Seattle trying to avoid distractions about CBs

Richard Sherman is at the center of what could be a massive

distraction for the Seattle Seahawks as they try to keep hold of

the last playoff spot in the NFC wild-card chase.

Yet the talkative cornerback said Wednesday that this week is

the same as always, despite news leaking out of failed drug tests

by Sherman and fellow starting cornerback Brandon Browner that

could be a huge blow to Seattle’s playoff chase.

”No, nothing different. It’s not tough at all. It’s just the

same old routine for us regardless of what is going on,” Sherman

said. ”You just go out there and play football. That’s the good

thing about the game, you can just go out there and play. You don’t

have to worry about nothing, and there is nothing to worry about in

the first place.”

Sherman spoke for the first time since news first broke saying

he and Browner failed tests for performance-enhancing drugs and

face possible four-game suspensions. The Seahawks expect the pair

to play this week at Chicago while they work on their appeal to the

league.

”The truth always comes out. You just go on about going on,”

Sherman said. ”The process is going to play out how it’s going to

play out and when you know what you know, you just continue to be

confident, continue to go out there and play.”

Later Wednesday, after the Seahawks wrapped practice, the pair

released a statement through the team saying they would not be

commenting about the situation again until the appeal is

completed.

”To allow our focus to remain on football, during the appeal

process we will refrain from any further public comments regarding

this situation,” the statement said.

Browner’s agent, Peter Schaffer, told reporters Monday night

that Browner has no knowledge of how any illegal substances could

have entered his system.

The team is limited in what it can say directly regarding the

possible suspensions because of the league’s collective bargaining

agreement.

Seattle coach Pete Carroll on Wednesday said the issue was

discussed and there would be no lingering hangover, whether it was

from Seattle giving up 17 fourth-quarter points last Sunday at

Miami, or all the attention on the possible suspensions.

”I feel like they have responded well, and we have talked about

any issues that can come up, and those issues are no different than

what everybody faces in that Chicago has six guys hurt. How do you

deal with that? You have all of those issues that you have to deal

with so you just take them on, face it up and go,” Carroll said.

”So right now whatever you’re referring to is not an issue in our

locker room.”

Seattle fullback Michael Robinson, one of the Seahawks’ players

union representatives, said he was concerned that news of the

suspensions leaked out before the appeal was heard and about how

that could influence opinions.

”I think it puts the players in a compromising situation. I

feel like the people that are hearing the appeals watch TV just

like you and I and perception is reality,” Robinson said. ”If the

media is driving a story that some players did something and it

might not be true – who knows – I feel personally that affects the

appeals process. I think it should be very, very confidential and

no one should know about it until all the facts are out.”

Browner and Sherman are key for the Seahawks defense. Browner

was a Pro Bowl selection a season ago, and Sherman has quickly

climbed the ranks of the elite cornerbacks in the league in just

his second season. Their ability to play one-on-one, physical

defense is largely why Seattle has the third-best pass defense in

the NFL.

On a conference call Wednesday, Bears receiver Brandon Marshall

said he respected cornerbacks like Browner and Sherman because of

their willingness to match up one-on-one against receivers.

”I love one-on-one coverage, so if they’re going to do that

then it’s going to be fun out there,” Marshall said. ”This is

what the NFL is about, man on man. All of this double-coverage,

triple-coverage stuff, I don’t really respect that or corners that

hide behind a system, and these two guys don’t hide behind the

system. They want the target on their back and I respect them for

it.”

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