By Brady Henderson
Richard Sherman’s emotional postgame rant stole the headlines after the Seahawks’ win over San Francisco in the NFC title game Sunday, which is one reason why the All-Pro cornerback apologized for his actions a day later.
“That was not my intent,” Richard Sherman said about how his postgame rant took attention away from his team. (AP)
“I apologize for attacking an individual and taking the attention away from the fantastic game by my teammates,” Sherman told ESPN’s Ed Werder. “That was not my intent.”
The individual was San Francisco’s Michael Crabtree, the intended receiver on the pass that Sherman broke up in the end zone and tipped to teammate Malcolm Smith for the game-ending interception. Moments after making the play that helped the Seahawks punch their ticket to Super Bowl XLVIII, Sherman gave an on-field television interview with FOX’s Erin Andrews in which he proclaimed himself – quite loudly – to be the best cornerback in the league and called Crabtree “a sorry receiver”.
Later, in his postgame press conference, Sherman called Crabtree mediocre and indicated there was some pre-existing bad blood between the two stemming from something Crabtree told him over the offseason. He also derisively thanked Colin Kaepernick for throwing at him on the decisive play and clarified that the choking gesture he made following the interception was directed at the 49ers’ quarterback.
It was the initial interview with Andrews, though, that seemed to generate the most discussion, much of which was critical of Sherman.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll called the rant “unfortunate” but said he understood the intensity Sherman showed given that he was moments removed from the heat of battle.
More coverage of the Seahawks’ win over the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game.
|• Recap | Stats | Photos | Interviews | Pete Carroll Show||• O’Neil: What we learned from the Seahawks’ win||• O’Neil: Seahawks’ win validates Carroll’s approach||• Henderson: Carroll revels in Super Bowl berth||• Henderson: Sherman pops off after game-saving play||• Henderson: Chancellor makes his presence felt||• Moore: Seahawks’ maligned receivers come up big||• Stecker: No redemption for Kaepernick | Notebook|
“You’re talking about a guy in a warrior’s mentality, in the middle of everything and trying to get him to speak with some clarity,” Carroll told 710 ESPN Seattle’s “Brock and Danny” on Monday. “Some people can. Richard is that fiery guy. He’s just going to go and that’s who he is. That was Richard being Richard and in a moment where you would almost like to just kind of pull him to the side and take a knee for a while, and then we’ll talk to you. So it’s unfortunate that it was so crazed, but that’s who he is. You ask somebody a question like that, you better get ready. Unfortunately, that’s what it is.
“Richard – he is a wonderful, wonderful spirit. He’s got amazing heart, he’s got great sensitivity, all of that, and he goes all the way to the end of the spectrum when it comes to expressing himself. His mental makeup to get ready for that matchup was expressed right there. He had to get that mindset so that he could play the way that he could play. Unfortunately, he shared it with the world and it didn’t come across so well. We all ain’t perfect and we make mistakes and things don’t always come out exactly like we planned.”
When asked about giving players the freedom to express themselves, Carroll said that shouldn’t be a detriment to the team.
“That means that you always represent us. And in a time like that,” he said of Sherman’s rant, “that was kind of representing yourself a little bit.”
Follow Brady Henderson on Twitter @BradyHenderson.