In the wake of Seattle’s NFC-clinching win over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday, the spotlight has been firmly fixed on Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman.
Sherman tipped away a pass intended for 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree in the game’s final minute, resulting in a Malcolm Smith interception and sealing a 23-17 win for the Seahawks.
After the interception — and before his already legendary postgame rant to Erin Andrews — Sherman sprinted over to Crabtree and got right up in his face. It sure looked like he was giving the wideout one final bit of trash talk, but, as Sherman tells it, he was simply complementing Crabtree on a good game.
“I ran over to Crabtree to shake his hand, but he ignored me,” Sherman wrote Monday in his weekly column on TheMMQB.com. “I patted him, stuck out my hand and said, ‘Good game, good game.’ That’s when he shoved my face, and that’s when I went off.”
Though he says his on-field comments to Crabtree were complimentary, everything Sherman has said since Sunday’s final whistle makes that a bit hard to believe. Sherman ripped Crabtree in his interview with Andrews — calling him a “sorry receiver” — and he continued to do so in his column. He disputes the notion that Crabtree is among the NFL’s top 20 best receivers, specifically mentioning that Cleveland Browns wideout Josh Gordon nearly doubled Crabtree’s production this season while catching passes from the Browns’ miserable cast of quarterbacks.
“But that’s not why I don’t like the man,” the cornerback wrote. “It goes back to something he said to me this offseason in Arizona, but you’d have to ask him about that. A lot of what I said to Andrews was adrenaline talking, and some of that was Crabtree. I just don’t like him.”
That event in Arizona was a charity event, where Crabtree allegedly refused to shake Sherman’s hand. Sherman reportedly vowed to embarrass the receiver after that, which he certainly did Sunday. But while he is not shy about speaking his mind, Sherman says people should not judge him based solely on his brash persona.
“It was loud, it was in the moment, and it was just a small part of the person I am,” Sherman wrote of the interview. “I don’t want to be a villain, because I’m not a villainous person. … To those who would call me a thug or worse because I show passion on a football field — don’t judge a person’s character by what they do between the lines. Judge a man by what he does off the field, what he does for his community, what he does for his family.”
Sherman had much higher praise for the Denver Broncos’ receivers, whom he will be defending at MetLife Stadium on Feb. 2.
“The Broncos stand in our way, and it’s a large obstacle,” he wrote. “They’ve got the smartest quarterback in football and receivers who are large [mostly], explosive with the football and run great routes. Wes Welker is quick and elusive, Eric Decker is a great receiver with hands and speed, and Demaryius Thomas is as strong as they come. And Peyton [Manning] knows how to get each of them in spots.”
The Super Bowl is nearly two weeks away. In the meantime, get ready for the Richard Sherman show.
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