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“That takes a lot of you.”

It helps explain the two sides to Sherman. He makes a choke sign toward the San Francisco bench and bellows into the camera about his own dominance. But in Super Bowl week interviews, he is laid-back, friendly, philosophical.

For his fellow players, the contrast between their on-field and off-field personas is natural.

“Especially at linebacker, you can’t take crap from nobody,” Trevathan said. “You’ve got to be an animal out there. But you’ve got to be a leader and be smart as well.”

Before games, Seahawks safety Kam Chancellor “goes to a dark place,” Sherman said.

“I don’t know if I want to go to that place,” he added. “But I do go to a place with a lot of animosity.”

Cornerback demands a special sort of personality, which may seem bewildering to those folks watching at home who have never covered a receiver one on one in the final seconds of a one-score affair.

“As a corner in this game, you’ve got to have that mentality. When that ball goes on top of your head, everybody sees that,” Rodgers-Cromartie said. “When you make a play like that at the end of the game, your emotions are high. Ain’t no telling what comes out of your mouth.”


AP National Writer Paul Newberry contributed to this report.


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