PHOENIX — Forget Deflate-Gate. Properly inflated footballs or not, Patriots cornerback Brandon Browner suggested that his teammates should target injured Seahawks in Super Bowl XLIX on Sunday.
In an interview with ESPN, Browner, who spent three seasons with the Seahawks, said his offensive teammates should go after the star members of Seattle’s “Legion of Boom” secondary: cornerback Richard Sherman (sprained left elbow) and safety Earl Thomas (separated shoulder).
“A the end of the day, this is about the Super Bowl,” Browner told ESPN’s Josina Anderson in a sitdown interview. “I’m gonna tell my teammates, ‘Go hit that elbow. Go hit that shoulder. Most definitely. Try to break it if you can.’ You’re gonna be my best friend after the game, but I know you want the Super Bowl just as bad as I do.”
Sherman and Thomas weren’t available for the media at the Seahawks’ team hotel on Monday. They suffered their injuries in the NFC Championship against the Packers. But Browner’s interview was still a topic with players seeing it both ways.
“I would expect nothing less,” receiver Doug Baldwin said. “This is the Super Bowl. What do you expect? I understand the fans want it to be classy … and everything to be said politically correct, but that is the truth of the matter.
“We want this game just as much as they do and they want this game just as much as we do. I expect nothing less from Brandon Browner. We go after them in an aggressive fashion just as much as they are going to go after us.”
Seahawks linebacker K.J. Wright saw it differently, saying that targeting players is unacceptable. “We’re not going out there trying to hurt people, and especially guys you’re close to,” he told reporters.
But hard-hitting safety Kam Chancellor, one the Seahawks’ leaders on defense, did speak fondly of his former teammate.
“BB is like a brother to us, man,” Chancellor said. “All I can say is, ‘God bless his heart.’ His heart, it tells everything. The man upstairs knows, so bless his heart.”