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Richard Sherman: Seahawks figured out Peyton Manning’s audibles, hand signals

Peyton Manning Omaha

The Seattle Seahawks completely shut down the Denver Broncos in the first half of Super Bowl XLVIII. They held Denver to 11 yards in the first quarter, intercepted Peyton Manning twice in the half and didn’t allow any points. Richard Sherman says that’s because the Seahawks figured out Manning’s hand signals and audibles in the first half of the game.

Sherman told Monday Morning Quarterback’s Robert Klemko about how they got the mental edge on the Broncos.

“All we did was play situational football,” Sherman told Klemko at the team party after the game. “We knew what route concepts they liked on different downs, so we jumped all the routes. Then we figured out the hand signals for a few of the route audibles in the first half.”

Klemko says Sherman then demonstrated how they figured out Peyton’s hand signals and said they were calling out his plays and getting them right.

“Me, Earl [Thomas], Kam [Chancellor]… we’re not just three All-Pro players. We’re three All-Pro minds,” Sherman says. “Now, if Peyton had thrown in some double moves, if he had gone out of character, we could’ve been exposed.”

So Sherman says they took gambles, but that was because they were confident they figured out Peyton’s signs. Looks like they were right.

This would actually be the second time in a Super Bowl that a defensive player beat Manning by learning about his tendencies. You may recall that Tracy Porter said he jumped the route in the Super Bowl between the Saints and Colts because of what he had studied of Manning on film. That led to a game-clinching pick-six for Porter.

And for all the talk about Peyton Manning being an offensive genius and smarter than most players — and that sure seems to be the case most of the time — it’s obvious he is not invincible. It sounds like Seattle’s defense simply outsmarted him. That’s not surprising considering what a student of the game Sherman is.

We also encourage you to read Klemko’s entire article on Sherman from after the Super Bowl. It’s loaded with great information and details.

H/T Business Insider

Richard Sherman explains what inspired his praise of classy Peyton Manning

Richard Sherman Peyton ManningIf there’s one thing about Peyton Manning that you can say about him that can’t be taken away, it’s that he’s as classy of a player as there is. He is humble, respectful and he doesn’t really act like he knows he’s one of the best players of all time. His sportsmanship is also pretty incredible — few players act better in victory or defeat than him. That sort of humility goes a long way and is a big part of the reason why he’s so well liked. It also explains why Richard Sherman was moved to tweet about Manning after the game on Sunday night.

Shortly after winning the Super Bowl, Sherman tweeted to his followers calling Peyton the classiest player/person he’s ever met and urging them not to bash Manning. What prompted the tweets? Something Peyton did after the game.

“I was crutching my way up to the press conference,” said Sherman, who was on crutches after the game. “I got tapped on the shoulder and tried to turn around as quick as I could. Just saw a hand out, extended out, and somebody asked me how I was and how I was doing, how I was feeling. It happened to be Peyton Manning.

“It takes an incredible amount of class and humility to do that after a game like that, on such a big stage. He has the utmost respect for me and my teammates in how he handles himself. He’s still a Hall of Fame player and Super Bowl champion and Super Bowl MVP. It was really one of the most incredible moments of my life to see that kind of class shown after a game.”

I don’t know if Peyton’s behavior is enough to convert Sherman from a loudmouth trash talker into a humble player, but we sure appreciate the story. It’s just another reason to like Peyton, and another reason why it’s so hard to criticize him.

Richard Sherman urges Twitter followers to not bash Peyton Manning

Richard-Sherman-SeahawksSeattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman clearly learned a lot from his postgame rants and taunting two weeks ago after the NFC Championship Game. He seemed like a completely different person following his team’s win in Super Bowl XLVIII on Sunday. Rather than talking trash, Sherman took the time to praise his family, teammates, the fans, and even Peyton Manning.

Hundreds of thousands of Twitter users spent their Sunday evening ragging on Manning and creating hilarious memes to commemorate his poor performance. Sherman urged Seahawks fans to simply enjoy the win rather than taunting Peyton.

Sherman is right. Manning is one of the classiest players in the game and a future Hall of Famer. That said, the ugly showing does hurt his legacy. He threw a pick-six to end the Super Bowl four years ago and did the same on Sunday to basically eliminate any chance the Denver Broncos had of coming back. Manning is now 1-2 in the Super Bowl and 11-12 in the playoffs overall.

As for Sherman, you can tell he meant it when he apologized for taking the spotlight away from his teammates two weeks ago. He carried himself with class after winning a championship.

LeSean McCoy says Darrelle Revis is better than Richard Sherman: ‘It’s not even close’

Darrelle-RevisRichard Sherman may have wrapped up his ongoing feud with Darrelle Revis, but the debate rages on. Analysts are still going to argue over which player is a superior cornerback. If you ask Philadelphia Eagles running back LeSean McCoy, he would tell you there is no debate.

McCoy was a guest on Mad Dog Sports Radio’s “Evan and Phillips in the Morning” on Thursday, and the NFL’s leading rusher for 2013 was asked which player in the league he would least want as a teammate. He said it was Sherman before breaking into an unprompted discussion about how Revis is a better player. Here’s the audio, courtesy of Bleacher Report:

“I would take Darrelle Revis,” McCoy said. “He’s a better player. If you watch Darrelle Revis’ tape and take his best clips (and match them up against Sherman’s), it’s not even close.”

While McCoy knows a lot more about football than I do, I believe the gap between Revis and Sherman is much closer than he is making it sound. However, McCoy made the same argument that we heard from Pittsburgh Steelers cornerback Ike Taylor earlier this week — that Sherman doesn’t always match up against his opponent’s top receiver.

“(Revis is) a lockdown defender,” McCoy added. “He doesn’t have tons of safety help. It’s, ‘Revis, we need you to lock him up.’ And he’s gonna get it done.”

Sherman believes the stats show he is better than Revis, but he does have a tremendous amount of help with safeties Kam Chancellor and Earl Thomas. McCoy also noted that he believes Revis will dominate again next year when he has another year of recovery from ACL surgery under his belt. Perhaps that will give us a better idea of who the better cornerback is overall.

H/T Black Sports Online

Richard Sherman: Darrelle Revis is a great guy, we squashed the nonsense

Darrelle Revis Richard Sherman

Perhaps tired of all the backlash he has faced in the wake of his postgame rant against Michael Crabtree, Richard Sherman has decided to squash his long-running beef with Darrelle Revis. The feud began roughly a year ago when Sherman randomly posted stats on Twitter in an attempt to prove he is a better cornerback than Revis. Is it now over?

On Thursday, Sherman told reporters he has smoothed things over with his Tampa Bay Buccaneers counterpart.

“We’ve had a few conversations. He’s a great guy and we squashed all the nonsense,” Sherman said, via Ebenezer Samuel of the NY Daily News. “I think every one of them out there is going to say that they’re the best, and that’s the way you’ve got to play the position.”

I’m not sure when Sherman is claiming this conversation took place, but Revis was pretty critical of him last week when asked about the infamous outburst. Despite that, Sherman insists he has no issues with Revis and that their disagreements have been exaggerated by the media.

“I think one of those things, just like a lot of other things, is a lot of media fabrication more than anything,” he added. “People make it more of a big deal than it really is. Guys have conversations off the field and are good friends. People would be surprised. They think they’re really mortal enemies, and it’s really not like that.”

While we know the media loves to blow things out of proportion, there’s really only one way to interpret Revis accusing Sherman of running his mouth like a girl. My gut instinct tells me these two still don’t like each other, and that probably won’t change. Sherman happens to have a pretty big game coming up on Sunday. The last thing he wants to talk about is Revis.

Colin Kaepernick unloads on Richard Sherman: ‘He’s afraid of our receivers’

Richard-Sherman-chokeRichard Sherman may be a lot of things, but there are very few who would argue that the Seattle Seahawks cornerback is timid. Sherman is cockier than any player in the game, and that confidence has allowed him to dominate his position. But if you ask San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick, he would tell you Sherman is “afraid.”

Afraid of what exactly? Kaepernick went off on Sherman in an interview with Bart Hubbuch of the NY Post on Thursday. The Niners signal-caller said Sherman fears San Francisco’s receiving corps and was one foot away from being the “goat” in the NFC Championship Game.

“I’ll take that matchup every day,” Kaepernick said. “I feel like he’s afraid of our receivers, and that’s something I look forward to [exploiting] next year.

“I had Crabtree one-on-one with half of the field to himself, and I’m going to take that every single time. He made a good play on that ball, but if I throw it a foot farther, it’s a touchdown and now you’re the goat, Richard Sherman. It’s a game of inches. The inches were in [Sherman’s] favor in that case, but this game will humble you very quickly.”

As you might expect, Kaepernick’s hostility was fueled by Sherman’s verbal assault on Michael Crabtree and the choke gesture he made toward the Niners.

“Did that make you feel better about yourself? Then go ahead,” Kaepernick added. “Because I’m not worried about you. … As my dad has always told me, if you have to tell people how good you are, then how good are you really? If you have to go on national TV and try to say you’re the best cornerback in the league, then you’ve got your own insecurities.”

I’m never a fan of playing the “if” game, because there are a lot of “ifs” throughout the course of a game that could have changed history. Kaepernick is right — if he put more air under that pass we would be talking about Crabtree beating Sherman. But he didn’t, and Sherman made an incredible play on the ball.

Sherman has since apologized for the way he went after Crabtree, but the damage is obviously done for Kaepernick. The rivalry between the Seahawks and Niners should be one of the best in football for years to come.

Peyton Manning: I’m proud of the ‘ducks’ that I throw

Peyton-Manning-BroncosIn one of the columns that he wrote for The Monday Morning Quarterback this year, Richard Sherman listed who he thought were the five smartest quarterbacks in the NFL. Peyton Manning was No. 1 on his list, but that is no fun for reporters who are looking to drum up controversy the week before the Super Bowl. That’s why some have focused on Sherman’s assessment of Manning’s arm strength.

“His arm, however, is another story,” Sherman wrote. “His passes will be accurate and on time, but he throws ducks.”

Sherman was asked on Wednesday about what he wrote, and he did not back down.

“I still feel the same way I felt,” he told reporters. “He’s a great quarterback, he does a great job. But at the same time, when he catches the ball, he doesn’t necessarily catch the laces all the time. But he throws an accurate ball, regardless of how he catches it, how he gets it — he delivers it on time and accurately.”

Anyone who has watched Manning play over the years can tell you that he throws the prettiest ugly ball in NFL history. At least half of all of the completions Manning has thrown prove how overrated the spiral is. He had no problem admitting that this week, and even said that he takes pride in it.

“I believe it to be true as well,” Manning said Thursday morning, via Pro Football Talk. “I do throw ducks. I’ve thrown a lot of yards- and touchdowns-ducks, so I’m actually quite proud of it.”

When Manning first returned from his neck procedures, analysts loved to talk about how his passes seemed wobbly and his velocity was lacking. He’s been throwing balls like that throughout his entire record-breaking, Hall of Fame career. The ugliness of Manning’s passes has never been much of an issue, and I don’t expect it to be one on Sunday.