we play like a run play. Everybody attacks their gaps and we get them down.

So I don’t think it changes it in that regard. I think for some teams I guess they try to match personnel a little differently than we do. I think for our playing and our defense it doesn’t really change very much for us.

 

Q: What did you think of Rodgers’ touchdown pass to Richard Rodgers in the window last week?

 RICHARD SHERMAN: It was a gutsy, gutsy, gutsy throw. I think if he’s healthy, he runs that football and he probably runs it in. But when you have a safety closing in from one side and a corner closing in and window closing quickly and you’re on a bum calf and not a lot of people would even attempt to make that play. And it’s just a testament to who he is as a player.

 

Q: What does it tell you about the NFL today that the four teams left have the four quarterbacks that they do, Luck, Brady, Rodgers and your guy?

RICHARD SHERMAN: I think it’s right the way the NFL wants it. I think they have some of the best offenses in the game in the playoffs left. They have some of the best quarterbacks. I think this is a quarterback‑driven league and it has been and that’s the way they want it to be. So I think the league is excited about that.

 

Q: What’s your feeling on how much they’re going to throw it?

RICHARD SHERMAN: I honestly don’t have a good feeling. I guess as much as needed. I don’t really have a gut feeling about how it’s going to go.

 

Q: Russell thinks you’re a stronger team than you were last year. In your estimation, how has your defense improved even though you’ve lost some guys, what guys in particular have really stepped up, have really come to the fore this year?

RICHARD SHERMAN: Before his injury Jordan Hill stepped up tremendously. He had a phenomenal year, phenomenal six games before the injury. 

Kevin Williams was a fantastic addition for us. Michael Bennett, you can’t say enough about his contributions in a number of spots. Cliff Avril. Bruce Irvin played fantastic. The whole linebacking corps, K.J. Wright, Bobby Wagner have grown. It’s been a steady growth year to year but they played lights out this year.

I guess it’s just continuity. Every year you’re either getting better or worse. We have such a young unit, young team, young secondary, young linebacking corps, young offense, that we have to get better from year to year. It’s my fourth year. It’s Earl [Thomas], Kam’s [Chancellor] fifth year, Bobby Wagner’s third, and K.J. Wright’s fourth. Bruce Irvin, third. We’re a very young team. Byron Maxwell, his fourth.

I think every year you’re going to see improvements, understanding and how the game is played.

 

Q: On Kevin Williams…

RICHARD SHERMAN: 94, the 12‑year veteran? I think he brought that veteran mentality to us. He did a great job of helping us understand different things. He’s an older player.

He’s been around the block. He’s seen some things, and we appreciate his veteran mentality.

 

Q: What’s your take on the way Eddie Lacy has been running the football?

RICHARD SHERMAN: I think he’s been running it well. I think he’s been running hard and getting his yards. And I think that’s the element that they’re very excited about, because you always want that balance, especially in playoffs.

 

Q: Have you had any chance to reflect on the opportunity you’ve had not only to just play in two NFC championships in a row but to be able to do it at home?

RICHARD SHERMAN: Not really, honestly. I think all those kind of revelations and understandings and things come after the season. You kind of sit back and take a breath after the season and realize all the special things that happen. But during the season you just kind of take it as a whirlwind, keep tunnel vision and let things happen.

 

Q: Davante Adams was on the field for eight snaps in week one, obviously bigger factor last week. What do you see and what does he add to their offense?

RICHARD SHERMAN: They threw him the ball and he caught it. That’s pretty much all I saw.

 

Q: You see Russell Wilson every day, where has he really grown most as a passer?

RICHARD SHERMAN: I think he’s grown most in his timing. He hits that back foot and the ball’s gone. I don’t think he’s waiting. I think he’s trusting his arm, trusting his read, and he’s really making some incredible passes.

He made an incredible pass to Paul Richardson last week, through a very, very small window. And to the naked eye it just looked like a regular pass, a completion, I think 22‑yard gain. But to somebody who knows the game, they understood that Luke Kuechly was closing on the ball, corner was closing from the other side, and he drilled it in there.

 

Q: Does it feel like teams have thrown your way more or less this season?

RICHARD SHERMAN: I guess it seems like they’ve thrown it less. I guess I’d have to look at the numbers. But feels like I haven’t gotten as many opportunities. But who knows.

 

Q: Are you flattered by that or would you like more action?

RICHARD SHERMAN: I like to play the game. I like to play like everybody else. I guess everybody sees it a different way. But I mean when you get balls thrown your way you get a chance to be involved and make plays. I mean, there’s also the chance for another guy to make a play as well. But it’s football.

 

Q: Seems like your run tackling has improved a lot this year. Has that been a point of focus for you?

RICHARD SHERMAN: You know, I appreciate those questions. Yes, it has been a point of emphasis for me. Something I’ve worked on a lot in this offseason. It’s something that helps your defense a lot when corners come up and tackle, not just tackle but tackle closer to the line of scrimmage and get tackles for loss from time to time. 

I think that just adds another element, because a lot of times teams don’t even account for corners and the run game fits. A lot of times they’ll tell the linemen pass the corners and go get the safety or get the linebacker because they’ll expect the running back to break through the corner’s tackle. So it’s something that I thought would help our defense improve.

 

Q: Hall of Famer Mean Joe Greene recently said the only time he’s really entertained by the NFL is watching the Seahawks and the defense is probably a dying breed because of the emphasis on offense in the NFL. What do you think about it?

RICHARD SHERMAN: That’s big time. I appreciate you, Mean Joe Greene. That’s a big‑time compliment from a great player. We appreciate it, and we try to play the old school way. We take pride in what we do. We take pride in keeping points off the board and keeping yards down as much as we can.

But in this day and age, it’s really tough. It’s really tough. Playing by every rule and doing everything right, because even when you’re playing by every rule and you’re playing fast enough, you break a couple from hitting a guy too high, when you’re making full speed decisions or one of your “D” linemen is doing his best to rush the passer and accidentally, fingertip hits the quarterback’s helmet, you get a flag there. A “D” lineman fighting hard, gets knocked to the ground and fights and sacks the quarterback, gets a 15‑yard penalty. These rules are hard for the defense. We appreciate him noticing what we’re doing.

 

Q: Pete Carroll said he talked to you after the Green Bay game in the locker room, look, this is a sign of respect, don’t get frustrated about it. Do you remember that conversation?

RICHARD SHERMAN: I do.

 

Q: What exactly did he say?

RICHARD SHERMAN: That’s what he said. He said don’t get frustrated, this isn’t going to be the only time it happens. Treat it as a sign of respect. Just stay locked in, continue to do your job, and we appreciate your contributions. Don’t treat it like you’re not adding anything to the team, you’re not contributing.

Because that’s kind of how you feel after a game like that, you feel like you haven’t contributed anything. Everybody’s like, man, that’s cool, nobody threw to your side. But if you’re a player, you want to make plays in the game, you feel you can help your team you want the ball coming your way more.

 

Q: At that time how frustrated were you?

RICHARD SHERMAN: On a scale of 1 to 10 …. 12.

 

Q: Your defense during the win streak, you’ve not given up a fourth quarter point until up 31‑10 last week in the divisional round. How frustrated are you when you eventually give that up? Is that something, a point of pride you want to keep going?

RICHARD SHERMAN: You never want to give up points, period, honestly. We don’t care, fourth quarter, first quarter, second quarter, third quarter, we don’t want to give up points. We gave that one up.

It wasn’t like we just wanted to concede any points. So we are frustrated with that. We could have kept those points off the board. But it is what it is.

We just want to play hard and play at a high level and things will happen. History will be made or whatever will happen, but all we can do is our best.

 

Q: Why have you been so good defensively in the fourth quarter? Are you just great at adjustments with this team?

RICHARD SHERMAN: I don’t know. I guess we just play harder longer.

 

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