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Seattle's Sherman has no regrets over comments

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Seattle's Sherman has no regrets over comments

RENTON, Wash. (AP) Richard Sherman doesn't shy away from talking, whether on the field trying to rattle the receivers he's defending or just chatting in the Seattle Seahawks locker room.

And Sherman didn't avoid talking on Tuesday, albeit with a slightly more subdued tone after two days during which his comments following the Seahawks' victory over New England drew national attention.

Sherman said he had no regrets about his strong comments and messages from his Twitter account after Seattle's 24-23 victory. While some of his postgame comments in the locker room became instant sound bites, it was a tweeted picture that drew the most attention.

Sherman sent a picture from his account that showed him talking in the face of Patriots quarterback Tom Brady that included an added message and a question ``U Mad Bro?'' The second-year cornerback said he was directed to remove the tweet from his Twitter account, but didn't regret any of the attention that has come his way.

``I don't regret anything about the situation. It is what it is,'' he said.

Quickly known around the league for his chatting on the field, Sherman and Brady started talking during the second half of Sunday's game when the Patriots were leading 23-10. The message from Brady was for Sherman to seek him out after the game, which he did after Seattle scored 14 points in the final 7:31 to shock the defending AFC champs and drop them to 3-3. That led to captured images of Sherman talking to Brady after the game.

But Sherman was still fiery when reporters were let into the locker room and he popped off about what he felt was disrespect from national pundits toward the Seahawks.

``It's not a shock for us. We believe we have a great ballclub and we believe we can play with anybody,'' Sherman told reporters after the victory. ``NFL Network and all of these pundits think they know everything and we keep shutting them up week, by week, by week, by week. They thought (New England) was the greatest ball club to step on the earth. They're 3-3, .500. I don't know what great ball club is 3-3.''

Sherman tried to clarify Tuesday that his remarks weren't meant to be directed at Brady, but instead toward those not giving respect to Seattle's defense that was ranked as the best in the league entering last week.

``It was definitely more about us than about him,'' Sherman said. ``I'm talking about our back end and the three Pro Bowl players we have back there, how great our (defensive) line is playing, how awesome our linebacker play is, how great our rookie quarterback did against Tom Brady.''

Speaking to Dial Global Sports before Monday night's game, Brady avoided speaking directly about Sherman's comments.

``He's a very good player and I have a lot of respect for that defense and certainly that secondary,'' Brady said. ``They play very well together. My dad taught me at a young age to play with class and respect and give my opponents respect, and certainly I have a lot of respect for the Seahawks.''

Sherman was the only member of Seattle's secondary not selected for the Pro Bowl last year, yet he might be playing the best of anyone back there this year. According to STATS LLC, Sherman is tied with Chicago's Tim Jennings for the NFL lead in passes defensed with 10. His three interceptions through six games are nearly equal to his four picks from last year.

Even when he was just getting his first chances at starting a season ago, Sherman was noticed for having a confident swagger most rookies lack. With the success he's had individually and the success of the Seahawks defense, that swagger has only grown to where some may see it as cockiness.

Seattle defensive coordinator Gus Bradley said Tuesday that just last week he was asked if he thought Sherman was cocky.

``I said, `No he's not. He's confident, he's not cocky.' Cocky people don't want to learn, Richard wants to learn. And then all this came up,'' Bradley joked. ``He's just so passionate and you've got to understand their mindset. He's out there 58 passes where Tom Brady is trying to attack him because of the coverage we play. And you can imagine having that mindset and how high strung you are and how ready to go you have to be on every play and it was just one of those things where his passion showed.''

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Though not a big man, first round pick Troy Brown fills several needs for Wizards

Though not a big man, first round pick Troy Brown fills several needs for Wizards

The Wizards' selection of Troy Brown of the University of Oregon with their first round pick has been met with a strong reaction among fans, many of whom argue he doesn't play a position of need, that it was a luxury pick when other areas could have been addressed, most notably in their frontcourt. Big man Robert Williams of Texas A&M, for example, was still on the board. 

The Wizards, though, did address needs by picking Brown. And really, they arguably filled more pressing needs in the short-term than those at power forward and center.

Though the Wizards clearly need some help at big man in the long-term, as both of their starting bigs are on expiring deals, they need help immediately at both shooting guard and small forward. Brown, though he is only 18 years old and offers no guarantees to contribute right away, can play both of those positions.

Shooting guard is where he can help the most. The Wizards have one backup shooting guard in Jodie Meeks and he is due to miss the first 19 games of the 2018-19 season while serving a suspension for performance-enhancing drugs.

Even when Meeks was available this past season, he only helped so much. He shot just 39.9 percent from the field and 34.3 percent from three. Head coach Scott Brooks often chose to rely more on starter Bradley Beal than go to Meeks as his replacement. As a result, Beal logged the fourth-most minutes of any player in the NBA.

More depth at shooting guard will help relieve Beal of some of that workload. That would be great for keeping him fresh throughout the season and help him be at his best when they need him most in the playoffs.

The Wizards also have some urgency at small forward. It is their strongest position in terms of one-two on the depth chart, but they have no logical third option. That was magnified in the playoffs once Otto Porter got injured. They were left with Kelly Oubre, Jr. and had to trot out Tomas Satoransky, who has limited experience at the position.

Brown can play both shooting guard and small forward, giving them much needed depth. If he can play well enough to earn a rotation spot, the emergency situations the Wizards encountered last season could be avoided in 2018-19.

The Wizards still need to find long-term solutions at power forward and center, but they were going to need to find answers at shooting guard and small forward as well. Both Meeks and Oubre have one year left on their deals. Brown helps solidify the long-term outlook at wing.

Now, there's no denying the Wizards already had considerable talent at both shooting guard and small forward with Beal, Porter and Oubre. That begs the question of how much Brown can offer particularly in the first year of his career. But the Wizards would like to play more positionless basketball and to do that requires depth at wing.

The Boston Celtics have helped make positionless basketball famous and their roster shows that the one player-type you can't have enough of is similar to Brown. Boston has Gordon Hayward, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Morris. All are around 6-foot-7 or 6-foot-8 and offer versatility on both ends of the floor.

The Wizards also now have four players of that size and with positional versatility in Brown, Porter, Oubre and Satoransky. They can roll out different combinations of those guys and possibly have an advantage on defense with the ability to switch seamlessly on screens.

In the age of positionless basketball, players of Brown's ilk have become major assets especially for teams that have many of them. There is such a thing as having too many point guards or centers because they can't coexist on the floor. Versatile wings, in most scenarios, can play together in numbers.

It's different but in a way similar to certain positions in other sports. In baseball, you can have too many catchers but you can't have too many talented pitchers and utility players. In football, you can have too many running backs or tight ends, but you can't have too many defensive linemen. 

Brown gives them options from a roster perspective in the long-term. Oubre has one year left on his contract and if he continues his trejectory with a strong 2018-19 season, he could price himself out of Washington. Brown could move up the depth chart as his replacement one year from now. The Wizards also now have the option to consider trades at the position given their depth.

The problem, one could argue, with drafting Brown over a Williams-type is that it limits their options at center in particular. Drafting Williams would have made it easier to trade Marcin Gortat, for instance, because they would have had depth to deal from. Now, it's more difficult to trade Gortat, whom they have shopped on and off for months, without a plan to replace him. Finding a Gortat substitute in free agency with the limited resource they have would not be easy.

But big man wasn't their only need and in Brown the Wizards may have found a solution at other areas where they clearly needed help.

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Wizards' second round pick Issuf Sanon will take time, much like Tomas Satoransky did

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Wizards' second round pick Issuf Sanon will take time, much like Tomas Satoransky did

The first round of the NBA Draft played out expectedly for what the Wizards had planned for the night. In Troy Brown, they clearly got the guy they wanted all along, seeing as there were many interesting prospects they passed on to choose him.

The second round was a bit more chaotic. Team president Ernie Grunfeld said there were a few players picked just ahead of them at No. 44 that they had their eyes on. They contemplated trading up, but no perfect deals were presented.

So, they decided to think long-term, like really long-term. In choosing Ukrainian point guard Issuf Sanon, the Wizards understand it may be years before he plays in the NBA.

"We hope to have him developed in a few years," Grunfeld said.

Sanon, just 18, plays for Olimpija Ljubljana in Slovenia. He may stay in Europe into his 20s before he comes to the United States.

The Wizards have utilized the draft-and-stash model with other players. Their 2015 second round pick, Aaron White, has been playing in Europe for the past three seasons.

Sometimes those players never convey and contribute for the Wizards. But sometimes they do and Grunfeld pointed to a player already on their roster as a model to consider.

"We drafted Tomas [Satoransky] at an earlier age, he went overseas [and] he played at the highest level and it got him ready for the NBA," Grunfeld said.

The difference between now and then is that the Wizards have a G-League franchise starting this fall, the Capital City Go-Go. Because of that, it seemed more likely going into the draft that the Wizards would use the second round pick on a guy who can play there right away. 

Grunfeld, however, opted for roster flexibility. By keeping Sanon in Europe, the Wizards can have another open roster spot. They could either fill that spot, or leave spots on the end of their roster open as they did for much of last season.

"We want to preserve a roster spot, so just because you draft someone in your second round, if you sign him, he still has a roster spot even if you let him play for the GoGo," Grunfeld said.

Sanon may have a bright future. He is a 6-foot-4 point guard with impressive athleticism who doesn't turn 19 until October. He said he models his game after Russell Westbrook, as a guard who can score the ball. More will be known about him once he plays for their summer league team in July.

The Wizards passed on several interesting prospects to pick Sanon. Still on the board were Keita Bates-Diop of Ohio State, Hamidou Diallo of Kentucky and Svi Mykhailiuk of Kansas, three players they brought in for pre-draft workouts. But instead, they went with a long-term investment, hoping they found the next Satoransky.

MORE 2018 NBA DRAFT COVERAGE:

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