New York, NY (SportsNetwork.com) - Hordes of media descended upon Midtown
Manhattan and North Jersey this week hoping for a little Richard Sherman trash
Seattle's star cornerback has been a star to football fans for some time, a
two-time All-Pro regarded as one of the best pure cover guys in the NFL.
But, he became a mainstream media sensation after sending the Seattle Seahawks
to Super Bowl XLVIII with a brilliant game-saving play in the end zone against
Michael Crabtree and the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game.
It wasn't Sherman's play, though, which revved up his star power, it was his
WWE-like post-game interview which seemed to startle FOXSports sideline beauty
Erin Andrews into submission.
The boastful Sherman hasn't showed in the Northeast, though, replaced by a
respectful lad who has complimented his competition -- the Denver Broncos --
almost to a fault.
While Crabtree was a "sorry receiver" to Sherman, he described the Broncos'
Demaryius Thomas as "one of the top five receivers in all of football."
"Coming from him, that's good. He's one of the best in the league," Thomas
said before reciprocating by calling the Stanford product "one of the best and
most physical corners" in the game.
Payton Manning also got the kid gloves treatment from Sherman, a guy who
turned from Muhammad Ali on the stick to Larry Holmes in the span of seven
days or so.
"We wouldn't have it any other way," Sherman said of the Super Bowl matchup.
"They're an unbelievable record-setting offense with a Hall of Fame
quarterback. That's as tough as it gets."
The mutual admiration act is a far cry from Sherman's usual tactics and it's
created quite a conundrum for certain reporters fixated on writing about his
There's always someone who gets a little antsy, however, and is willing to
give the opposition a little bulletin board material.
Broncos defensive tackle Terrance Knighton didn't exactly do that on Thursday,
but he announced his intentions to do it.
Knighton is Denver's best pure run stuffer with solid quickness, agility and
balance inside, a very important player in the Broncos' defensive game plan
because the centerpiece of Seattle's offense is bruising tailback Marshawn
"He's been tremendous," Broncos coach John Fox said when discussing Knighton.
"He's a guy that we were familiar with coming out in the draft out of Temple
as well as Jack Del Rio, our defensive coordinator, coached Terrance (in
Jacksonville). So we had some pretty good insights on what kind of person and
player he was. He's been nothing but A-plus for us since he's been a Bronco."
"Pot Roast" told reporters on Thursday that he's been watching plenty of film
and is excited by the fact he's being leaned upon by Fox and Del Rio.
"I embrace it," Knighton said when asked about being a key part of Denver's
plan to stop Lynch, the only NFL player to rush for at least 1,000 yards and
10 touchdowns in each of the past three seasons, and a guy who has four 100-
yard rushing performances in six career postseason games.
"Even if it wasn't being talked about, I would think that myself. Being the
nose tackle, and knowing that Marshawn Lynch is their guy, it starts with
stopping the run. I take pride in that. That's why we've been successful the
past few weeks because we've just taken pride in stopping running backs."
To do his job, Knighton has been focusing on Seahawks center Max Unger in order
to ascertain how other defensive tackles have attacked the Pro Bowl selection.
"I'm going against Max Unger this week," Knighton continued. "He's a good
player. He's real crafty. He knows a lot of tricks of the trade of trying to
influence you to do certain things. I've just been watching him over and over,
and trying to figure out what he's thinking about, and how other guys in the
league have been successful.
"Arizona played them pretty well, their defensive front. I've just been
watching a lot of guys, watching as much as I can."
The far more interesting part of Knighton's preparation was the fact that he
admitted he would be doing research on Unger's personal life in order to get
under his skin during the game, a tact made famous by former Minnesota Vikings
Hall of Fame defensive tackle John Randle, who used to devour the opposition's
media guide in an effort to find something to tweak his opponent with.
"Today I'll start Googling him and doing all types of stuff to guide out his
personal life," Knighton admitted. "I want to know everything about him. Just
everything, from his favorite food to his favorite color, where he grew up at,
how many siblings he has. I want to know everything about him, and I'll
probably talk a little smack Sunday."
Still, this isn't exactly going to be "The Rock" laying the smack down on John
Cena or even Randle antagonizing former Packers center Frank Winters.
"I have a lot of respect for him," Knighton said of Unger. "He's the middle of
their offense, and I take pride in being the middle of our defense. So it's
going to come down to that matchup really with a team that likes to run the
ball. I'm pretty sure he's studying me right now, and I'll be studying him as
soon as I leave here.
"May the best man win."
Trash talking sure has changed.
The Sports Network