SALT LAKE CITY — For the record, Marvin Williams’ comments about Seattle earning a spot in the Super Bowl were far less tantalizing, caustic and scintillating than the ones made by his favorite NFL team’s cornerback.
Given the chance, Williams politely turned down an opportunity to do his best impersonation of the Seahawks’ Richard Sherman, whose postgame rant with FOX sideline reporter Erin Stewart ignited a reaction firestorm Sunday night after Seattle beat San Francisco.
“I couldn’t do it, man. I couldn’t do it,” Williams said at Monday’s practice, laughing. “I was excited for the win. (Sherman) was probably excited for the win, obviously. He might have had some other things about the situation as well, and he expressed them.”
Did he ever.
Williams, who grew up in Bremerton, Wash., was all smiles when talking about his beloved Seahawks winning a spot in Amercia’s biggest sporting event against the Denver Broncos. It's been eight years since Seattle lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers in its only Super Bowl appearance in 2006.
“I’m just glad we’re going,” he said. “It’s huge. I’m sure everybody up there’s excited. (My friend) said the energy’s great up there (in Seattle).”
Williams echoed Sherman's post-Michael-Crabtree-rant by crediting Denver quarterback Peyton Manning, so he’s excited to see the matchup between the NFL’s top-rated defense and No. 1 offense.
“Obviously, going up against Peyton Manning, it’s going to be tough for us, but I think we have a chance to win,” Williams said. “Personally, I am a Peyton Manning fan, so I feel like I can’t lose in this Super Bowl. If Seattle wins, I’m happy. If Peyton Manning wins, I’m happy.”
Jazz PR will be happy he didn't go all Sherman on the reporters.
ALTERNATE ENDINGS: The Jazz have been bouncing back and forth between wins and losses all month while going 4-4 in January. Coach Tyrone Corbin sees some positive in that, seeing as the team isn’t losing at the clip it did earlier.
The next step in the development of this young team, however, is to start learning to string together victories. Utah hasn’t won three consecutive games and has only won two in a row three times.
“We’re playing better for the most part,” said Corbin, whose team has gone 13-14 since that dreadful 1-14 start. “We have to understand what it takes after you have success to get that run going, to win four or five games in a row, and (understand) the focus that it takes to keep that run going.”
DON’T FORGET?: Williams admitted the team is in somewhat of a somber mood after it set a franchise record for shooting futility while hitting for just 28.8 percent from the field in Saturday’s 98-72 loss at Minnesota.
“I think guys have been thinking about the game since we played it,” Williams said. “The bus ride to the airport was really quiet. The plane ride home was really quiet. Guys know we didn’t put forth our best effort.”
Is it best to just forget about it?
“No,” Corbin said.
The Jazz coach explained that he wants his players to understand what happens when they don’t execute, get to their spots quickly and move with purpose.
“Do everything with some pace to it. I didn’t think that we did that,” Corbin said. “As a result, when you had shots you weren’t ready for them or you were short a lot.”
Corbin doesn’t want them to focus on the negative, though.
“We’ve got to move on. That game was that game,” he said. “The next opponent is not going to feel sorry for you.”
As it turns out, the next opponent is the same opponent.
“Minnesota’s been hungry,” he said, referring to the T-Wolves’ three-game losing streak, “and we’ve got to be hungrier than they are.”
GROWING PAINS: Corbin was asked what part of the season has frustrated him as a coach.
“Trying to find out what we’re going to get from each guy every night has been the frustrating thing,” he said. “But it’s part of the process and I understand that.”
Williams credited Corbin for keeping the Jazz together even during the frustrations.
“His attitude and his encouragement for us young guys has been huge. Every day we come in and whether we’ve won a game or lost a game, he’s had a smile on his face. He’s been happy,” Williams said. “He’s been keeping guys’ spirits up. I think it’s been big.”
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