Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman has learned a lot in a short period of time. Especially when it comes to the art of communication.
Calling someone mediocre or sorry doesn’t fly. Showing how someone is mediocre or sorry and allowing the audience to come to the conclusion on its own does.
That’s precisely what Sherman has done with Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning, sort of. Like Saints cornerback Tracy Porter, who immediately attributed his Super Bowl XLIV-clinching pick-six to film study, Sherman has made it clear that Manning made mistakes from a preparation standpoint in Super Bowl XLVIII — without specifically saying, “Manning made mistakes.”
“We knew what route concepts they liked on different downs, so we jumped all the routes,” Sherman told TheMMQB.com after Sunday’s win. “Then we figured out the hand signals for a few of the route audibles in the first half. . . . Me, Earl [Thomas], Kam [Chancellor] . . . we’re not just three All-Pro players. We’re three All-Pro minds. Now, if Peyton had thrown in some double moves, if he had gone out of character, we could’ve been exposed.”
That’s enough to induce a case of bitter beer face from Manning, but not enough to make Sherman generally look bad. Should he have called himself an All-Pro mind? Probably not. But for a guy who was villified two weeks ago for his shouting condemnation of 49ers receiver Michael Crabtree, Sherman has shown a remarkable ability to adjust the delivery — even if the message is just as potent. If not more.
Consider what Sherman is saying. Manning’s hand signals and audibles weren’t good enough or sophisticated enough to keep the Seahawks from quickly figuring them out.
The problem for all teams not named the Seahawks is that, over the next few years, “weren’t good enough” is likely going to become a common refrain.