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Sherman enjoys victory over his former team

UPDATED: Sun., Dec. 16, 2018, 10:15 p.m.

San Francisco 49ers defensive back Richard Sherman defeated his former team the Seattle Seahawks for the first time on Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018. (Tony Avelar / Associated Press)
San Francisco 49ers defensive back Richard Sherman defeated his former team the Seattle Seahawks for the first time on Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018. (Tony Avelar / Associated Press)
By Bob Condotta Seattle Times

SANTA CLARA, Calif – When asked what it meant to beat Seattle for the first time as a 49er, former Seahawk Richard Sherman responded with a 214-word answer

“It means a ton,’’ Sherman began, which in a way was all he really needed to say.

Undoubtedly, the 49ers’ 26-23 win over the Seahawks resonated with Sherman as much as it did any player on the field.

Nowhere in Sherman’s answer, though, did he mention Seattle defensive lineman Frank Clark.

Much was made during the week of Clark’s comments following last Monday’s win over the Vikings in which he said that Sherman’s era was over and he was the leader of the Seattle defense now. Clark gave that answer when asked to address a comment Sherman made before the first Seahawks-49ers game about Seattle being a “middle of the road’’ squad.

Clark said he talked quickly to Sherman after the 49ers’ 26-23 win and that all was good between the two players who were Seahawks teammates for three years.

“Hell, naw,’’ Clark said when asked if Sherman had been mad about Clark’s comments. “What is he going to say? We will see each other in the summertime and be kicking it. That’s how it is.’’

In fact, Clark said the two had a brief interaction following the game that confirmed to him that all was good between them.

“I smacked him in the back at the end of the game, just let him know I was there,’’ Clark said. “Had to let my OG know he was still an old man, didn’t want to smack him too hard and make those old bones crumble. But we were just laughing because we got a great relationship, like I’ve been saying. What is said is said and what is the truth is the truth and at the end of the day we are just out there competing. No matter what, you’ve got those 60 minutes and in between the lines there are no friends and we are competing for our teams. We are competing to be the best. But I love that dude and I know he loves me man and we are just competing.’’

Sherman, though, really seemed to like beating Seattle.

One of the Seahawks’ most iconic players, his homecoming two weeks ago seemed rather friendly, with Sherman making the pregame rounds to say hello to former teammates and team staffers.

This game, on Sherman’s new home turf, seemed more businesslike – if there were hugs this time, they were quick.

“Honestly, it means a lot beating Seattle for me,’’ Sherman said. “But it’s just the way the guys showed up and kept battling throughout the game.’’

Asked if the loss in Seattle had been frustrating, Sherman said yes.

“I think the moment and the environment was a little bit much for young guys,” he said.

And then asked if he thought the Seahawks might possibly have overlooked the 49ers, even with his presence on the other sideline, Sherman said no.

“I highly doubt it because just like I’m pretty inflammatory on the other side,’’ Sherman said, “I’m pretty inflammatory on both sides, My truth isn’t always everybody’s truth. Sometimes my comments are used as, I highly doubt (Seattle coach) Pete (Carroll) is overlooking any time that I’m playing, and Russell (Wilson) as well. Those guys played hard. They played their game. They brought it. It wasn’t like they played a lackadaisical game and just gave away things, They played hard, they played, they battled. Our guys just executed down the stretch. We played our tails off.’’

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