PHOENIX — If Brandon Browner wanted to play nice with his former Seattle Seahawks teammates before Sunday’s Super Bowl, it sure didn’t look that way earlier this week.

In an interview on ESPN, he encouraged his new teammates with the New England Patriots to go after the injured elbow of Seattle’s Richard Sherman.

Now that ruffled some feathers, but not apparently with the Seahawks.

“I thought it was funny,” said Sherman. “I thought it was funny because I know BB. I know Brandon and I know what his intent was. I know his mind and who he is as a person, so it was funny.”

Browner, who spent three years with the Seahawks before signing with the Patriots last summer, explained later that he meant no harm.

“Those are my brothers; at the end of the day there’s no hard feelings,” he said.

But Browner was still explaining his comment Thursday. And he still wasn’t backing down.

“We play a violent game,” he said. “We play football. It’s not like we play water polo or swimming or anything like that. It is a physical game and we want to be as physical as we can with them.”

Browner just wants the Super Bowl to begin.

While the Seahawks were throttling the Denver Broncos last year to win their first Super Bowl championship, Browner was back at home with his family, watching the game on television. He was serving a suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.

“It was very difficult watching my teammates play,” he said.

Of course, winning professional football championships isn’t foreign to Browner. Or maybe it is.

After he was released by the Denver Broncos in 2006 – they had signed him as an undrafted free agent out of Oregon State the year before – he took his skills to the Canadian Football League. He played four seasons for the Calgary Stampeders, winning the Grey Cup in 2008.

Browner made a huge difference in the Patriots’ secondary this year. He had to sit out the first four games while serving his suspension, then was inactive for the next two. When he returned, his impact was immediate.

At 6-foot-4, 221 pounds, he is a big hitter. And he plays with an intensity bordering on mayhem.

“Brandon has kind of a unique style of play,” said Patriots Coach Bill Belichick. “He’s very long – a 6-4 corner, you don’t see a lot of guys like that … Strong, physical, good tackler, very competitive guy, really works hard to do his job and to work in good cohesion with the rest of the secondary. So he’s been great to have on the team. I really like the guy personally, and I like the way he competes and works. He’s a tough football player.”

In Seattle, Sherman played one corner; Browner played the other. But with the Patriots he was used outside, inside, close to the line as if he were a linebacker. He covered wide receivers or tight ends.

It takes someone with a special mindset to do that.

“He has a mentality and a way he wants to play, and that’s how he plays the game, so I think everyone feeds off of it,” said safety Devin McCourty. “Throughout the game he’s always high energy. He likes to be physical so it doesn’t matter what receiver or tight end, he’s going to play physical and going to try to get his hands on you.”

Seattle knows this, especially Coach Pete Carroll.

“Brandon was really one of the core guys for us,” said Carroll. “We loved what he did for our team as he contributed to kind of the mindset and growth of the group. If you’ll notice our guys, they’ll talk about him with an endearing manner. Seeing him come through in our program and do well, it was a shame that we weren’t able to maintain it, but that’s kind of how this thing goes sometimes. You don’t always get to do it with the guys you want to and it changes. Those tough decisions occur every year.”

Browner will catch up with former teammates again Sunday, but on his terms.

“Off the field those are still my brothers,” he said Thursday. “Come offseason, those guys will be my friends again.”