RENTON — Branton Sherman leans down and holds his hand parallel to the ground at the level of his knee.
The gesture was in answer to the question, how big was your kid brother, Richard, when he started talkin’ smack and sharing his abundant self-confidence with anybody within the radius of his voice?
“All the stuff you see in the media today … ‘I’m gonna do this, I’m gonna do that,’ that has been him since he was a young child,” Branton Sherman said. “To the point where our mom would tell me, ‘Could you please tell your little brother to relax and calm down just a little bit.’ ”
Three years Richard’s elder, Branton was too amused by the antics to stifle the little guy.
“I found it entertaining, and you know, he would go out and do at least half of what he said he was going to do,” Branton Sherman said. “He was always a confident kid growing up and he always had big things he wanted to get accomplished.”
So what the public perceives about the All-Pro cornerback for the Seahawks — that he’s all brash and bold, dancing and swaggering — is an accurate portrayal.
But Richard Sherman has many facets, and nobody can offer better insight into the charitable and contemplative sides of Sherman than his older brother. Branton runs the Richard Sherman Family Foundation, and the new program titled “Blanket Coverage.”
“Our main goal is to help inner-city kids get adequate school clothing, school supplies, computers, iPads and so forth to
help level the playing field,” Branton Sherman said after a recent Seahawks practice.
“Because learning is the gateway, learning is the key,” he said. “We feel like it’s part of our duty to give back to the community and help children get the things they need to succeed.”
Branton Sherman cited the disadvantages that a child faces when he attempts to work on a school assignment in a home that has no computer and no Internet access. “We want to change that.”
The effort is an extension of the philosophy the brothers learned from Kevin and Beverly Sherman, their parents.
“From the time we were 5 years old, we were disciplined,” Branton said. “If we were acting up in class, we’d get spanked, we’d get put on punishment. That played a significant role in who we are today.”
The caring side of the family was even more important, Branton said.
“They’ve always been very supportive, very loving and giving,” he said. “They would often have our teammates over to our house when we were growing up and they would buy food and dinner and take them places to play. We saw that when we were growing up and we always had aspirations to do that sort of thing.”
Branton was a family trailblazer out of Compton, Calif., playing football at Montana State. When Richard followed with a 3.9 GPA he landed at Stanford.
It’s the contemplative, caring side of Richard Sherman that gains less attention.
“He’s a very intelligent guy and very serious when it comes to his craft,” Branton said. “When he’s at home, most of the time he’s watching film on his iPad; he’ll walk around the house carrying it with him watching film, even when he sits down to eat, he’s watching film.”
Anything else fans might not know?
“He’s such a loving and caring individual … he does so many things out of the kindness of his heart,” Branton said. “He’s been in the community all offseason doing great things.”
The charitable work, he said, was something he and Richard talked about even in their childhood days in Compton.
“We visualized this sort of thing when we were kids,” he said. “It’s because of how we were raised. We saw that a lot of other kids didn’t get the same kind of love and support growing up in the inner city.”
But until recently “we didn’t have the identity or the finances to make a difference,” he said.
No Seahawks player has more fun on the field than Richard Sherman, to whom life is a dance. At times, his moves are classic R&B shuffles, but sometimes he unleashes wild eurythmic spasms that make him look like one of the inflatable gyrating tube men drawing attention to car lots.
He doesn’t just take joy in his job, but also in what that job allows him to do.
Branton sensed the real moment of arrival on the day Richard was drafted — belatedly — in the fifth round of the 2011 draft. The family had gone to Las Vegas in anticipation of celebrating his selection. But they had the long, difficult wait until the third day of the draft.
“He was kinda frustrated, watching all the names go by,” Branton said. “Finally (coach) Pete Carroll called and the family was screaming and excited.”
And in the first quiet moment, the brothers drew close, and Richard made a promise to his brother that he has kept in so many ways.
What did he say, Branton?
“He said, ‘We’re here … I’m about to make some noise!’ ”