Darrelle Revis and Richard Sherman apparently declared a verbal ceasefire in their long-running rivalry. Neither seemed willing to resume a war of words in the two weeks leading up to Super Bowl XLIX.
“He’s a great player. He makes plays all the time,” Revis said of Sherman.
“He’s had a great year, and he’s been doing his job effectively, and I’ve liked what I’ve seen from his game,” Sherman said of Revis. “I’m sure people make comparisons. They always do. But I think we play the game two different ways.”
Sherman has crowned himself the top cornerback in the NFL. Revis feels the same, though he makes his declaration less subtlety.
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Both earned All-Pro honors this season, with Revis getting 42 of 50 votes and Sherman 41. No other cornerback received more than nine.
Revis allowed 37 catches on 77 targets for 568 yards with two touchdowns, two interceptions and 14 pass breakups, according to STATS. Sherman allowed 34 catches on 71 targets for 484 yards with one touchdown, four interceptions and eight pass breakups.
“They’re different cornerbacks, and what I’ve found over the years is that each guy has his own style, because of their body makeup and their speed and their quickness and savvy and all of those things,” Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said.
“I think these are two really, really savvy football players that really understand the game and have tremendous feel, which basically needs to be inherent to the great players. You can have all of the physical ability in the world, but if you don’t have that next level of understanding and awareness that Richard has and Revis has, that’s what makes them so special.
“They can make plays when other guys can’t, because of things that they see and feel and can adapt to. So they don’t look the same. They’re not anywhere near the same style of player, but yet the results are really very similar.”
Sherman began a spat with Revis in 2012 when he tweeted he had overtaken Revis as the league’s best cornerback. Revis, then with the New York Jets, played only two games that season because of a torn anterior cruciate ligament.
Revis tweeted back: “I never seen a man before run his mouth so much like girl. This dude just steady putting my name in his mouth to get notoriety.”
It was on from there, and Sherman responded, among other things, that his “season stats looking like Revis career stats.”
They claim to have talked since, and they apparently have agreed to disagree over who ranks as the best cornerback in the league. As hard as the media tried this week to revive the quarrel, neither played along. It appears, though, that frostiness pervades their relationship.
Sherman acted annoyed when asked if he still considers himself the top cornerback in the league.
“I don’t really answer preschool questions,” he said. “So you improve your line of questioning and then we’ll talk.”
Revis failed to appreciate Sherman calling his style of play “unorthodox.”
“I don’t know what he means by unorthodox,” Revis said. “But he does what he does.”
Sherman, 26, finds a way to get under opponents’ skin. He did it with Tom Brady in 2012 after a 24-23 Seahawks victory, asking the Patriots quarterback, “You mad, bro?”
“It’s just part of whatever motivates guys and whatever they say,” Brady said this week. “Ultimately, it comes down to how well you play. What I’ve learned over the years, a lot of guys talk. What you need to do is go out there and play, back it up. They’ve been able to back it up, so that’s why it works for them. Hopefully, we can go out there and do our talking on the field.”
Revis, 29, talks less than Sherman, but he still got a dig in on the Seahawks cornerback. While Revis covers the opponent’s best receiver, wherever he lines up, Sherman stays on the left side.
“Just the ability to shut down your side, whatever side you’re on,” Revis said when asked what Sherman does best. “Sherman, he plays left corner, and he does great. He’s great at what he does. I’m not really knocking him on what he does. He’s a playmaker, and that’s what he does for his team.”
It’s a good bet both will walk the walk Sunday, though the debate will rage on.
Sherman vs. Revis
Years in NFL
Rec. allowed (’14)
Yds. allowed (’14)
TD allowed (’14)