Seahawks’ Richard Sherman impressive in first start

Oct 30, 2011, 9:22 PM | Updated: 9:42 pm

By Liz Mathews

Rookie cornerback Richard Sherman made his first NFL start on Sunday in place of Walter Thurmond, who was placed on injured reserve last week as a result of a leg injury he sustained against the Browns.

Sherman intercepted a pass intended for A.J. Green in the third quarter and was credited with a pass defended on Kam Chancellor’s interception in the fourth quarter. He also made four solo tackles and an assist.

“He made some big plays,” Carroll said of Sherman. “He’s a ball hawk. Great job on the pick. Great job in knocking the ball away in the other one — he’s disappointed he didn’t get that pick. That’s pretty impressive for his first time out against arguably the best rookie receiver in the NFL (Green).

Richard Sherman deflects a pass into the arms of Kam Chancellor for an interception. The rookie cornerback also had an interception of his own. (AP)

“It was a good first outing for him. A bright spot.”

The Seahawks have been plagued with injuries at cornerback, losing both Marcus Trufant and Thurmond to the injured reserve. Roy Lewis was just activated from the physically unable to perform (PUP) list after sitting out the first six weeks of the season.

The Seahawks added cornerback Ron Parker to the roster last Monday, but he was inactive on Sunday.

“It’s part of the game. After a while you’ve got to recover,” Sherman said after the game. “Guys have to just keep playing well and keep standing up, or otherwise, you’re not going to win. It’s hard when guys like Tru (Trufant) — great players like that — go down. Thurmond went down. Guys have to step up.”

But despite his personal performance, Sherman was disappointed with the loss.

“I feel like I could have played better, helped the team a little more,” he said. “I had a penalty near the end (for illegal contact), kind of knocked them into field goal range. I’ve got to play better than that and not make those mistakes.”

Sherman was a wide receiver at Stanford before making the move to cornerback to start his senior season. The Seahawks took him in the fifth round of April’s draft.

“Not just his skills, but his mentality,” said rookie wide receiver Doug Balwdin, Sherman’s teammate at Stanford. “He knows different concepts, he knows routes, he knows the way the receivers look when they come off the ball and if they’re going to run an out-route or an in-route, and that’s just a tribute to the type of player he is.

“He’s very smart, very intelligent. I’ve said it since day one — even though he was drafted in the late rounds he’s always been an underrated player and I just think that goes to show today that he proved he belongs out here.”

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