By Brent Stecker
In the last year, Richard Sherman has gone from a little-known Seahawks cornerback to one of the most recognized and outspoken defensive players in the NFL. He makes headlines on an almost-daily basis, whether it’s for smack-talking TV personalities or rival receivers, riding a jet ski outside the team’s training facility, or (in a more traditional sense) being one of the best players in the game.
“They say big corners aren’t quick enough, aren’t fast enough, aren’t smooth enough in the hips to play this game at a high level, and we’re trying to change that,” said 6-foot-3, 195-pound Richard Sherman. (AP)
Sherman sat down for an interview on “The John Clayton Show” Saturday and gave insight into what has driven him to become such a lightning rod. What appeared most important for Sherman is a desire to bring attention and respect to the Seahawks and their vaunted “Legion of Boom”, Sherman’s secondary crew that’s known for its bigger-than-average cornerbacks and safeties.
“People say we (big corners) can’t play,” said the 6-foot-3, 195-pound Sherman. “We’re trying to end all stereotypes. They say big corners aren’t quick enough, aren’t fast enough, aren’t smooth enough in the hips to play this game at a high level, and we’re trying to change that. We’re opening up the game for any size corner – small, big. The receivers are getting bigger. Why can’t the corners?
“We’re just a bunch of hard-working individuals who like to lay hat on people. A lot of people say corners don’t hit, secondary players aren’t big hitters, are more relaxed, more tentative, and we want to change that persona.”
Sherman has certainly done his part this offseason, as Clayton estimated that he has yet to allow a single completed pass during workouts.
“I’m sure somebody’s beat me somewhere, but not in man-on-man, I don’t think,” Sherman said. “You kinda get respect after a while. If you’re there most of the time, they kinda assume you’re gonna be there. I work hard. I try to make sure I’m in position, not to let my teammates down – that’s what you’re really concerned about, letting your teammates down. That’s why you work hard and wanna be perfect.”
Technique has been a strong point for Sherman in OTAs.
“I’m definitely on the balls of my feet the whole time. You kinda slow down when you get on your heels,” he said. “You want to dictate pace. A wise man once told me, ‘If you dictate the pace and you play the pace you wanna play and you can still dominate, then you’re really dominating.’ At the line of scrimmage, somebody might be faster, quicker, more explosive, but I will dictate the pace. If I can control the pace and control how fast we’re moving, how fast everything’s going, it will be a good play for me.”
Sherman and the “Legion of Boom” is looking to build on very successful 2012 where the Seahawks allowed just 15 receiving touchdowns, tied for second-fewest in the NFL, and the rest of the team is also striving to match the secondary’s success.
“Consistency, that’s what it’s about. That’s the main thing I’m concerned about,” Sherman said of the Seahawks’ 2013 aspirations. “We’ve got a lot of great players, and now we’re looking to be consistent. We’re looking to win a lot of ballgames and take it as far as we can.”