Richard Sherman isn’t concerned about comments that came from Seahawks defensive lineman Frank Clark following Seattle’s fourth consecutive victory.
After answering a few questions about the improvement of some of his teammates during his regular press conference Thursday, the talkative 49ers cornerback was asked about Clark’s comments as the “elephant in the room” from a Bay Area reporter.
“It’s like a mouse in the room. It’s like, ‘kids say the darnedest things,’” Sherman said. “It didn’t bother me at all. It just seems like a guy who’s probably tired of hearing the same questions. I wasn’t even part of that game – and they’re still asking him questions after the game about me.”
After a win over the Minnesota Vikings on Monday night, Clark was asked a question by a Seattle-area reporter about Sherman’s comments from two weeks ago, when he called the Seahawks a “middle-of-the-road” team before the 49ers played them Dec. 2.
Seattle was 6-5 and fighting to get into the NFC playoff picture. The Seahawks won both games since Sherman’s comments and hold the No. 5 seed, leading to Clark responding after thumping Minnesota with a strong defensive effort.
“At the end of the day, ‘middle of the road,’ that’s Richard Sherman being Richard Sherman,” said Clark, according to the Seattle Times. “He’s not in this locker room anymore, so his opinion really doesn’t matter. You know what I mean? They’ve got problems over there in San Fran that he needs to be worried about. At the end of the day, this is my team now. This is my defense. Richard Sherman and his era is over here.”
Said Sherman: “I’d probably be pretty annoyed, too, (if) we won a game and somebody comes up to me with a question and asks me about a guy who wasn’t either involved in this game, or on my team. It’s kinda weird. But it doesn’t bother me. The era was over in my mind, obviously, I’m here (with the 49ers).”
When it comes to Sherman’s “middle of the road” comments, the former All-Pro cornerback said only one team is happy with the results at the end of each season, regardless of their record heading into Week 15.
“In this league,” Sherman said, “if you don’t end up with the trophy, then how great was your season anyway? We’re fighting, we’re struggling, dealing with injuries, but at the end of the day, there’s only one thing that ends with the trophy. Unfortunately, it won’t be us this year. We’ll see if it’s them.”
Clark, who has a career-high 11 sacks this season, is a key member of the Seahawks’ new-look defense that no longer includes stalwarts like Sherman, safety Kam Chancellor and pass rushers Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett. Free safety Earl Thomas is scheduled for free agency in the spring and there’s a chance he leaves to sign a lucrative contract elsewhere after fracturing his leg Sept. 30 against the Arizona Cardinals.
But one core player remains with the team who has tormented the 49ers over the years: linebacker Bobby Wagner, whom Sherman remains close with and believes is one of the NFL’s under-appreciated stars.
“Bobby Wagner has been the best linebacker in football for at least five years. And I don’t think he ever gets enough credit,” Sherman said. “They’re almost spoiled by his production. And last week, he impacted the game in so many different ways.”
Wagner in the last game against the 49ers had a game-high 12 tackles, a sack, forced fumble, recovered fumble and returned an interception of quarterback Nick Mullens 98 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.
“And he looked kinda fat and didn’t have a neck when he did it,” Sherman quipped, “but whatever.”