Seattle's Sherman surprised by public reaction

Published on NewsOK Modified: January 22, 2014 at 6:20 pm •  Published: January 22, 2014
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RENTON, Wash. (AP) — Richard Sherman wondered if he came to the NFL 20 years too late.

The Seattle Seahawks' All-Pro cornerback wondered if his swagger might have fit better a few decades earlier when that confidence and an unfiltered tongue was perhaps more accepted.

"I studied the old school game more than I studied the new school game, and I play it that way. It rubs a lot of people the wrong way," Sherman said Wednesday. "Giving a true speech after a game, a true passionate speech is old school football. Playing press corner and sitting up there every play is old school football. I guess maybe I just haven't adjusted to the times."

Sherman spoke at length for the first time since Sunday's NFC championship game win over San Francisco where his postgame comments to Fox reporter Erin Andrews became the talking point. It was a loud, emotional moment that happened just a few minutes after the Seahawks earned the second Super Bowl berth in franchise history.

Sherman was at the center of the decisive play, deflecting a pass intended for Michael Crabtree in the end zone and watching teammate Malcolm Smith run over to intercept it to clinch the victory. Sherman's ensuing remarks were directed mostly at Crabtree but his intense, shouting delivery is what took people aback.

Sherman said the reaction that followed over the next two days left him a little stunned as well.

"I was surprised by it. Because we're talking about football here and a lot of people took it a little bit further than football." Sherman said. "I guess some people showed how far we have really come in this day and age and it was kind of profound what happened and people's opinions of that nature, because I was on a football field showing passion. Maybe it was misdirected, maybe things may have been immature, maybe things could have been worded better but this is on a football field. I didn't commit any crimes, I wasn't doing anything illegal. I was showing passion after a football game."

Sherman apologized for taking away the spotlight from the performances by some of his teammates. Marshawn Lynch's 109 yards rushing and 40-yard touchdown, Jermaine Kearse's 35-yard touchdown catch on fourth-down and Bobby Wagner's 15 tackles all became secondary to Sherman's words.

What seemed to bother Sherman the most in the fallout was hearing the word "thug" attached to his name.