PHOENIX – Patriots cornerback Brandon Browner said in an interview with ESPN he was going to tell his New England teammates to go after the injured elbow of Seahawks cornerback Richard Sherman and the injured shoulder of Seahawks safety Earl Thomas.
"I'm going to tell my teammates, 'Go hit that elbow, go hit that shoulder,'?" said Browner, who played three seasons for the Seahawks and was one of the original members of the "Legion of Boom" along with Sherman, Thomas and safety Kam Chancellor. "Hit it, yeah. Try to break it if you can. You can be my best friend after the game, but at the end of the day, I know you want the Super Bowl just as bad as I do."
Seahawks receiver Doug Baldwin, who played with Browner in Seattle, said he wasn't surprised by Browner's comments because that's the reality in the NFL.
"I'd expect that," Baldwin said. "Everybody wants us to be politically correct, but that's the truth. Whether you say it out loud or not, that's legitimately what it is. I'm not surprised by that at all."
"I mean, that's BB," Seahawks linebacker Bobby Wagner said. "He ain't gonna go too far, but, shoot. We know him, too. We know him very well. We're going to go after him, too. It's going to be a fun game. So tell him Bobby said he's coming after him."
Wagner added, "But I don't think he meant it in a malicious way or trying to hurt Sherm by any means. It's just competing. It's a competitive nature."
Feud cools for rival CBs
Sherman and Patriots cornerback Darrelle Revis have a bit of history, from a Twitter feud from a couple of years ago. The gist of it: Revis was the proven pro and Sherman hadn't done enough yet to start crowing.
At Tuesday's media day, any animosity was buried. Each expressed respect for the other, although Revis referred to the fact that in Seattle's defense, Sherman plays only half the field.
"Sherman, he plays left corner and he does great," Revis said. "He's great at what he does. I'm not really knocking him on what he does. He's a playmaker and that's what he does for his team."
The handful of those who excel at the position might bicker, Sherman said, but they share a common bond.
"There's a respect level between elite cornerbacks in the National Football League," he said. "It takes a certain mentality to play at a high level in this game, to deal with the pressure, to deal with the intensity of being out there against the best athletes in the world. … There's a definite admiration for their ability."
In a short appearance at media day, Patriots owner Robert Kraft assessed the impact of his strong statement delivered when New England arrived Monday. During that statement, he said he expects an apology from the NFL when its Deflategate investigation determines the Patriots did nothing wrong.
"To be honest, I think by and large except for our quarterback they don't pay much attention to it," Kraft said of the Patriots' reaction to the underinflated footballs controversy. "I think they think it's a bunch of hogwash. Bill [Belichick] does a good job of making them understand what they have to focus on. I've gotten a lot of positive comments from them. I just said what I believed."