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Richard Sherman, Demaryius Thomas: Great, not denigrate

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Updated: January 27, 2014 11:15PM



JERSEY CITY, N.J. — Outspoken Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman didn’t rag on any Broncos for being “sorry” or “mediocre” players in his first interaction with the media during Super Bowl week.

Instead, Sherman praised his opponents. And on Monday, Denver’s top receiver, Demaryius Thomas, who figures to see plenty of Sherman, returned the compliments.

“I think I’ve faced more physical, but he is physical,” Thomas said. “He’ll switch it up. He doesn’t always try to be physical because he doesn’t have to. He’ll switch up stuff; that’s why I feel like he’s one of the best at what he does.

“I noticed he’s, most of the time, in the right spot. I’m sure he studies a lot, and, of course, he’s talented. I don’t know if he’s thinking and I don’t know if it’s talent, but he’s always around the ball.”

Unlike 49ers wide receiver Michael Crabtree, the target of Sherman’s viral postgame rant from the NFC Championship Game, Thomas considers Sherman “a close enough” friend after meeting him a couple of times.

Sherman said Thomas, who had 92 catches, 1,430 yards and 14 touchdowns in the regular season, was a top-five receiver and described their duel as “a fun matchup.”

“I respect it,” Thomas said of Sherman’s comments. “He’s one of the best in the league. So coming from him, that’s good.”

On Tuesday, when media day takes hold of the Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., there undoubtedly will be attempts to elicit some headline-worthy responses from Sherman. But, regardless, it doesn’t sound like the Broncos’ opinions will change.

“He’s a great corner, don’t get me wrong,” Broncos cornerback Champ Bailey said. “I think most of you guys notice that now because you hear about how much he talks. That’s the way he is. I enjoy guys with some personality. That’s him.

‘‘I have no bad words to say about him. He’s a good player.”

Retirement talk

Forget about Peyton Manning’s future; Broncos cornerback Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie brought up retirement if Denver wins Sunday.

“I gave myself five years; I’ve been playing six,” he said. “Everything is cool.”

Rodgers-Cromartie, 27, signed a one-year, $5 million deal last offseason and figures to generate considerable interest on the free-agent market with teams — such as the Bears — in need of cornerbacks.

Making new homes

The Broncos are practicing out of the Jets’ facility in Florham Park, N.J., while the Seahawks have settled in at the Giants’ home base in East Rutherford, N.J.

“It’s a really nice facility,” Seahawks wide receiver Golden Tate said of the Giants’ accommodations. “The food is great, and the field was awesome. The locker room was nice. It’s very similar to ours.”

The Broncos, meanwhile, have gotten an upgrade.

“Our operations guy tells me that the guys will be complaining that it’s so much nicer than ours, so he’s not real excited about it,” Broncos coach John Fox quipped.

Email: ajahns@suntimes.com

Twitter: @adamjahns



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