By Larry Fine
JERSEY CITY, New Jersey (Reuters) - Outspoken Seattle Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman said on Tuesday that Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning was not the only one playing for his legacy in Sunday's Super Bowl.
"The Legion of Boom (LOB) is a legacy," Sherman said using the nickname for Seattle's vaunted defensive secondary that will match skills with Manning and his top-flight crew of receivers.
"It's a legacy, it's a group, it's a legion, it's a vast army of individuals and we have countless bodies behind us that are more than capable of doing the job," the voluble Sherman added about the defenders who have helped Seattle rank first in shutting down the pass game and limiting points.
Sherman said he and his LOB mates understood the challenge that awaits them at MetLife Stadium in the first outdoor Super Bowl played in a winter setting.
"Peyton Manning's numbers speak for themselves. I think he's one of the best in the history of the game, and I think he's broken multiple records to prove that," he said. "He's a living legend right now. He's been a living legend for years."
Sherman said the proud, physical Seahawks defense needed to maintain their cool.
"Being patient," Sherman said about the challenge they faced going against Manning. "Understanding that he's going to get his yards and he's going to make his plays.
"If you pull your hair out over every pass he completes and over every yard that he makes, then you'd have a long day ahead of you."
Sherman, who became a polarizing figure after launching into a victory rant to an on-field TV reporter after making a game-saving play in the final moments of the NFC title game, said casual fans did not appreciate the scholarly side of the
"We have five, six guys out there who have a high football IQ. I think Earl Thomas might have one of the highest football IQs I've ever heard of," boasted Sherman. "He studies it day, night, night and day.
"You've got Kam Chancellor, who does the same thing. So when you see Kam Chancellor going downhill to make those huge hits and those huge plays, and Earl going to make those, it's because they know the play is coming. They're not guessing out there. It's a real testament to us as a group."
After the backlash he endured following his boastful rant and his fine for unsportmanlike behavior by the NFL, Sherman has toned down his rhetoric although his love for the spotlight remains unbridled.
"I see the fun in the Super Bowl," he told the biggest crowd gathered around a Seahawks player during Media Day.
"I see everybody's attention and how much the NFL has grown as a franchise, as a world brand, and I see that the Super Bowl is a huge event for the world.
"There are a lot of cameras, a lot of different languages, a lot of countries, a lot of diversity - I love it."
(Editing by Frank Pingue)