JERSEY CITY, N.J. (AP) — From the moment he went to the podium, it was clear that Richard Sherman was enjoying the hype at the start Super Bowl week.
The Seahawks' loquacious cornerback smiled and laughed. He never shied away from questions about his postgame rant about Michael Crabtree immediately after Seattle won the NFC title last weekend and when it came time to get serious about himself he gave thoughtful answers.
What Sherman didn't do for the dozen camera crews and 50 members of the media at the Seahawks' news conference after landing in New Jersey was create any banner headlines or billboard material for the Super Bowl against the Denver Broncos.
He's learned from the uproar over his comments last week, when many came away with a poor opinion of him.
"I still enjoy that because you're learning, constantly learning and constantly growing as a person," Sherman said Sunday night. "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."
His focus this week is on the Broncos and the title game at MetLife Stadium.
There were no harsh words. He talked about his respect for the Broncos' top-ranked offense, his friendship with Denver receiver Demaryius Thomas and the fact that the blowup with Crabtree led to a good discussion about race relations.
"I think it did have some effect on opening up the channels of communication and conversation and dialogue," Sherman said. "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."