Dan Graziano | ESPN.com
JERSEY CITY, N.J. — He wore his black Beats by Dre headphones around his neck, as he does in the commercial, but Richard Sherman never felt the need to put them on his ears during his first news conference of Super Bowl week.
The Seattle Seahawks‘ loquacious and controversial cornerback held court at the team hotel Sunday just after the team arrived from Newark Airport, and he spoke openly about the firestorm his post-NFC Championship Game outburst had created.
Sherman said he didn’t regret the controversy he caused or his place at the center of it, and that he believes the craziness that enveloped the Seahawks’ practices last week may have even helped his team prepare for the craziness to come this week in advance of Sunday’s Super Bowl matchup against the Denver Broncos.
“I definitely think it helped,” Sherman said. “Everybody getting the chance to see the craziness, the tons of media in our press conferences. Things like that definitely can help us get ready and get focused now that we’re here this week.”
Sherman became the focus of the NFL world last week, when he insulted San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree and proclaimed his belief in himself as the league’s best cornerback in the moments immediately following Seattle’s conference championship victory. He later apologized for that outburst, but he has not shied away from discussing it and the outsized public reaction.
“I’m enjoying it, man,” Sherman said. “You’re constantly learning and growing as a person, learning about how the world works and how what you say and do affects people and affects kids, especially. It’s fun to learn new things about people, the bad, the good, and to have that open dialogue.”
Sherman was asked whether he understood at the time that his brash public comments would receive so much attention, and he said he was. And while he was diplomatic in discussing the Broncos’ players, even calling wide receiver Demaryius Thomas one of the top five in the league at his position, he doesn’t have any plans to keep quiet this week.
“I think you’re always cognizant as a football player that what you say is going to get attention,” Sherman said. “Especially in today’s world, where everybody’s looking for a story. But in the end, it’s all going to come down to who plays the best football on Sunday.”
- Joined ESPN in 2011
- New Jersey native and author of two published novels