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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.”

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AP National Writer Paul Newberry contributed to this report.

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AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org