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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