NO 1 Plenty Is Plenty of Fun
Romping and laughing like kids, of course.
"Run as fast as you can, tackle as hard as you can, celebrate after plays," Sherman said. "That's what I like about us in Seattle; we play like a bunch of kids. Big kids, but kids just the same."
The Super Bowl champions, though, are the bullies on the bus.
Anchored by its "Legion of Boom" secondary featuring power-hitting safety Kam Chancellor of Maury High and Virginia Tech, Seattle's defense has yielded the fewest points in the NFL the last two seasons - 15.3 a game in 2012, 14.4 last year.
No game amplified that dominance better than the Super Bowl, when Seattle dismantled the highest-scoring offense in Denver history, winning 43-8.
And no game centered Sherman, a third-year pro with an NFL-best eight interceptions last season, in the public lens more than the NFC championship game.
Moments after tipping San Francisco's potential game-winning pass to a teammate for a clinching interception, Sherman was trash-talking the 49ers for testing the "best corner in the game" at crunch time.
Reaction to the rant still greets him as he works his way through camps and other offseason appearances, Sherman said with a smile.
"I don't really care," he said. "You're going to have people who love you, people who hate you. I hate when people are in the middle, so I like that they either love me or they hate me."
He's been "entertained" by the storm, he said. But also pleased to change opinions through encounters such as at William & Mary, where Sherman enthusiastically engaged campers.
"People say, 'I used to think you were such a terrible guy,' " said Sherman, 26, a fifth-round draft pick out of Stanford in 2011, "and then they're like, 'Oh man, I love you, why do you act like that?' "
Just doing what comes naturally, he said.
"I think when you take the game too seriously, you lose the fun aspect of it," Sherman said. "It kind of ruins you after a while. There's a lot of pressure, a lot of stress."
A month from training camp, Seattle's pressing business is trying to win consecutive Super Bowls. The New England Patriots of '04 and '05 are the last to successfully defend their title.
However, Sherman said Seattle has a head start because head coach Pete Carroll began talking up a title defense well before the first championship was even won.
"Pete's huge into psychology," Sherman said. "He told us we were going to win it mid-last year.... He was like, 'We're not trying to just go for one, we're trying to go for multiples.' He tried to prepare our minds for a long run."
Contractually, the Sea-hawks also seem prepared, having secured many of their top young defenders for numerous seasons. Sherman and safety Earl Thomas are signed through 2018.
Chancellor, who led the team in the postseason with 34 tackles, six passes defended and two interceptions, is signed through 2017.
"Kam hits like a truck," said Sherman, who said he has first-hand experience of been dinged by "friendly fire" from a Chancellor tackle.
In any case, annual impact is what Sherman expects from the Seahawks.
"Take it all in, get used to that feeling of being the No. 1guy," Sherman said, again quoting Carroll. "Embrace it, and still be able to go out there and punish people.
"Just because you've got a target on your back doesn't mean you can't hunt."
By | Tom Robinson