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Coach: Seahawks CB Sherman didn't want to distract

Criticized: Broncos receiver Wes Welker was on the ground after hitting Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib on Sunday, but Talib took the worst of it. Pats coach Bill Belichick criticized the play.

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Criticized: Broncos receiver Wes Welker was on the ground after hitting Patriots cornerback Aqib Talib on Sunday, but Talib took the worst of it. Pats coach Bill Belichick criticized the play.

RENTON, Wash. — Seattle coach Pete Carroll said after speaking with Richard Sherman the fiery cornerback was apologetic that his rant against San Francisco's Michael Crabtree overshadowed the Seahawks reaching their second Super Bowl in franchise history.

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Carroll said the pair spoke Monday, a day after Sherman deflected a pass intended for Crabtree and was intercepted by teammate Malcolm Smith in the closing seconds of Seattle's 23-17 win over the 49ers in the NFC title game.

"He was really clear that the last thing he wanted to do was take something away from our team, what we had accomplished," Carroll said.

Sherman became the focal point of attention — positive and negative — after the game.

Sherman lit up social media after his shouting postgame interview with Fox reporter Erin Andrews then didn't back down from his comments toward Crabtree, later calling him "mediocre."

"This is a very emotional kid and that's what drives him," Carroll said of Sherman. "We're pretty open to be flexible to the uniqueness that guys bring to our program."

Sunday, just after making the play, Sherman ran to Crabtree and gave him a pat on the backside, then appeared to extend his arm for a handshake. Instead, Sherman got shoved in the face and picked up his personal foul as his celebration continued.

Belichick slams Welker: The collision that knocked Aqib Talib out of the AFC title game reverberated Monday when Patriots coach Bill Belichick said WR Wes Welker tried to "take out" the cornerback.

Belichick took the shot at his former receiver after seeing video of the second-quarter play from Denver's 26-16 win on Sunday. Coming from opposite sides, the players ran into each other. No penalty was called.

It "was a deliberate play by the receiver to take out Aqib, no attempt to get open," Belichick said, later calling it "one of the worst plays I've seen."

Welker, who had a cool relationship with Belichick before leaving New England as a free agent last offseason, was not available for comment Monday.

After the game, he said, "it was one of those plays where it's kind of a rub play and I was trying to get him to go over the top, and I think he was thinking the same thing and wanted to come underneath and we just kind of collided. … It wasn't a deal where I was trying to hit him."

Bowman injury: AP reported that 49ers LB NaVorro Bowman tore the ACL and MCL in his left knee in Sunday's game. The Chiefs' Derrick Johnson was chosen to replace Bowman in Sunday's the Pro Bowl.

Harvin back?: Seahawks WR Percy Harvin could practice this week and is expected to be available for the Super Bowl. The former Florida star missed Sunday's game after suffering a concussion a week earlier against New Orleans. That was only his second game of the season after offseason hip surgery

More Pro Bowl: Bears CB Tim Jennings and rookie OL Kyle Long, Cowboys RB DeMarco Murray and TE Jason Witten, Colts QB Andrew Luck, Bills DT Marcell Dareus, Browns S T.J. Ward, Jets C Nick Mangold and Giants S Antrel Rolle are going to Sunday's game in Honolulu to replace players who are either injured or withdrew because their teams are in the Super Bowl.

Around the league: New Titans coach Ken Whisenhunt named Ray Horton defensive coordinator and Louie Cioffi defensive backs coach. Both filled the same roles this season with the Browns. … Former Bucs and Gators WR Ike Hilliard is returning to the Redskins as receivers coach. He held the same post in 2012 then left to join the Bills this season.

Wild Card Division Round AFC title Super Bowl XLVIII

Broncos vs. Seahawks

6:30 p.m., Feb. 2, MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J. TV: Ch. 13

NFC title Division Round Wild Card
3. at Bengals 10 3. at Eagles 24
6. Chargers 17 6. Saints 15
6. Chargers 27 1. at Broncos 26 1. at Seahawks 23 6. Saints 26
1. at Broncos 24 1. at Seahawks 23
AFC NFC
2. at Patriots 43 2. at Panthers 10
4. at Colts 45 2. Patriots 16 5. 49ers 17 4. at Packers 20
4. Colts 22 5. 49ers 23
5. Chiefs 44 5. 49ers 23


Wild Card Division Round AFC title Super Bowl XLVIII

Broncos vs. Seahawks

6:30 p.m., Feb. 2, MetLife Stadium, East Rutherford, N.J. TV: Ch. 13

NFC title Division Round Wild Card
3. at Bengals 10 3. at Eagles 24
6. Chargers 17 6. Saints 15
6. Chargers 27 1. at Broncos 26 1. at Seahawks 23 6. Saints 26
1. at Broncos 24 1. at Seahawks 23
AFC NFC
2. at Patriots 43 2. at Panthers 10
4. at Colts 45 2. Patriots 16 5. 49ers 17 4. at Packers 20
4. Colts 22 5. 49ers 23
5. Chiefs 44 5. 49ers 23

Coach: Seahawks CB Sherman didn't want to distract 01/20/14 [Last modified: Monday, January 20, 2014 10:52pm]

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