Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman minimized the cheating allegations against the New England Patriots and said he is happy that Tom Brady's suspension was overturned, he told ESPN on Wednesday.
Despite the accusations that the Patriots deflated game balls during the AFC championship game that allowed them to advance to the Super Bowl and defeat the Seahawks, Sherman said he does not harbor any bad feeling against his opponent. He has previously said he didn't think Brady's suspension should have been so severe.
“Everybody does their things a little differently, but at the end of the day, it's handled between the lines,” Sherman said. “And if they man up and they beat you straight up, they beat you straight up. You can say they knew your plays or they watched this or they watched that, but a lot of times if you watch film good enough, you find good indicators. You find things. So if you're studying the game the right way, you go out there understanding what plays are coming, and you know when the plays are coming. But can you execute? Can 11 guys stop the other 11 from executing their play?
“And at the end of the day, that's what it's about. You can say you stole scripts or whatever it is, but they still have to win the game. They still have to intercept the ball. They still have to execute. Eleven guys have to execute at the same time. And that's what they did, so give them credit. If there's hanky-panky going on, they've gotten away with it.
“Like they say, if you didn't get caught, then it wasn't cheating.”
Sherman said he thought it was great for the Patriots’ organization to have their quarterback return to the field after his four-game suspension was nullified last week, and that he was pleased Brady had gotten a fair trial.
“It's just guys getting justice, guys not being persecuted for things they didn't do, getting a fair trial of sorts,” Sherman said. “A lot of times in this league, it's guilty until proven innocent sometimes. And it's good to see guys be able to get a fair trial. Unfortunately, it had to go so long. But it is what it is.”
- Erin Flynn