This past summer Seahawks All-Pro Richard Sherman and Cardinals star Patrick Peterson -- widely seen as the league's top two cornerbacks -- spiced up the preseason in a very 2014 way: through Twitter.
Peterson tweeted in July to trumpet his five-year contract extension with $48 million guaranteed.
Sherman retweeted a stat from someone else that Sherman and Peterson combined to allow eight touchdown passes in 2013 and “Peterson gave up seven of those.”
Peterson responded by poking fun at Sherman's famous utterance:
Never miss a local story.
Sherman's response was decisive:
So of course on Wednesday in his weekly press conference Sherman got asked about Peterson.
“I think that there’s a mutual respect there,” Sherman said. “I think at the end of the day, people will look at the tape and they’ll decide for themselves.
“At the end of the day, you let your tape do the talking and people are going to make their opinions. You can tell people the sun is in the sky, and they’ll say it’s in the ground. You can’t change some people’s opinions. But you don’t worry about those people because at the end of the day, the game’s going to speak for itself.”
Asked what that tape says on who is the better cornerback, Sherman couldn't resist one more poke.
With his smile barely hidden he replied, “You tell me.”
Here is the video I shot of the first six minutes of what Sherman said today, starting with: "I think we are past the point of getting over-excited for games" four days before the showdown for the NFC West title at first-place Arizona.
That was a couple hours after Cardinals coach Bruce Arians said his team absolutely is embracing the enormity of this game.
"Oh, yeah, man! You don’t get to play for the damn things very often!” Arians said. “You know, it’s not like Seattle’s played for them for 100 damn years. So I’m sure they’re embracing it, also.
“So, yeah, you fight your ass off all year to get into this game, and sure you embrace. But you don’t change how you prepare. It’s still the same process.”
The rest of what Sherman said is here:
CB Richard Sherman
December 17, 2014
(On the stakes of the game getting the players excited) It’s kind of one game at a time. I think we’re past the point of getting over-excited for games. We’ve been in all the big games, we’ve been in small games and we’ve treated them all the same and I think that mentality is what’s helped us get to the point where we are now. No need to change now.
(On Larry Fitzgerald being a challenge) The boy catches a football very well, which is indicative by his stats. He gets to spots they need him at. He makes the defense pay attention to him, even if he’s just a decoy. He’s someone you have to be aware of at all times. Obviously, he’s going to be a first ballot hall of famer, more than likely with his resume, but he’s the guy that’s been playing this game at a high level for a long time so you always have to be aware of him and respect where he is on the football field.
(On studying Ryan Lindley) Well it’s hard to find tape on him honestly. He hasn’t had a lot of snaps this year; hasn’t had a lot of snaps last year. Last time we saw him, it was in--the game was out of hand and they put him in. So we just studied their offense as a whole. We studied the concepts they like, we study the plays they like; obviously when (Drew) Stanton was in there, when Carson (Palmer) was in there, because the plays aren’t going to change.
(On look at Arizona now that there’s so many changes in the starting lineup) They don’t look that much different in terms of the plays they’re running, and how they’re using their personnel. They still take their shot when they need them. Obviously when (Ryan) Lindley first came into the game, they took a shot. I think they just wanted to show that they’re not scared to take shots with the new quarterback being in there. But I think you have to be prepared for them the same way you’d prepare if Carson (Palmer) was playing or if (Drew) Stanton was in there. I think you prepare for them to take shots down the field, they’re going to try to establish a run game, which is something they’ve done better in the past weeks, and be ready for their quick game.
(On drooling when seeing a depth chart quarterback) Not in this league. Maybe in college when the talent level--there was a huge drop off. But I think when you start over looking guys or not respecting guys, that’s when you get beat by people you shouldn’t get beat by. So I think we’re going to give him a tremendous amount of respect. We’re going to attack them the same way we’d attack if he were the number one quarterback from the get.
(On being impacted defensively if their offense can’t find a smooth rhythm) Not really, because we don’t want them to find a smooth rhythm and that’s something we’re going to try to stay on top of. We want to knock off their rhythm; we want to get in the rhythm ourselves. So we try not to worry about how other teams affected their rhythm or how their rhythm was in other games. We’ll study our game tape, how they attacked us, how they attack defenses that run a similar scheme to the one we run, and we’ll go from there. Obviously, we’ll know how they’re going to play us within the first 15 plays and we’ll count it from there.
(On when the team got over the “Big Game” excitement) The Redskins game in 2012.
(On why that game allowed them to get over the excitement) Because the circumstances of the game. How the game went. We were down. It was a big road game; about as far as you can go across the country. It was another one of those opportunities. We were down early on. We weren’t playing very well in the first half, and we were able to overcome that, come back, win the game, play extremely well in the second half, and just kind of prove to ourselves that it really makes no difference. The field’s the same size, the goal posts are the same height; nothing’s really different.
(On the empowerment of walking into game venues with that mindset) It’s really empowering. It’s really empowering, and I think it gives your team a tremendous amount of confidence knowing that they can go any place and they’ll be fine. I don’t think the stadium changes. I mean maybe if we went on the moon and the gravity changed, it’ll be something to adapt to, but as long as the field’s the same size and guys are able to come, we’re going to be fine.
(On the difficulties of facing a quarterback who doesn’t have a lot of tape on him) I guess over-confidence would be one. But I don’t think that’s one we’re going to have to deal with. I think we’re giving them a tremendous amount of respect, and we’re going to prepare for him as if he’s a starter. But I think some teams will be over-confident--not having tape on him, not thinking they have to worry about him, and then a quarterback can come out and make some throws that you weren’t expecting him to make and catch people off-guard. But I don’t think we’re going to be caught off-guard because we’re very ready for what he has to offer.
(On comparing Arizona’s offense to another team’s offense) Well obviously Indianapolis. Obviously they have comparisons to them. Obviously they have a lot of ties there in their offensive game plan and what they like to do. But I would say that’s the biggest.
(On who or what is responsible for the team’s confidence) I think I’d have to tribute it to a little bit of both. The players in the locker room because they’re the guys out there. There’s the guys that’s been in those situations that have overcome the big deficits and played big time and big games. Rather it’s the NFC Championships, the Super Bowl, 1st round of the playoffs, 2nd round of the playoffs, or just title-clinching games where it was to win a division and guys showed up in a big way. But there’s also a culture that Pete has instilled in us and I think it’s kind of an acclimation to winning. You want to be acclimated to it. You want to be used to winning. You want to feel comfortable winning. You don’t want it to feel like something that’s a surprise. I think he had us prepared to win a Super Bowl last year in a lot of ways early on. He was talking about it from day one. He’s not a coach that’s afraid to talk about those kind of games in a very calm and clear way. I don’t think guys felt like it was something that was out of reach and a crazy and outrageous goal to have. I think it was something that guys felt was a very obtainable goal. That’s the way Pete has instilled this culture in us.
(On professional football starting to feel like high school or college football) I think so. I think you play enough of them. I think when you’re really young and you play in your first championship game, you think everything’s going to be different, the rules are going to change, guys are going to get bigger, faster, stronger, and all of these crazy things are going to happen. And then you play and it’s the same game; win, lose, or draw, you realize guys are the same size, plays are happening the same. It really comes down to execution. Who makes the play; do you make the big catch or do you drop the ball. Does the quarterback make the big throw, or does he get picked off. Do you make the tackle, or does he break it. I think at the end of the day, you realize it comes down to a battle of wills. And in that situation--in this league, everyone is confident their will will win out.
(On having things to disrupt the less experienced quarterbacks that would work on Peyton Manning or Aaron Rodgers) There may be. I guess you would have to wait and see. I like that question though. Fantastic question. There’s certain things that you can do that obviously you can’t do with Peyton (Manning) and (Aaron) Rodgers, Tom (Brady), the upper echelon of quarterbacks because they’ve seen so much. They’ve seen every trick out there. They’ve seen every coverage, every disguise, every blitz. Those guys have seen thousands and thousands and thousands of plays. So it’s much tougher to disguise and trick those guys. But when a guy hasn’t seen as many plays out there, as many live snaps as those guys, then there’s certain things that you’re able to accomplish.
(On there being talk about going back to the stadium in Arizona for the Super Bowl like going back to New York in February last season) Not really. Not really. I think guys just go out there and play. I think you kind of forget about stadiums until you get there again. You don’t sit there and be like ‘Oh man, this is a Super Bowl stadium’, until you hopefully get back there, and then you’re like ‘Oh yeah, we just played here a few weeks ago. Might as well try to win again.’ I don’t think guys are going into this game thinking about anything past this week.
(On the twitter dispute between Richard Sherman and Patrick Peterson) I think that there’s a mutual respect there. I think at the end of the day, people will look at the tape and they’ll decide for themselves. At the end of the day, you let your tape do the talking and people are going to make their opinions. You can tell people the sun is in the sky, and they’ll say it’s in the ground. You can’t change some people’s opinions but you don’t worry about those people because at the end of the day, the game’s going to speak for itself.
(On what the tape says) You tell me.