Seahawks Insider

A closer look at Richard Sherman

Post by Eric Williams on July 20, 2011 at 11:54 am with 18 Comments »
July 20, 2011 11:54 am
Seattle Seahawks defensive back Richard Sherman runs a drill during the NFL football scouting combine in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings)

Stanford product Richard Sherman has the prototypical size and speed that Seattle Seahawks head coach Pete Carroll covets in a press corner.

At 6-foot-3, 195 pounds, the 21-year-old played receiver his first three years at Stanford before moving over to the other side of the ball during spring drills heading into is senior year.

Sherman has the ball skills to be a solid cover corner, but he’s got some work to do better transitioning out of his back pedal, anticipating routes and breaking on the ball.

But Carroll, who recruited Sherman as a cornerback while at USC, likes his potential.

“We know he has great length, he has terrific ball skills, and the fact that he tackles so well,” Carroll said after the draft. “All that adds up, and he ran 4.4’s. We had no problem with any aspect of his build up.

“Not everyone appreciates press corners like we do, and the length that he has to help him with the jam stuff. It’s a big deal in our style of play, if we can suit our players to it, and Richard is really one of those guys that we’re going to go right at it with him. He’s a big kid; there are very few kids who play corner like that.”

A true press corner: Sherman’s combine numbers back-up Carroll’s claim. He ran a 4.54 40-yard dash, posted a vertical leap of 38 inches and a broad jump of 10 feet, 5 inches at the NFL Scouting Combine in February, so the athleticism is there.

But I think there are legitimate concerns about Sherman’s ability to play physical, along with his overall defensive anticipation after having played only one year at cornerback in college.

“Playing press-man is basically what Coach Carroll and his staff I believe brought me in for, and that’s what he preached to me on the phone,” Sherman said after Seattle drafted him. “That is one of my biggest strengths. I can press and play man. I’m good in the red zone against bigger receivers, smaller receivers. I think those are the strengths that I try to bring.”

Did you know? Sherman graduated from Stanford with a degree in communications and was highly recruited out of Dominguez High in Compton, Calif, but chose Stanford over nearby USC because he wanted to make a statement about the importance of education, becoming the first athlete from Compton to attend Stanford.

“I’m from Compton, and it’s hard for people to understand that you can be an athlete and have high academic standards and achieve high academic things,” Sherman said. “And so I really wanted to make that know to people that you can go to Stanford from Compton.”

Sherman also was roommates at Stanford with former Washington All-State quarterback and defensive back Kellen Kiilsgaard, a standout quarterback at Auburn High who played both football and baseball at Stanford, and is now trying to make his way through the minor leagues in the Houston Astros organization for the Tri-City Valley Cats in Troy, N.Y.

2011 expectations: Sherman fits that mold of a late-round prospect with a big, athletic frame that appears to be a good fit in Seattle’s press corner scheme. However, I think he’s still a work in progress and will be in a dog fight for a spot on the final, 53-man roster, particularly without the benefit of an offseason program learning the tricks of the trade from veterans like Marcus Trufant. But he could be a solid contributor on special teams for Seattle as a gunner on punt and punt returns.

Check out video highlights of Sherman below.

Seahawks general manager John Schneider discusses Sherman in this video link.

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Leave a comment Comments → 18
  1. Degree in communications, damn, thats crazy talk. Nah, I’m just playin’, I know I would probably never of got into Stanford, so good for him. Anyways, hopefully he’ll make that leap and we can be rollin’ with him and Thurmond down the road.

  2. williambryan says:

    Eric, maybe you have noticed this too, but there seems to be a growing number of players who are mentioning or realistically thinking about coming to Seattle. Osi Umenyiora, Antonio Cromartie, and Vontae Leach most recently. Sydney Rice seems like a real possibility as well. I get the feeling that Pete Carroll has helped make Seattle a place players want to play, which definitely has not been the case in the past.

  3. Apparently not the best video collection for Sherman…. The only item I see is speed…. Maybe it’s me, but nothing else impressed me….

  4. OCHawkFan says:

    IB: I agree. Especially after watching the Legree and Maxwell video collections. Sherman seems to be a really raw talent. Hopefully he’ll be able to fit into some role on the team down the road.

    Waiting for news on the players approving the CBA. Next week at this time we can be debating actual football again!!!!!

  5. Looks to me that IF Sherman makes the team- then he will play a bunch of special teams. I don’t see how he is ready for lots of playing time.

    could be destined for the practice squad for a year while he continues to learn the tech. of a DB. We will see.

  6. SandpointHawk says:

    Would the players just vote already…this is killing me….

  7. OCHawkFan says:

    Looks like final CBA document is being drafted for vote from both players and owners tommorow. This could all be over soon!!

    http://espn.go.com/nfl/story/_/id/6788034/2011-nfl-lockout-nflpa-vote-held-reps-give-demaurice-smith-ok-finish-deal

  8. Dukeshire says:

    I appreciate Carroll’s enthuasisasm for him, but he seemed like an oddpick to me, in some ways. One, He wasn’t really asked to press much at all at Stanford, so when I read him say that’s a strength, it’s almost like he’s saying what the coaches want to hear. And for Carroll’s part, it’s all potential and what they feel they can coach into him because his play doesn’t reflect the compliments, necessarily. He reminds me of a bigger version of Kelly Jennings actually. I would be very surprised if he made the roster. Strikes me as a PS player al the way. Here’s hoping to be really surprised by him.

  9. DisplacedSeahawkFan says:

    That video was pretty horrible. I didn’t see much, if anything, good there. But what do I know. Carrol probably sees him as a developmental player; and who knows, maybe he’ll be really good in a couple of seasons.

  10. chuck_easton says:

    But this can’t be! After the draft all the national talking heads said Sherman was drafted to replace Jennings in the starting line up. I wouldn’t be surprised to see one or more national sites list him as a starter on their unofficial pre-season depth charts.

    It’s as if Thurmond doesn’t even exist. If I were Thurmond I’d be coming into camp with a major chip on my shoulder.

  11. Soggybuc says:

    Chuck anything logical coming from the national media would require them to actually check the Hawks depth chart and we all its far more important to follow Ocho Cinco’s latest bull ride or report on what Rex Ryan is currently spewing.

  12. Don’t think so Chuck.

    I had watched the film on him quite a while back and wasn’t impressed, but I did see him in the Senior Bowl. Aside from one bonehead play, he was fairly impressive there. (More so than Jake Locker) He picked off a pass that was ruled an interception, but taken away due to someone else’s penalty.

    I hope Trufant is up to the task this year, but I think he’s declined almost as much as Lawyer Milloy. I could honestly see Browner and Thurmond as the starters by the end of the season, barring some miraculous rebound by Tru and bringing in some big name FA CB. Not sure how being the best CB in the CFL will translate to the NFL, but Browner has serious size and ability that PC loves…

  13. Soggybuc says:

    At only 21 years he has nothing but upside ahead and he has to have been drafted for 2 or 3 years down the road.
    interesting to see how they are drafting some very young guys as Pep is 21 if I remember right. kind of like they are putting together a bit of a red shirt class.

    Are they taking a 3 pronged approach to their drafts? grab a couple of guys who can play now? grab a couple who will see some time but not asked to carry a heavy load? and grab a couple to work up as starter for the future?

  14. Dukeshire says:

    In Sherman’s case forget the age, Thomas just turned 22 in May. It’s that he has so little experience as a defender coupled with loads of talent that’s got Carroll all jacked up.

    Interesting theory about their draft approach. That will be fun to watch as Carroll / Schneider get more drafts under them and see if that continues to play out.

  15. I think Tru might be in trouble overall….. There’s been a lot of emphasis on the CB position…. I’m really wondering if Browner, from the CFL, may be better than Tru at this point in his career…. not to mention we have several other candidates because of the emphasis…. thinking younger…. timing of our rebuilding… …. plus free agency….

  16. Soggybuc says:

    Will definitely need a draft or two more to sniff out the plan but it does sort of fit.
    2010 Okung, Thomas prong ones started day one
    Tate, Thurmond prong twos. saw enough action too get their feet wet and will see more this year.
    Konz prong three. the IR thing did not help but not such a big deal as he was a futures pick anyways.
    2011 the Moffpenter prong ones and day one starters on the right.
    Durham, LeGree and maybe Maxwell prong twos, will see some time to get their feet wet but maybe not more than a handfull of snaps per game.
    Sherman and the Pepster. dull knives but made of the finest steel and need a couple years on the honing stone. ( check out Shermans arms on the above pick. im jealous)

    Of course camp and FA + injuries can throw a monkey wrench into my theory but how cool would it be to see the Hawks building for this year, next year and the two following that at the same time.
    Desperate franchises build to win now! lets build to win forever!

  17. chuck_easton says:

    Well our own Chester Pitts just said the players won’t sing the CBA until they get more. He said the lockout is going to last two more weeks minimum. I hope that it lasts much longer for him. I never want to see that man disgrace a Seahawk uniform again.

  18. Soggybuc,

    “dull knives but made of the finest steel”

    What a brilliant metaphor!

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