By John Boyle
Carolina Panthers receiver Steve Smith is a temperamental dude, just ask Ken Lucas’ broken nose. And Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman loves to talk, just ask him about, well, anything. So when a corner who plays physical and loves to talk trash faces off with a receiver with a short fuse, there is certainly the potential for some fireworks, and we indeed saw a bit of that in Seattle’s win over Carolina last weekend.
On a couple of occasions Sunday, Smith and Sherman became tangled up thanks to some solid press coverage by Sherman, and Smith decided to take out his frustration by throwing Sherman to the ground. Smith drew one flag, and probably could have been called for another penalty or two, most notably when he gave Sherman a big shove while a pass was in the air.
So just what were the two discussing in those heated moment?
“You know, it was just a little bit of this, a little bit of that,” Sherman said with a big grin. “Just some fun talk. He’s a fun player to play against. I had a good time.”
Smith is a five-time Pro Bowler, including in 2011, and is used to putting up big numbers, but that was not the case Sunday when he was held to a season-low 40 yards on four catches, thanks in large part to the effort of Sherman. That may very well have contributed to Smith getting into it with Sherman.
“He just had a frustrating day,” Sherman said. “He probably didn’t get all the balls that he wanted to get in that game. He went into that game with high expectations—they’re a great offense, and explosive offense—so I think he was just frustrated with the day he had, and it just kind of compounded.”
And unlike fellow cornerback Brandon Browner, who has been known to pull of WWE-style takedowns of receivers who come after him (just ask Jerome Simpson or Greg Jennings about that), Sherman decide not to fight back when Smith wanted to mix it up.
“That was just fun,” Sherman said. “I was just laughing, man. I was just laughing at those plays. That’s not football. That’s how I treat it—it’s not football. When they’re football plays, I go out there to dominate.”