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Focus on: Dance fever

Posted Dec 20, 2013

In addition to leading the NFL in interceptions and passes defensed since 2011, All-Pro cornerback Richard Sherman just might be the league leader in busting dance moves between plays on game day as well.

At any given moment, during any given break in the action on game day, Richard Sherman will break into a dance move, or 12.

“During the timeouts and in between intermission, you get bored out there,” Sherman said. “They play some pretty cool tunes. And if the rhythm gets in your body and it gets to your feet, then that’s the result.”

But this is not a game-day abnormality for the Seahawks’ All-Pro cornerback. Sherman practices, on the practice field.

“You practice how you play and you play how you practice,” Sherman said. “Everybody doesn’t know that if you practice hard and you practice these dance moves out there, then on game day they’re going to be just as good.”

Sherman smiled, and everyone else in the auditorium at Virginia Mason Athletic Center laughed.

But then Sherman’s version of Dance Fever is nothing new. He’s been busting moves since his rookie season in 2011, when he entered the lineup at midseason as a third-option injury replacement at left cornerback. Since then, he leads the NFL in interceptions with 18 (four more than the Chicago Bears’ Tim Jennings) and passes defensed with 57 (nine more than the Green Bay Packers’ Tramon Williams).

Entering Sunday’s game against the Arizona Cardinals at CenturyLink Field, Sherman has six picks to share the league lead this season and 16 passes defensed to pace the NFL’s No. 1-ranked defense.

They don’t keep stats on number of dance moves, or even best dance moves, but Sherman must lead the league in both categories, as well.

His favorite? “The Sherman shuffle is always going to be the go-to,” he said – yes, with a straight face. “I feel I haven’t had a chance to do it in the end zone fully. Big Red (Bryant) interrupted the last one. But we’ll get it done.”

Not that Sherman is the defense’s only dancer. In last week’s shutout victory over the New York Giants, lineman Michael Bennett did his thing after collecting a sack – giving him 7.5.

“Did you see the sideways, the hip?” Sherman asked. “He’s mixing it up for everybody. I think he might be the best hips on the team.”

But best dancer? Sherman has been the unchallenged team championship since former defensive lineman Anthony Hargrove challenged him to a dance-off in the locker room in 2011 (4:20 mark in video below).

And, as we know, Sherman practices what he prances.