Players face media for final time before Sunday's Super Bowl
by ELWYN HENDERSON
Jan 31, 2014 | 769 views | 0 0 comments | 15 15 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Denver Broncos and Seattle Seahawks players faced the media for one final time on Thursday before taking the field at MetLife Field in East Rutherford, NJ Sunday for Super Bowl XLVIII. Most of the participants have been asked the same questions numerous times by now, and are more than ready to be done with all the extra media hype so they can make their final preparations for the biggest game in sports.

The two head coaches will hold a final joint press conference Friday morning at the Rose Theater in the Tim Warner Center on Columbus Circle and they will not face the media again until the winner is crowned late Sunday night.

Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson was asked on Thursday about the Seahawks Mantra. “Our mantra at the beginning of the year was, ‘Leave no doubt: Seahawks 24/7.’ It’s kind of something that we came up with together. Every time we step onto the field, make sure that we leave no doubt, have no regrets, go after it. Prepare the right way. Prepare the right way in the weight room, prepare the right way in the classroom, prepare the right way on and off the field. The whole Seahawks 24/7 thing, kind of the whole idea of we’re representing the organization, we’re trying to do everything we can to do the best we can to win a lot of football games and help this city do something it’s never done before. We’re excited about this. We’re here. It’s time to take advantage of it and time to go after it.”

His star running back, Marshawn Lych, who has been a man of few words during all the media hype during the week was asked when he knew Wilson would be good. “I don’t know. You just hope for the best for him. It was probably during the preseason when he started showing flashes of it, and then his work ethic just took over. That was probably something that he knew a long time ago, but for me, just watching him progress, knowing he can still get better.”

Cornerback Richard Sherman, who garnered more than his normal amount of attention due to his comments after the ‘Hawks won the NFC Championship Game, and who will be a major thorn in Denver’s side during the game, was asked why he embraces the media so easily, unlike his teammate Lynch.

“I don’t know. I guess I’m comfortable with my words. I’m comfortable in front of a crowd – public speaking. Obviously, not everybody in the world is comfortable. Sometimes people get anxiety. Some people are uncomfortable with it, and I really don’t think everybody should be forced to do it because it’s not for everyone. Just because you’re a great football player doesn’t mean you’re going to be great in front of crowds and great in front of a large amount of people, a large audience. So I think he (Marshawn Lynch) shouldn’t have to do everything that he doesn’t feel comfortable with. But myself, I’m fine with it. I enjoy it. I enjoy getting the message out that I want to get out, and I enjoy supporting my teammates. The great Marshawn Lynch, I think his game speaks for itself. It says enough for everybody to talk about for weeks and weeks. And I enjoy talking about Doug Baldwin, Earl Thomas, Kam Chancellor, so I think it’s fun for me.”

Denver quarterback Peyton Manning has played in two previous Super Bowls. He won his first appearance as an Indianapolis Colt when his team defeated the Chicago Bears. He then lost his second appearance, also as a Colt, when his team lost to Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints. He was asked how confident Denver was coming into Sunday’s game.

“There is no question these past two games have been team wins. There hasn’t been just an offensive win or defensive win. The offense, the defense and even the special teams have played well together at the same time these past two postseason games. That is certainly what we like to occur on Sunday. The only way to win a world championship is if all three phases are playing at a high level. That is going to give us the best chance in order to win the game on Sunday. To beat a team like Seattle, all three phases have to be doing their part. So, that is what we are working on. It’s nice that it has occurred these past two weeks at the right time. For a while there, we were kind of alternating. Offense might have a day, defense might be a little better the next day. You want them playing well together at the same time. That’s our goal for Sunday.”

One of Manning’s key offensive teammates will be wide receiver Wes Welker, who has experienced both the high of winning a Super Bowl, as well as the low of losing a Super Bowl. He was asked what challenges the Seattle defense brought into the game.

“They do a lot of different things, but they do what they do. They pretty much just line up, and say, ‘Hey we are better than you, and we’re going to beat you.’ They do a great job (in different) situations, and getting pressure on the quarterback. Their defensive backs are instinctive and can make plays. We will definitely have our hands full on Sunday.”

Another key component of the Broncos making to the Super Bowl this year has been the coaching of former Jacksonville Jaguars coach and current Denver Defensive Coordinator Jack Del Rio. He filled in when Head Coach John Fox missed time during the regular season due to necessary heart surgery and kept the team together and playing well during a tough emotional time. He was asked on Thursday how his team’s practice went during the week.

“Good, and it started last week. One thing we’ve had all year, we’ve had a very committed group. We’ve really been on a mission since we got that stinging loss at home last year in the playoff game. We’ve been on a mission. Very resolute, our guys. There have been a lot of well-documented things that have occurred in the last 12 months and we’ve just kind of kept grinding. Never stopped believing that we have the ability to be here if we worked hard, worked together and committed and that’s what these guys have done.”

At this point, both teams have 100% confidence they are ready to play the game, and both are certain they will come out on top. Now we just have until Sunday and see which team was right about their feeling!
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