Deion Sanders wants to make a few things clear. Richard Sherman is not his protege. He’s not the Prime Time sequel. He’s not even the most athletic cornerback in the NFC West. Those honors belong to the Cardinals’ Patrick Peterson. “Patrick gave me his interception ball (from the Pro Bowl),” Sanders said. “That meant a lot to me. That one is going into my trophy case.” Sanders and Peterson have a special relationship. Peterson wears No. 21 in honor of the cornerback pioneer. Sanders selected Peterson as his first defensive player in the Pro Bowl draft. After responding with an interception in Honolulu, Peterson paid tribute by performing Sanders’ signature dance. But that’s the Pro Bowl. Sherman is playing on a much bigger stage, a cornerback who has captivated America’s attention entering Super Bowl XLVIII with his mouth and his skill. That has drawn natural comparisons to Sanders, perceived to be the man who revolutionized the trash-talking cornerback. “No, that’s not true,” Sanders said. “You never heard me say anything about my opponent. You saw me once get into an altercation with one of my dearest friends who I played with, Andre Rison. But other than that, no. So don’t put me there. “You’ve never heard me talking on the field in my life. Have you ever seen me miked up on the NFL? That’s because I never talked, so there was no reason to mike me. That was very profound what I just said.” The Sherman story was advanced on Wednesday, as Colin Kaepernick lashed out at his new rival. In an interview with the New York Post, the 49ers’ quarterback called Sherman’s comments, “ridiculous.” He said Sherman is actually “afraid of our receivers.” As for that choke sign Sherman delivered to Kaepernick? “Did that make you feel better about yourself?” Kaepernick said. “Then go ahead. Because I’m not worried about you.” Meanwhile, Cardinals star Larry Fitzgerald said Sherman’s antics “were great for the game, to be honest with you,” referring to the blend of trash-talking with a Stanford education. Sanders added that Sherman hasn’t been a distraction, and he understands Sherman’s motivation. “Sherman’s been getting attention. Sherman’s been talking,” Sanders said. “He didn’t just start talking. He just started listening.” In other words, Sherman discovered he was living a fairly anonymous existence playing in the Pacific Northwest. “I really do think he talked because he’s in Seattle,” Sanders said. “You guys don’t give a lot of media attention to Seattle. He felt as though he had to talk to make himself known. And I’m one of the guys who really started studying the dude. He talked his way into my mind. “First of all, I know this position. When you look up, ‘cornerback,’ you see me. There’s a picture of me. When I start talking about cornerbacks, there’s Darrelle Revis; Champ Bailey; (Antonio) Cromartie from the Jets; Joe Haden; and, of course, Patrick Peterson. They play both sides. They play every receiver. “But with Sherman, I said, ‘Let me take a look at this guy who is only playing left corner and making all this noise. And what I found out was, he’s not as athletic as Patrick Peterson; he’s not quick and doesn’t come out of breaks like Champ Bailey. But the guy is smart. He studies his butt off. And the reason I know that is the anticipation I saw him make on a couple of plays comes from studying, not from skill. But he’s got a tremendous amount of skill as well.” Sanders also disputed the theory that cornerbacks like Peterson and Sherman develop ridiculous swagger to deal with the pressures of the position. “He’s not really lonely out there,” Sanders said. “When I was on that island, I felt like all 80,000 or 70,000 people in the stadium came to see me. So I was never alone. “Sherman is the same way now. Everyone is coming to see him. Unfortunately, most of you guys want to see him get beat. That stimulates him. That motivates him. And he knows that about you. I knew that about you all. And do you know how wonderful it made feel when I disappointed you?” Sanders appreciates Sherman’s talent. He saw nothing wrong with his visceral, postgame takedown of Michael Crabtree. But if you want a better comparison, look to Peterson. “I think the world of him,” Sanders said. “Patrick is a classy individual. He matriculates from a mother and a father. He has it, and not just on the field. That’s the easy part.
Deion Sanders says Patrick Peterson is the new Prime Time, not Richard Sherman
Arizona Republic | Feb 1