Sherman says he plays old-school football

RENTON, Wash. -- Don't try to tell Seattle Seahawks All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman that today’s game should be played without the physicality of years past.

“I think that’s the way the game of football is built,” Sherman said Wednesday. “When the rules were created, the game was allowed to be physical. That’s old-school football.

“Now on every pass, a receiver is turning around looking for a flag. That ruins the game. It changes the whole DNA of football and ruins the game when you see flags every single play.”

The topic started when Sherman was asked about how physical the Seattle secondary plays, earning its Legion of Boom nickname for the aggressive style of play in the defensive backfield.

“I think DBs playing physical is the way football should be,” Sherman said. “You see great offense all the time, but we stand out there and make it a dogfight every play. There’s going to be pushing off and grabbing here and there.

“That’s the game of football. That’s how it’s always been. Ask the Michael Irvins of the world or the Jerry Rices, guys that had to deal with that before these rules we have now.”

Sherman also took exception to recent comments by former New York Giants offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride, who said the Seattle defensive backs have mastered the art of holding.

Gilbride’s comments came after the Seahawks defeated the Giants 23-0 at MetLife Stadium on Dec. 15.

“We cover more than we hold,” Sherman said. “He’s a guy that's a little bit bitter. His team didn’t score any points against us that day. I’d look for way to explain that away also. You can get fired over those things.”

Gilbride, 62, retired at the end of the season after spending 24 years in the NFL.

Sherman believes he plays cornerback the way it was meant to be played, and it still eats at him that he wasn’t drafted until the fifth round.

“It’s incredibly mindboggling,’’ Sherman said. “It fuels me every single day. I read everything people said, ‘He’s stiff. He doesn’t have ball skills. He doesn’t have the instincts to play cornerback.’

“I looked at all those press clippings. People always say, ‘Don’t ever read those things.’ I read anything negative anyone said about me and turned it into a positive.”