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Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Broncos praise Sherman as 'great'

ESPN.com news services

The Denver Broncos evidently do not think Richard Sherman is mediocre.

Broncos coach John Fox and tight end Julius Thomas praised Sherman as a "great" player Tuesday, less than two weeks before Denver faces the Seattle Seahawks in Super Bowl XLVIII.

Seattle's Richard Sherman
The Broncos praised Richard Sherman, whose postgame rant Sunday made national news, as a "great" player.

Sherman thrust himself into the national spotlight following Seattle's victory over the San Francisco 49ers in the NFC Championship Game, touting himself as "the best corner in the game" while blasting Niners receiver Michael Crabtree in a tirade that carried over into his postgame news conference.

After referring to Crabtree as a "mediocre" receiver on multiple occasions during his news conference, Sherman engaged in a Twitter feud with the receiver on Sunday night, sparking a widespread debate about the Pro Bowl cornerback's sportsmanship.

But the Broncos know they will have their hands full with Sherman at MetLife Stadium on Feb. 2.

"I know he's a terrific player, a great cover guy," said Fox, who would not comment on Sherman's spat with Crabtree. "I know the Seahawks are statistically very good on defense, and in particular pass defense. I'm sure their secondary has a lot to do with that."

Sherman will be one of the Seahawks' key players in their defensive matchup against Peyton Manning, who set NFL season records for passing yards and touchdown passes this season.

Thomas, who was named to the Pro Bowl after hauling in 12 touchdown catches this season, told reporters he did not have a problem with Sherman's postgame rants.

"He's done a great job ever since he's been in the league," Thomas said. "He likes to have a little fun out there. I don't necessarily think there is anything wrong with that."

Sherman set up the game-clinching interception Sunday by deflecting a pass intended for Crabtree to teammate Malcolm Smith, who held onto the ball while standing in the end zone with 22 seconds remaining to seal Seattle's 23-17 victory.

The 25-year-old Sherman apologized for his comments in a text message sent Monday to ESPN, saying he did not intend to take attention away from his teammates.

Sherman led the league with eight interceptions this season. The two-time Pro Bowler has 20 interceptions in three seasons, all with Seattle.