This week, I am in Hawaii for the Pro Bowl, courtesy of USAA, the Official Military Appreciation Sponsor. Thursday, amid the crowds at the Pro Bowl team practice as players were greeting the fans, I caught up to two of the cornerbacks on Team Rice to talk about Richard Sherman.
Darrelle Revis, who has a history of exchanging barbs with Richard Sherman after the excitable cornerback called him out for lack of interceptions, said that the Seattle cornerback was all about “me, me, me.” I talked to two other cornerbacks here at the Pro Bowl, Alterraun Verner of the Tennessee Titans and Joe Haden of the Cleveland Browns, and it is clear that Sherman is respected by both and they view that reaction as part of what makes Sherman tick.
“I know Richard, I grew up playing with him,” said Verner, who played at UCLA, and also played high school football in Southern California around the same time Sherman was at Compton High. Verner comes across as reserved and measured, but is understanding of Sherman acting in his own way. “That’s not necessarily how I would have done it, but that’s Richard, that’s who he is.”
Joe Haden has not met Sherman yet, but tries to watch all the top cornerbacks at his position, and admires what Sherman has accomplished. “If I had just tipped away the pass that sent us to the Super Bowl, I don’t know how I would react.” Haden adds that he probably wouldn’t have reacted the same way as Sherman, but appreciates Sherman for being himself.
Players likely have as many opinions on that post-game interview after clinching a Super Bowl appearance as there are personalities and differing backgrounds over here. There is no overriding type when it comes to cornerbacks. Joe Haden and Alterraun Verner come across differently than Richard Sherman, yet all have achieved success as among the best in the game at their position. Two of his peers – well, at least two that have not been in the crosshairs of past Richard Sherman rants – understand this.
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[photo of Haden via AP/Aaron Sprecher]