RENTON, Wash. -- Seven months after his team lost in the Super Bowl, Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman has gone to bat for the opponent.
Sherman, reiterating thoughts that Tom Brady's four-game suspension was too severe, said Wednesday that he's happy the punishment was overturned while downplaying cheating allegations against the Patriots.
"Everybody does their things a little differently, but at the end of the day, it's handled between the lines," Sherman said. "And if they man up and they beat you straight up, they beat you straight up. You can say they knew your plays or they watched this or they watched that, but a lot of times if you watch film good enough, you find good indicators. You find things. So if you're studying the game the right way, you go out there understanding what plays are coming, and you know when the plays are coming. But can you execute? Can 11 guys stop the other 11 from executing their play?
"And at the end of the day, that's what it's about. You can say you stole scripts or whatever it is, but they still have to win the game. They still have to intercept the ball. They still have to execute. Eleven guys have to execute at the same time. And that's what they did, so give them credit. If there's hanky-panky going on, they've gotten away with it.
"Like they say, if you didn't get caught, then it wasn't cheating."
Sherman took issue with the process that led to the lifting of Brady suspension, but the cornerback said he is happy with the end result.
"I think it's great for him and great for their organization to have him back," Sherman said. "But it's just guys getting justice, guys not being persecuted for things they didn't do, getting a fair trial of sorts. A lot of times in this league, it's guilty until proven innocent sometimes. And it's good to see guys be able to get a fair trial. Unfortunately, it had to go so long. But it is what it is."
Sherman said he isn't certain whether the Brady case will promote change in how discipline is handled going forward.
"I'm not sure, honestly. Maybe," Sherman said. "But certain things are etched in stone of sorts. Just like players don't like change, neither do owners and things like that, so we'll see.
"Obviously, certain players have been disciplined and re-disciplined. And obviously we've seen how the trials have gone, but I think that amongst a few other things are in line for the next CBA. And I'm sure owners have their own list of things that they want to talk about. But that's a few years away."
Weighing in last month with USA Today, Sherman said Brady's punishment was more severe than the Patriots' punishment was as a team, a result "that should bring up some red flags," he said. "But nobody's talking about that."
"Owners can only be fined so much. There's a cap," Sherman told USA Today Sports. "And Brady gets fined [roughly $2 million]. Whether the crimes are the same or not, a suspension is a suspension, a fine is a fine. Game checks."
Sheil Kapadia | espn.com | September 9, 2015