Jeff Legwold | ESPN.com
ENGLEWOOD, Colo. — When it comes to trash talk, the Denver Broncos‘ wide receivers prefer to let the touchdowns speak for themselves.
And with Super Bowl XLVIII a week away, the players who caught many of Peyton Manning‘s NFL-record 55 touchdown passes in the regular season have nothing but compliments for the Seattle Seahawks‘ defense and, in particular, cornerback Richard Sherman.
He’s a great player. I’d love to have that matchup to show what kind of player I am. I don’t know if we’ll match up, but like I said, he’s a great player.
” — Broncos WR Demaryius Thomas on
Seahawks CB Richard Sherman
Demaryius Thomas, who led the Broncos with 92 receptions, 1,430 yards and 14 touchdowns, was asked following Saturday’s practice about the prospect of matching up with Sherman in the title game.
“He’s a great player,” Thomas said. “I’d love to have that matchup to show what kind of player I am. I don’t know if we’ll match up, but like I said, he’s a great player.”
The Broncos finished the regular season with the league’s highest-scoring offense — a single-season record 606 points — as Manning set single-season records for touchdowns and passing yards (5,477). The Seahawks led the league in scoring defense, total defense, pass defense and interceptions.
“I think we’re good — whatever we put out there, we have to be able to execute it,” Thomas said. “Like you said, they are the No. 1 defense. They have a great defense and we have a great offense. This is what you play for. I think we’ll be fine.”
Sherman’s post-game criticism of San Francisco 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree has gone viral and been a topic of national conversation. The Broncos’ wide receivers have rarely engaged in much in-game talk with opposing players this season.
“I’ll speak for ourselves — I think this team, with what we’ve accomplished, we’re a confident team,” wide receiver Eric Decker said. “But also at the same time, we’ve got to play 60 minutes of football and I think we’re pretty humble about it. Not to say or take away from anyone else, I just think no one on our team has really maybe that ability. But I think you’re trying to catch your breath instead of talking because Peyton goes so fast. You just get to the line and get ready for the next play …
“We know what it takes to win. We don’t need to talk about it, we need to play about it. And I think that is what has gotten us to this point. We all respect one another and we have fun doing it — and challenging one another, competing out here on the practice field. We just carry that over to the games.”
- Covered Broncos for nine years for Denver Post and Rocky Mountain News
- Previously covered Steelers, Bills and Titans
- Member of Pro Football Hall of Fame Board
of Selectors since 1999