By Brady Henderson
Richard Sherman is still squarely in the spotlight two days after the cornerback's emotional postgame interview took much of the attention away from the Seahawks advancing to the Super Bowl.
Richard Sherman will be the center of attention before the Super Bowl. (AP)
The full transcript can be found here. Highlights are below.
Kenny Easleys lap dog asked about when Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning will overtake Sherman as the biggest story leading up to Super Bowl XLVIII.
O'Neil: I think the media week is going to be truly difficult for Richard Sherman. And I only say that in this regard: He's going to be talking to a ravenous group of reporters asking him questions with the naked hope that he says ridiculous stuff. And his team has now come out and basically encouraged him to stop saying ridiculous stuff because it distracts from the team. And I think it's going to be difficult within Richard's personality to just defer when challenged and asked if he's backing off what he said.
Beast asked whether former NBA star Dennis Rodman is a fair comparison to Sherman.
O'Neil: There was nothing intellectual about Dennis Rodman. Rodman was – and to a large extent still is – a basket case who happens to be an incredibly gifted rebounder, tenacious defender and all-around athlete. Sherman is not unaware of his surroundings. He has a goal that's in his mind. A perspective and a consciousness about his brand and what he wants out of that. Now, you can argue that Richard Sherman is creating a storm that he's ultimately not going to be able to handle or an image or public persona that he doesn't really like, but there's a certain amount of intent in what he's doing.
Beast asked if Denver is a good matchup for the Seahawks.
O'Neil: Is it a good matchup? You mean would there be easier teams to face to win the Super Bowl? Yeah. The Patriots would have been easier given all the starters they're missing. The Chargers would have been easier because they're not very good. But Denver – in my mind – is not as tough a matchup as either New Orleans or San Francisco was.
concerned citizen asked if the priority that coach Pete Carroll places on protecting the ball is "hampering" quarterback Russell Wilson's development.
O'Neil: Depends on what you mean by hampering? The Seahawks are in the Super Bowl, man. His development – by that measurement – is coming along quite well. Is the emphasis on protecting the ball hampering his development into a 400-yard-per-game passer? Yes. Yes it is.
Hank Petchow asked whether Malcolm Smith could replace Bruce Irvin in the Super Bowl, joining K.J. Wright and Bobby Wagner as Seattle's starting linebackers.
O'Neil: I wondered the exact same thing after Pete's comments on Monday when he mentioned K.J. Wright as an asset and his ability to play WILL and SAM.
MikeH asked about Irvin's quiet play of late.
O'Neil: Well, he has not been part of Seattle's pass-rush packages since about the mid-point of the season. He has played SAM linebacker, and I thought he had a strong start to Sunday's game in terms of his discipline in defending Colin Kaepernick, but he got sloppy in the second half. Specifically, Kaepernick's 20-yard gain on a read-option keeper when he pulled the ball out.
aiiye asked if Irvin is "an athlete without a spot."
O'Neil: Not necessarily. Right now, he's a player chosen for his pass-rush ability who is not in position to pass rush.