The Seahawks may dispute talk of hard feelings in the locker room toward their quarterback, but one of their most prominent players doesn’t deny using a little locker-room talk toward Russell Wilson.
In an interview with Josina Anderson of ESPN, cornerback Richard Sherman admitted that, during a June 2014 practice, he intercepted Wilson and shouted “you f–king suck!” at him.
“That’s 100% true, and I’ve said worse,” Sherman said, via TheBigLead.com. “I’ve said worse to Doug [Baldwin], I’ve said worse to [Jermaine] Kearse. Iron sharpens iron, as one man sharpens another. . . . I’m sorry that our competition, that the way we sharpen our iron, isn’t pretty and cordial. I’m sure if you went to see bad teams, they probably get along great, probably slapping high fives, but then you go 4-12.”
Sherman is right, but the whole “iron sharpens iron” thing doesn’t apply only to rough words or flared tempers. The notion that the best try to get the best out of those around the best includes the reality that if the best isn’t being generated by the best, there should be accountability.
Which gets back to one of the primary points made in the disputed story from Seth Wickersham of ESPN The Magazine that led with the “you f–king suck” quote. For the same reason Sherman would bark that at Wilson in the heat of the moment, Sherman and other teammates also would reasonably expect the coaching staff to coach Wilson as hard as the other players on the team are coached, and not to have any sacred cows or untouchable teammates who don’t get the same treatment.
Iron sharpens iron. So if a piece of iron is being sharpened with a velvet glove, it’s not going to be a sharp as it could be.
But Sherman and his teammates won’t admit that. They shouldn’t admit that. It all goes back to iron sharpening iron, and it’s a process that those who are iron believe those who aren’t iron would misunderstand, turning into something that it isn’t.
It’s not personal. It’s not mean spirited. It’s not petty. It’s about winning games, pursuing championships, and cementing legacies.