JERSEY CITY, N.J. – On Wednesday, Richard Sherman reaffirmed his comments from earlier this season when he questioned Peyton Manning’s arm strength, saying bluntly, “he throws ducks.”
"He's a great quarterback,” Sherman said. “He does a great job. But at the same time, when he catches the ball, he doesn't necessarily catch the laces all the time. But he throws an accurate ball, regardless of how he catches it, how he gets it -- he delivers it on time and accurately."
On Thursday, Manning responded.
“I believe that to be true as well,” Manning quipped. “I do throw ducks. I throw a lot of yards and touchdowns-ducks. So I'm actually quite proud of it."
Added Broncos TE Julius Thomas: “Whichever animal or word you want to use to describe Peyton’s passes, I’ll take them every day. Whether that be duck, goose, cat passes, I’ll continue taking them.”
Seattle’s Marshawn Lynch set his personal best Thursday, spending 7 minutes and 25 seconds in front of reporters before walking away.
“It’s going to be good to get back to football,” he said. “Very good.”
Thursday was Lynch’s final mandatory meeting with the press prior to the game. Ironically, Lynch’s refusal to speak with the media only begat more media, and made Lynch the biggest story of the week.
“It’s what the NFL wanted,’’ said Seahawks WR Doug Baldwin. “They wanted to make a story. Any publicity for the NFL is good publicity. The fact that the league threatened Marshawn with suspensions and with fines and forcing him to speak is absurd. It’s ridiculous. The guy doesn’t want to speak to the media and you’re forcing him to.
“It’s frustrating for me to even speak about. But, at the same time, it’s frustrating for the fans. He has no problem with connecting with the fans. He does a lot of community service and social media. I understand the NFL wants a story behind it, but it frustrates me that they’re forcing him to speak.”
And then there’s this from Seahawks defensive end Michael Bennett: “I don’t think the media understands anybody because if they did, they wouldn’t be mediating.”
Lynch may have wanted to remain out of sight all week, but that doesn’t mean he’s been out of the Broncos’ collective mind. Despite his mini-rebellion, Lynch remains a player to be feared, one who can carry the Seahawks on his back.
“That's a huge challenge, and we've been talking about that all week,” Denver safety Mike Adams said “He's a big key to their offense. That's one thing that we have to do in order to win the game – we have to stop the run. We know he's a tough runner and it's going to take all 11 of us to get him down, and that's the key. Just running to the ball and everybody just getting him down, gang tackling."
Lynch rushed for 1,267 yards this season and scored 12 touchdowns.
Seahawks coach Pete Carroll said that whenever the weather factors into a gameplan, he tries to pick the mind of legendary Vikings coach Bud Grant, whose Purple People Eaters played outdoors in the Minnesota’s oft-frozen Metropolitan Stadium.
“Nobody ever played in more conditions and understood how to do that better than Bud,” Carroll said. “Over the years, I've always kind of checked in with him to get my mind right about how we want to operate. We talked through situations, kicking the ball and stuff in particular that day.
“He's always been a great resource. There's nobody better in the world to talk about playing in nasty conditions."
Carroll likely won’t need Grant’s advice on Sunday as it’s now forecast to be the warmest day in nearly two weeks with game-time temperatures in the upper-30s to low-40s.
How popular is Russell Wilson in Seattle?
“They love him,’’ Seahawks tackle Russell Okung said. “I used to be Russell, now I’m Russell No. 2 – and I was there before him.”